Finland on Tuesday welcomed the European Commission's decisions to control fisheries in the Baltic Sea and to actively prohibit unlawful fishing.
Finland had been seeking a reduction of the authorized catches of Baltic Sea salmon, while the European Commission had suggested an increase.
In their meeting in Luxembourg on Monday, European Union (EU) ministers for agriculture and fisheries decided to keep the salmon quota for the main Baltic basin and the Gulf of Bothnia at 91,000 as before.
The authorization was reduced slightly to 9,700 salmon for the Gulf of Finland. The International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) had called for a major cutback down to 65,000 salmon.
On Tuesday, Finnish minister for agriculture and forestry Jari Leppa highlighted the decision to prohibit Baltic sea trout fishing in high seas during 2019. "This makes it impossible to camouflage fishing of salmon through reporting it as trout," Leppa explained.
Leppa also welcomed the commitment of the Baltic Sea countries and the European Commission to take measures to eliminate unauthorized fishing in the Baltic area.
Leppa elaborated that the international expert authority has estimated that illegal secret fishing of salmon has amounted to around 40,000 annually, which is almost half of the legal total.
"The European Commission is now prepared to sanction countries that allow unlawful fishing in the Baltic Sea," Leppa noted.