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A Regional Advisory Council for the Baltic Sea has been established

The Executive Committee has confirmed the first working program
A Regional Advisory Council for the Baltic Sea has been established

May 20, 2011

A Regional Advisory Council for the Baltic Sea has been established

 

On Wednesday 15 March the “Baltic Sea Regional Advisory Council” (BS-RAC) was officially founded. About 85 representatives from organisations and authorities participated in the first general assembly in Copenhagen.

 

He BS-RAC was opened by the Danish minister of food, agriculture and fisheries, Hans Christian Schmidt, who described the primary role of the BS-RAC to establish a real dialogue between fishermen and other stakeholders, the scientific advisors and the European Commission.

 

“The BS-RAC is unique because it represents all interests in the food chain from fishermen to consumers around the Baltic Sea”, Hans Christian Schmidt said and suggested that the RAC continues the good tradition of a close cooperation about the fishing interests around the Baltic Sea.

 

Jörgen Holmquist, director general in the Commission’s DG Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, also addressed the general assembly. He stated that the RACs in place were already having an influence in the common fisheries policy. And he also stressed that European Commission will support the RAC but its success will be a common responsibility.

 

“The first years will be a learning process where we learn to work together. But I am convinced that

if RACs provide credible advice, they will have a major impact in the Common Fisheries’ policy”, Jörgen Holmquist said.

 

At the general assembly Reine Johansson, former chairman of the Swedish Fishermen’s Federation, was elected as the first chairman of the BS-RAC. He will chair the council which is intended to give advice to the European Commission on fishing topics.

 

Also the Executive Committee of the RAC was set at the general assembly. It consists of 24 members, two thirds of whom represent the fisheries’ sector. The same proportion of representatives from the commercial fishing industry and the other organisations is intended for the membership..

 

The day after the general assembly the elected Executive Committee met for the first time. On the agenda was the first working program and other decisions. The European Commission presented information about the present fisheries work program on Baltic issues, which will focus on the Baltic TACs (total allowable catches) and a multi-annual plan for cod stocks in the Baltic Sea.

 

It was also decided to establish working groups on demersal fisheries, pelagic fisheries and salmon and sea trout fisheries.

 

The Executive Committee will have its second meeting  June 19-20 in Copenhagen where one of the important themes on the agenda is the ICES advice for the Baltic stocks.

 

For more information contact: Executive Secretary Tobias Kerrn-Jespersen, email: tkj@bsrac.org
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