The improved, unified integration of coastal spawning and growth grounds of the Baltic Sea Herring into the existing management plans is the goal of the HERRING project. The current status of the three case study regions in Sweden, Poland, and Germany were reported by the project partners at the Citizen Festival of the European Day of the Seas in Bremen on the 18th of May, 2014.
After a short presentation of the project, the project partners granted a view into the current results in the Greifswald Bay (in Germany), in the Vistula Lagoon (in Poland) und in the Blekinge archipelago (in Sweden). During the following open discussion about the challenges and needs of an improved, sustainable management for coastal herring spawning and growing grounds, the project staff stressed that for herring, in contrast to other fish such as pike and pike-perch, there are no existing binding protection mechanisms such as closed seasons or restricted fishing areas. The precautionary approach should also be considered, as long as scientific gaps exist on the deciding ecological and anthropogenic key factors for spawning and juvenile development.
In the course of further work on the project, it shall soon be determined which concrete instruments and contact partners are relevant for a future spawning management system, and in what form it can be set into motion. The difficulty here lies with the number of actors and interests in the coastal region, as well as on the sometimes controversial administrative responsibilities entailed. Results from all three case study regions will be made available to international, pan-Baltic committees.