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The Warsaw Voice » Business » November 5, 2008
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EU Sets Cod Quota
November 5, 2008   
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13.5 billion cubic meters of gas is consumed by the Polish economy every year, according to the country's Central Statistical Office (GUS).

The EU Fisheries Council Oct. 27 decided on cod fishing quotas for next year. For the first time ministers meeting in Luxembourg took scientists' recommendations to heart.

Poland was represented by Agriculture Minister Marek Sawicki and Kazimierz Plocke, a secretary of state at the ministry. The council specified the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) in 2009 for the eastern cod stock at 44,580 metric tons (15 percent more than this year) and at 16,337 tons for the western stock (15 percent less).

"This is a very important decision," said Zbigniew Karnicki from the Sea Fisheries Institute in Gdynia. "If the ministers continue to agree with scientists in the coming years, the prospects for rebuilding the cod stock seem very realistic."

The decision made in Luxembourg is compatible with the long-term plan for cod stock management in the Baltic Sea. According to experts, though, it is just the first step to fully rebuilding cod stocks.

"A second important element is the behavior of fishermen and consumers," said Katarina Veem from the Baltic Sea 2020 foundation, an organization whose aim is to improve the condition of the Baltic environment, including renewing the cod stock. "If fishermen follow the national quotas and only fish legally, and consumers pay greater attention to the size and origins of the fish they eat, there is every chance that the catch will double or even triple the amount within a few years. Everyone will benefit-the natural environment, fishermen and consumers. It is in our common interest to take advantage of this huge opportunity to rebuild the cod stock for the protection of the natural environment and the survival of the fisheries sector," Veem added.
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