Status: 02.10.2023, 08:14 a.m.
By: Kathrin Reikowski
Fish sandwiches with a Bismarck herring "rather not": The WWF warns against the consumption of certain Baltic Sea fish. © dpa/Marcus Brandt/ WWF/ Montage: Ippen Media
Herring, Baltic cod and sprat: "second choice" or "rather not"? The WWF warns against eating certain Baltic Sea fish.
Berlin – The herring roll – with remoulade, lettuce leaf, cucumber, onions and a nice piece of fish – is part of the fair and lunch break. But the WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) warns: Some Baltic Sea fish species should no longer be consumed. In a fish guide, the nature and animal welfare organization has examined the state of fish stocks, the environmental impact and the management of fisheries and aquaculture worldwide and introduced a traffic light system. Overall, the situation in the Baltic Sea is "worrying", as the NDR reports accompanying the fish guide.
"Green" stands for "good choice", yellow for "second choice", red for "rather not" - in the WWF fish guide you can see at a glance which fish can be eaten and which should not end up on the plate. Reasons for the consumption warning lie in overfishing or dwindling of species due to changing climate conditions, or in fan species that harm the ecosystem. The topic is not new: conservationists have been sounding the alarm about declining fish stocks for some time.
Baltic herring "better not": That's why the WWF warns against eating it
"In the western and central Baltic Sea, the biomass of the spawning stock has been showing a declining trend for a long time," writes the WWF about the herring, which is caught from the southern and western Baltic Sea. In other words, stay away, because herring is of fundamental importance for the food structure in the oceans.
What do the terms FAO and ICES mean?
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) divides the world's oceans into 19 fishing areas, which are numbered consecutively. They span vast regions – such as the FAO 27, which delimits the Northeast Atlantic Ocean and stretches from Greenland to Portuguese waters, divided into sub-regions. The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) deals with fisheries issues in the North-East Atlantic and sets, among other things, fishing quotas in smaller sub-areas. (Source: FAO and Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food)
The good news for herring lovers: Herring from the following fishing area has received the green light and can therefore continue to be consumed: Northeast Atlantic FAO 27: Skagerrak and Kattegat (ICES 3.a), North Sea (ICES 4), Eastern Channel (ICES 7.d), Irish Sea (ICES 7.a North), Gulf of Riga (ICES 28.1), Iceland (ICES 5.a). And in the Baltic Sea, too, there are already encouraging developments in terms of stocks.
Baltic cod and sprat: on the red list and overfished
Red and yellow traffic light of the WWF for cod or cod: In the western and central Baltic Sea, the stocks are overfished, the eastern cod is severely overfished. According to WWF estimates, it will "recover with difficulty without drastic measures". In addition, the cod is caught with the help of a bottom trawl, which can severely damage the ecosystem.
Yellow traffic light also for the sprat from the Baltic Sea, which is very popular with many fish lovers: The fishing methods here are not a danger to other animal species or entire ecosystems, and the sprats are short-lived with many offspring and therefore rather insensitive to fishing pressure. Nevertheless, the fishing quota in the Baltic Sea is still too high. An insider tip for the Baltic Sea: "Never seen such a beautiful beach." (kat)