Skip to main content
Oceans and fisheries
News announcement17 October 2022Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries

Baltic Sea: Agreement reached on 2023 fishing opportunities

The small fishing port of Boltenhagen at the Baltic Sea
The small fishing port of Boltenhagen at the Baltic Sea

Today, the Council of the European Union reached an agreement on the fishing opportunities in the Baltic Sea for 2023, on the basis of the Commission’s proposal.

The situation in the Baltic Sea remains difficult, as the sea basin continues to struggle with severe environmental pressures and many challenges to the ecosystems, including the state of the fish stocks.

Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, welcomed the agreement: “In recent years, we have been working together to restore the marine environment and the fish stocks of the Baltic Sea. I am happy that the Council has agreed to follow the Commission’s comprehensive approach to setting fishing opportunities and has followed our proposal for most stocks. The very responsible decisions reached today, built on the sustainable compromise reached by the Member States in the Baltic Sea region, will help bring the Baltic to a better environmental status, so that it can once again become a source of living and livelihood for our fishermen and women. Furthermore, 2023 will mark three years since the ‘’Our Baltic’’ Ministerial conference. The Commission will use this milestone to look at the progress we have all made in making the commitments we pledged to in the Declaration a reality and making the Baltic thrive again.’’

Under the agreement, the current fishing opportunities for several stocks will be carried over into 2023. The Council also agreed to continue additional recovery management measures, such as limiting fishing to unavoidable by-catches for the two cod stocks, main basin salmon and western herring, as well as maintained spawning closures and limitations on recreational fisheries for Baltic cod and salmon in some areas. The recent adoption of new rules making the use of more selective fishing gear for flatfish mandatory is expected to result in improvements allowing for the increase of the plaice total allowable catch (TAC), without putting more pressure on the ailing cod stocks. Furthermore, the Council agreed increases for central herring, while the TACs for sprat, Bothnian herring and Riga herring were reduced.

The agreement also includes an in-year amendment of the fishing opportunities in the Atlantic, for Southern hake. In line with revised scientific advice and as proposed by the Commission, the Union quota has been increased to 14,096 t to allow fishers to profit already this year from the improved situation of the stock.

More information

Q&A on Fishing Opportunities in the Baltic Sea for 2023

Table: Overview of TAC changes 2022-2023 (figures in tonnes except for salmon, which is in number of pieces)




Stock and
ICES fishing zone; subdivision

Council agreement (in tonnes and % change from 2021 TAC)

Council agreement (in tonnes and % change from 2022 TAC)

Western Cod 22-24

489 (-88%)

489 (roll-over)

Eastern Cod 25-32

595 (roll-over)

595 (roll-over)

Western Herring 22-24

788 (-50%)

788 (roll-over)

Bothnian Herring 30-31

111,345 (-5%)

80,047 (-28%)

Riga Herring 28.1

47,697 (+21%)

45,643 (-4%)

Central Herring 25-27, 28.2, 29, 32

49,751 (-45%)

70,822 t (+ 32%)

Sprat 22-32

251,943 (+13%)

224,114 (-11%)

Plaice 22-32

9,050 (+25%)

11,313 (+25%)

Main Basin Salmon 22-31

63,811 (-32%)

63,811 (roll-over)

Gulf of Finland Salmon 32

9,455 (+6%)

9,455 (roll-over)


Publication date
17 October 2022
Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries