Western Baltic spring spawning herring
Last Updated: 27 October 2011
Number of fisheries: 1
MSC assessment status
The certification body, Intertek Moody Marine ltd, has published a revised assessment timeline.
Please refer to the assessment downloads section for further information.
Baltic Sea ICES Subdivisions 22-24.
There is at present no management plan in place for this stock. The Western Baltic Spring Spawning (WBSS) stock was managed in accordance with the North Sea herring recovery plan for a number of years, when the critical state of this stock was the major concern and catches of North Sea Autumn Spawning herring (NSAS) limited the catch of WBSS. Since the recovery of North Sea herring, scientists recommended a separate management scheme for this stock (since 2003). The fishery is regulated by a TAC and quota management system under the EU Common Fisheries Policy (in agreement with Norway in part of the distribution area).
As for other stocks in EU waters, the principal management objectives of the EU apply, inter alia the obligation to harvest this stock sustainably under MSY principles according to the Johannesburg declaration in the near future. Scientific advice is provided by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), which gives a variety of different catch options for the harvest of this stock depending on exploitation area and relative share of the different fleets harvesting the stock. Stakeholders (industry and NGOs) are involved in the TAC setting process through the Baltic Sea Regional Advisory Council (BSRAC).
Different TACs apply for different areas in which the stock is distributed and fished: Catches of WBSS in the Eastern part of the North Sea are counted against the North Sea herring quotas (or by-catch ceiling in case of the EU industrial (B) fleet), catches of WBSS and North Sea herring in the Skagerrak and Kattegat are counted against IIIa quotas, while catches in the Western Baltic (22-24) are counted against an EU TAC for this area.
The basis for calculation of herring TACs was revisited by ICES in early 2008. In the absence of agreed reference points, ICES could not evaluate the status of the stock in relation to these, and has therefore advised for a stable spawning stock biomass and status quo fishing mortality in recent years. For 2008, a reduction of F towards a candidate target reference point was recommended following an apparent decrease of recruitment since 2003, implying a reduction of catches of 20%. The management agreed on a reduction of the TAC of 10% for the combined area (IIIa and 22-24) for 2008.
The herring from within the fishery under pre-assessment is landed to the Euro-Baltic facility at Sassnitz. Fish from here is processed for the domestic German market or for export, principally to within the EU.
The assessment process is expected for completion in or around October 2012. Please see the download section for a detailed revised assessment timeline.
The MSC ecolabel can only be applied to product from certified fisheries. The MSC program does allow, in certain circumstances and within strict traceability requirements, the MSC ecolabel to be applied following certification to product caught before the actual date of certification. The target eligibility date therefore represents the date from which products may become eligible to carry the MSC ecolabel, however they cannot be sold until and if the fishery is certified. The actual eligibility date will be determined if the fishery is certified to the MSC standard.
To find out more about when fish from this fishery may be sold with the MSC ecolabel, please follow this link (http://www.msc.org/get-certified/supply-chain/eligibility-dates).