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Problems and challenges with Baltic Salmon Management – with special attention to Estonian salmon - Mr Gunnar Norén Executive Secretary to Coalition Clean.

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Presentation on theme: "Problems and challenges with Baltic Salmon Management – with special attention to Estonian salmon - Mr Gunnar Norén Executive Secretary to Coalition Clean."— Presentation transcript:

1 Problems and challenges with Baltic Salmon Management – with special attention to Estonian salmon - Mr Gunnar Norén Executive Secretary to Coalition Clean Baltic

2 Coalition Clean Baltic - For protection of the Baltic Sea Environment CCB – Joining forces for the Baltic CCB is a network of Environmental NGOs, grass-root level, in 9 countries bordering the Baltic Sea CCB was established in 1990 CCB is environmental Citizens Organisations (ECO) in cooperation CCB has 27 member organizations that represents more than 0,5 million individual members CCB has organisations in: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Sweden

3 Member organisations Denmark Danish Society for Nature Conservation Estonia Estonian Green Movement Estonian Society for Nature Conservation Tallinn Society for Nature Conservation Finland Finnish Association for Nature Conservation Finnish Society for Nature and Environment Germany Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland InfoBalt Latvia Environmental Protection Club of Latvia, VAK Latvian Society for Nature Conservation and Monument Protection Lithuania Lithuanian Fund for Nature Lithuania… Lithuanian Green Movement Vilnius Nature Protection Society Youth Club Poland Ecobaltic Foundation, Gdansk Ecological Library Foundation, Poznan Green Federation, GAJA, Szczecin Klub Gaja, Bielsko-Biala Polish Ecological Club Russia Children of the Baltic, St. Petersburg Ecodefense, Kaliningrad Green World, St. Petersburg Neva River Clearwater, St. Petersburg GUIDE Environmental Group, Kaliningrad Sweden Friends of the Earth Sweden Swedish Society for Nature Conservation Swedish-Polish Association for Environmental Protection WWF-Sweden

4 Priority Areas Paromotion of Good ecological water status, - sustainable Wastewater management - sustainable River Basin Management - water protection measures in Agricultur Prevention of installations and transports harmful to the Baltic Sea environment and coastal areas - Protection of the Baltic Sea environment from harmful impacts of installations and transports - Promotion of sustainable development in coastal zones - Protection of Baltic river ecosystems from harmful installations (hydto- electric power plants, dams etc ) Development of sustainable Baltic Sea fisheries - Protection of the naturally spawning Baltic Salmon - Baltic Sea sustainable fishing practices 3

5 CCB activities on Baltic salmon management - Observer in IBSFC (International Baltic Sea Fishery Commission) - Observer in HELCOM (Recommendation on Salmon Protection) - Organised studies and inventories of salmon rivers in Latvia, Lithuania and Russia - Restoration of salmonid spawning bottoms in Latvia and Lithuania - Reintroduction of wild salmon in West-Pomeranian rivers (Rega, Parseta), Poland - Construction of fish-ladder for salmonids in Vilnia river, Lithuania - River summer-camps for youngsters in Estonia (education, cleaning, restoration) - Organised meetings and seminars on protection of wild Baltic salmon - Project on Protection of salmon in Estonia (e.g. Pärnu river watershed)

6 Map from The Status of the Wild Atlantic Salmon – a river by river assessment 2001

7 Actions needed to save naturally spawning Baltic Salmon - Safeguard all weak wild Baltic salmon river populations, and the genetic diversity - Maximize production of naturally spawning Baltic salmon - Restrict or phase-out salmon fisheries on mixed salmon populations/wild Baltic salmon - Limit the extensive artificial salmon stocking programmes that threaten wild Baltic salmon

8 Improper commercial fishing policies, and extensive artificial salmon stocking programmes threaten the naturally spawning Baltic salmon. 2/3 of all wild Baltic salmon river populations are threatened (26 river populations )

9 Actions needed to save naturally spawning Baltic Salmon - Safeguard all weak wild Baltic salmon river populations, and the genetic diversity - Maximize production of naturally spawning Baltic salmon - Restrict or phase-out salmon fisheries on mixed salmon populations/wild Baltic salmon - Limit the extensive artificial salmon stocking programmes that threaten wild Baltic salmon

10 ICES assessment and advice for management of Baltic salmon (report from spring 2004) Salmon in the Gulf of Finland - At present wild salmon populations occur in nine Estonian rivers and many of these populations are at risk of extinction, or at least loss of genetic variability - Fish ladders would increase the size of reproduction areas, which could increase productivity and create more buffer for stocks to stand the variability - There are no positive signs of increasing parr densities in the rivers draining into Gulf of Finland

11 - Fisheries management must ensure adequate escapement to these rivers, if natural populations are ever to recover - The offshore fishery and coastal fisheries must be reduced to a level that ensures a sufficient escapement to spawning migration - All possible means should be used to prevent all fishing in rivers and river mouths supporting wild stocks ( control of poaching; prohibit coastal fisheries on migration paths etc) - Any TAC (Total Allowable Catch) consistent with the production of reared salmon in Gulf of Finland may cause a bycatch of wild salmon which leads to unsustainable exploitation

