This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Freedom of Information request '2017 TACs for Herring in Gulf of Riga'.

Council of the 
 European Union 
Brussels, 13 September 2016 
(OR. en) 

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Interinstitutional File: 
2016/0260 (NLE) 
PECHE 312 
General Secretariat of the Council 
No. Cion doc.: 
11813/16 PECHE 296 + ADD 1 - COM(2016) 545 final + Annex 
Proposal for a COUNCIL REGULATION fixing for 2017 the fishing 
opportunities for certain fish stocks and groups of fish stocks applicable in 
the Baltic Sea 
Delegations will please find attached written comments by the Latvian delegation on the above-
mentioned proposal. 
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Latvia's comments on the Commission proposal 
for a Council Regulation fixing for 2017 the fishing opportunities for certain fish stocks and 
groups of fish stocks applicable in the Baltic Sea 
Comments on most important fishing opportunities for Latvia 
2.1. Herring in the Gulf of Riga: 
During the BALTFISH High Level Group meeting in Frankfurt, Latvia and Estonia already reached 
common understanding regarding justification for lower reduction of TAC level for this stock as 
compared to the Commission’s proposal. 
According to the position already expressed in the BALTFISH meeting, Latvia proposes to set the 
TAC for the Gulf of Riga herring in 2017 at a level that corresponds to fishing mortality MSY 
Fupper=0.38 in accordance with the applicable range  provided  in the column B of the Baltic sea 
multispecies multiannual plan. This corresponds to catches of 26770 t of the Gulf of Riga herring 
and the TAC for the Gulf of Riga management area in 2017 of 31121 t (including exchange with the 
Baltic Sea main basin: 26770+4574-223=31121). In this case the TAC in 2017 will be for 10.9% 
lower than in 2016. 
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The spawning stock biomass (SSB) will still increase in 2018 compared to 2017 and in both years it 
will be well above MSY Btrigger. The development of total biomass and the spawning stock 
biomass of the Gulf of Riga herring strongly depend from the recruitment while the latter mainly 
depends from environmental conditions and there is no strong correlation between SSB and strength 
of the recruitment. The decrease of SSB in the last two years was due to appearance of two poor 
year-classes in 2013-2014 due to environmental conditions. However, the last studies performed 
during joint Latvian-Estonian hydro-acoustic survey in summer show that the 2015 year-class is 
rich and this will cause an increase of SSB in 2017. This was not taken into account in ICES advice 
because the studies were performed later. It should be also noted that the Gulf of Riga herring stock 
is in a good state for very long period of several decades.  Application of F=0,38 and even higher 
F=0,42 in previous years keep the stock stable and at sustainable level while limiting drastic 
fluctuations of fishing possibilities between the years.  
It should be stressed that the big increase of the stock size in the following years would be 
associated with slower growth and poorer feeding condition of herring. For relatively small sea area 
like the Gulf of Riga the food competition and negative stock dynamic tendencies will appear more 
rapidly. The data analysis show that there is already negative correlation (r=-0.75) between SSB and 
average weight of herring in age groups 2-7.   
When setting the TAC for the Gulf of Riga herring the socio-economic consequences also should be 
taken into account. The Gulf of Riga herring is caught by the fleet of trawlers and by coastal 
fishermen using trap-nets. For both fleets herring is the main target species constituting 90-100% of 
the total catch. Therefore recommended 21% reduction of the TAC level would lead to critical 
consequences for local coastal communities.  Already the Latvian proposal for 10.9% decrease of 
the catches will have a bad influence on the industry economic situation especially to the sector of 
coastal fishery for which the Common Fishery Policy (including the Basic Regulation) has defined 
a target to provide good economic situation. Besides there was a 10% decrease of TAC for this 
stock also in 2016. Too harsh TAC reduction in two consecutive years resulting in bad stock 
dynamics (slower growth and poorer weight conditions) should be avoided. 
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