Baltic Sea Seal and Cormorant TNC project was established by fourteen FLAG (Fishing Local Action Group) units from Finland, Sweden, Estonia and Germany to investigate the economic and social impacts of increasing seal and cormorant populations on Baltic small-scale coastal fisheries. The project aims to find and to develop sustainable marine resources management solutions to ensure the future of small-scale fisheries in the Baltic Sea area.
The Baltic Sea seal and cormorant populations have grown dramatically in recent years and they are causing serious damage for traditional small-scale fishing using equipment like gillnets and traps. Baltic fishermen argue that increasing populations of seals and cormorants are a serious detriment to the small-scale fishing sector. New methods have to be developed and tested. Baltic FLAG units share concerns and developmental needs so it is reasonable to cooperate closely on these issues.
Baltic FLAGs cooperation project has already started with a recapitulation of a large amount of academic research regarding the impact of seal and cormorant populations on the small-scale coastal fishery in the Baltic Sea Region. The aim is to bring a common message from these fishermen to decision-makers at a local, regional, national and EU level to find ways to decrease the negative impact of this predation. As a result, a network and platform for an exchange of experiences and best practice will be formed for FLAGs and their stakeholders in the Baltic Sea Region.