Fishery Improvement Project
Last update: April 2013
Species: Baltic sprat (Sprattus sprattus balticus)
Fishery Scope/Scale: Stock level
Fishery Location: Russia, European Union, ICES Subdivision 22-32
For map see:
Baltic Sea sprat
See Summary tab in this link Baltic sprat - Baltic Sea
Date Launched: 2009
FIP Stage: 3, FIP is encouraging improvements
Current Improvement Recommendations:
- Improve catch reporting, namely of the bycatch of herring
- Support the development of a spatial management plan with long term objectives
- Support the implementation of ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM).
Since the 1990s, trends in Baltic Sea sprat have been driven mainly by cod predation and variable but high recruitment success. Stock biomass was estimated at the long-term average, although it has been declining steadily since the late 1990s. However, fishing mortality has been increasing steadily and is above the precautionary reference. At the same time cod biomass is increasing, and thus a decline in sprat stock is expected. The sprat fishery has a significant herring bycatch with possible underreporting occurring.
SFP recommends the following actions:
- Promote compliance in catch reporting particularly relating to herring bycatch levels
- Support long-term management objectives and measures, namely the development of the EU multiannual plan for pelagic stocks in the Baltic Sea
- Evaluate potential environmental impacts of the fishery
- Support the implementation of ecosystem-based fisheries management.
Market/Significance of this fishery
Baltic Sea sprat is an important source fishery in the production of fishmeal and oil, and is significant for European salmonid aquaculture. The fishery is an important fishing opportunity for the Danish industrial fleet.
How the FIP started
Since 2008, SFP has worked with the fishfeed sector and the supply chain on reduction fisheries (i.e., those fisheries for which the catch is predominantly dedicated to non-human consumption) with a particular emphasis on those fisheries that supplied material to the aquaculture sector.
At the start of the programme, four Northeast Atlantic reduction fisheries were identified as significant to European salmonid aquaculture, fisheries’ status were reviewed, improvement needs identified and actions proposed that the supply chain could take to improve the performance of these source fisheries.
In 2011, a formal SFP European Fishmeal and Oil Users Group was created, a partnership of major fishfeed producers in Europe to support improvements in the sustainability of the management regime and address market sustainability requirements.
- 2008 – 2011: Characterized the fishery on FishSource
- 2010: Engaged with aquaculture feed standards to establish FishSource as a key resource
- 2010: Built awareness among processors and retailers of the significance of aquaculture feed sustainability to their wider ocean sustainability programs
- 2011: Updated SFP white paper, which summarized the status of the stock and improvement needs for the fishery and provides the basis for supply chain procurement policies and engagement
- 2011: Provided actionable information to the supply chain via reports, briefing notes, and developed sustainable seafood metrics.
- 2011: Created SFP European Fishmeal and Oil Users Group.
Click here for a comprehensive description of FIP results
FIP Contact: If you would like more information about the FIP or wish to support the FIP, please contact SFP.