The European Commission's new Action plan for nature, people and the economy consists of 15 actions to be carried out by 2019. The aim is to improve the overall protection of Europe's threatened species and habitats, by accelerating the member states’ implementation of the Birds and Habitats Directives. An important tool for achieving that is the EU's Natura 2000 network of protected areas on land and at sea.

– One of the major shortcomings of marine protection in the Baltic Sea is that it is not obvious how, or even that we will reduce the impact of fishing on threatened species and habitats, says Sofia Wikström, marine ecologist at the Baltic Sea Centre.

She welcomes the fact that the Commission now clearly states that fisheries management, both in terms of commercial and recreational fishing, should take greater account of the requirements in the Birds and Habitats Directives.

– But what this will mean in practice remains to be seen, she says. Read more

Author: Henrik Hamrén

The full text is found at the Baltic Eye website