12 Baltic Salmon action plan (SAP) variability of the wild Baltic salmon. The SAP was adopted in 1996 to support the sustainable management of the Baltic salmon and to secure the survival of the wild Baltic salmon populations. CCB proposal - needed to decide on complementary goals and new actions to be included into the Baltic SAP. Redefinition of objectives for the SAP, in accordance with ICES advice ICES has proposed IBSFC to redefine the objectives for Baltic salmon management to - Safeguarding genetic variability - Safeguarding each wild stock including the weakest

13 Establish a Salmon Conservation Organisation for the Atlantic salmon in the Baltic Sea catchment Today the management of the Baltic (Atlantic) salmon is handled by the IBSFC (International Baltic Sea Fishery Commission). IBSFC is planned to be closed down in the end of Instaed a bilateral agreement between EU-Russia on Baltic salmon fisheries. What will happen with the international management of Baltic salmon ? Baltic Salmon Management needs a proper body for discussion on management where all stakeholders can participate. CCB Proposal: Establish a new structure-institution for the management of the Baltic salmon, e g the Baltic Sea Salmon Conservation Organisation, with the same opennness and transparency for all stakeholders as within NASCO Or Baltic Salmon Management, as a Committee under NASCO

14 Baltic Salmon - conservation status favourable ? variability of the wild Baltic salmon. Atlantic (Baltic) salmon a species of special interest in EU Habitat directive. Endangered or vulnerable; rare; endemic or require particular attention Shall reach Good favourable status Obligation for all EU-members to fulfil EU Habitat directive. (Report every two years, and every six years)

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16 Atlantic salmon in Maine variability of the wild Baltic salmon. Salmon in Maine is now seriously depleted. Historical times – hundreds of thousands of adult returning salmon In 2002 – estimated only 871 returning spawners of salmon to rivers (790 to Penobscot river; 80 to other Maines rivers) Urgent need to reverse the decline of salmon populations. RECOMMENDATIONS by US National Research Council - Primarily focus on the river(s) with strongest populations (Penobscot river) - Start a programme of dam removal, and Habitat restoration - Hatcheries continue in the short-term - supplement wild populations (under certain conditions) - serve as storhouse of fish from various rivers

17 - No stocking of salmon, of any life stage, in rivers having wild salmon, unless use of river-specific stocks - Prohibition of commercial and recreational fishing for salmon - Maximum and minimum size limits for trout fishing in salmon rivers - Minimum size large enough to protect salmon smolts - Maximum size small enough to protect adult salmon - Shaping government structures to be consistent with salmon biology (and develop multistakeholder governance institutions for each river basin)

18 - Hatchery practices evaluated in an adaptive- management to further reduce genetic and ecological effects *Integration of hatchery and naturally reproducing salmon could lead to adverse consequences for naturally reproducing fish. * Use of hatcheries to rebuild depressed salmon populations is still unproven technology. * Hatcheries use should be limited to situations where advantages outweigh disadvantages Hatchery release practices must be committed to concept of adaptive management with continuous evaluation and corrections - changes

19 Estonias role is crucial for wild salmon in Gulf of Finland variability of the wild Baltic salmon. * surviving Estonian populations of wild salmon - still the last native in Gulf of Finland (state of populations in Russian rivers unclear) * Estonian salmon populations - despite the small size - relatively high level of genetic diversity - represent a valuable and unique genetic resource * Estonia is a key actor for wild salmon in Gulf of Finland If Estonia is not ready to act – Russia and Finland will not take actions * An Estonian salmon management policy to safeguard wild Estonian salmon – with high political support – should be developed

20 Actions to be considered in Estonian salmon management e wild Baltic salmon. New clear and distinct Goals for salmon management Develop well-defined Actions to reach high conservation goals Improve fishery regulations – limit salmon fishery further Improve enforcement (control ; inspection; information) Focus on habitat restoration - Many measures for salmon habitat improvements in Estonian National Environment Protection Plan - Who is responsible for the implementation ? Develop information and education material on Estonian salmon Develop a salmon aquarium and visitors center in one of the Estonian salmon rivers

21 Phase-out enhancement stocking of Neva salmon/smolts in Estonian rivers Turn Salmon fish-breeding (hatcheries) to supplement wild populations only with river-specific stocks, and adaptive-management to reduce adverse genetic and ecological effects Or use fish-breeding farms for other fish species than salmon Future directions for Estonian salmon management - salmon for sea fisheries (highest possible production) - use for sportfishing (anglers) –safeguard wild populations A study on the potential value of strong wild salmon stocks in Estonian rivers used for sportfishing, compared to the value for commercial fisheries in the sea Develop Action Plans for each salmon river (regulations, restorartion measures, responsibilities, time-table, financing ) Involve all stakeholders in preparation

22 Coming actions urgently needed of the wild Baltic salmon. Estonia must make a choice now * secure all wild salmon stocks in Estonian rivers, or not If you wait some years – High risk unique salmon populations are lost forever * Other countries, e.g. Sweden, have lost unique wild salmon populations now regret the lack of powerful actions some years ago

23 Wild Baltic salmon – a Baltic heritage to be esteemed Let the wild Baltic salmon become a symbol for a unique and rich Baltic Sea Baltic Region citizens are obliged to restore all wild Baltic salmon populations.


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