Going against scientific advice, Baltic Sea cod quotas have been raised for next year. A partial accord reached by the 25 EU fisheries ministers at their annual negotiations deals differently with the eastern and western halves of the Baltic. Fishermen will be entitled to catch 73,400 tonnes in 2006, up from this year.
Yet the increase is in the eastern part, which is where cod stocks are in the worst condition. Sweden’s minister called the decision irresponsible. But in this area of European policy, unanimity in the vote is not required. The partial accord also concerns herring. There was no argument there, as those stocks are in good shape.
There was no agreement reached on anchovy, also highly controversial. Spain and France want quotas raised in the Bay of Biscay, where a ban has been in place since June. The commission wants to extend it.