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ICES: No Eastern Baltic cod should be harvested in 2020

Spawning stock biomass has been declining since 2015 and is estimated to be below the limit reference point for spawning stock.

The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) is recommending zero cod catches be made for the 2020 fishing season in the Eastern Baltic Sea.

Spawning stock biomass (SSB) has been declining since 2015 and is estimated to be below the limit reference point for spawning stock in the last two years, ICES said.

Fishing mortality has declined since 2012 with the value estimated for 2018 the lowest recorded.

At the same time, recruitment has been declining since 2012, and the recruitment in 2017 is estimated to be the lowest over the time series.

For the current year, the recommended quota is 29,912 metric tons; catches are now at around 16,685 metric tons.

For the Western Baltic sea ICES is also adopting a precautionary approach recommending catches of just 3,065-5,105 metric tons.

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