INFORMATION ON FISHERIES MANAGEMENT IN THE REPUBLIC OF POLAND

February 2001



LOCATION OF MAIN LANDING PLACES

There are 59 registered fish landing places, fishing harbours and places with fishing harbour status on the Polish Baltic Sea coast. Approximately half are landing places on the beach, and they are often poorly equipped, with only a ramp or hoisting winch to haul boats onto the beach. There are ten fishing harbours of great importance for cutters (vessels of over 15-meter length):

  • On the west coast, under the supervision of the Marine Office in Szczecin: Swinoujscie, Dziwnów;

  • On the central coast, under the supervision of the Marine Office in Slupsk: Kolobrzeg, Darlowo, Ustka, Leba;

  • On the east coast, under the supervision of the Marine Office in Gdynia: Wladyslawowo, Jastarnia, Hel, Gdynia.

Major harbours in terms of the amount of fish landed, the number of fishing cutters handled and the equipment these places possess include Kołobrzeg, Darłowo, Ustka, Władysławowo and Hel. There are also three large commercial ports in Poland where deep-sea fishery enterprises are located: Świnoujście, Szczecin, Gdynia.

In 1999, out of a total of 128.1 thousand tons of fish caught by the Polish Baltic fishing fleet, 99.4 thousand tons (78%) were landed in domestic ports and 28.7 thousand tons (22%) were landed  in foreign (Danish and Swedish) ports. The most important domestic ports are Wladyslawowo, Kolobrzeg and Hel, where 75% of total landings was discharged.

The following table indicates the landings made by the Polish Baltic fleet, broken down by main ports and fish species:

Landings made in the principal Polish fishing harbours, 1999 (tons)

Harbour

Cod

Herring

Sprat

Flatfish

Trout

Salmon

Other

Total

Wladyslawowo

5 429

3 244

17 060

164

3,1

3,6

1

25 905

Kolobrzeg

4 460

7 996

8 783

2 576

13,7

2,5

4

23 835

Hel

1 136

742

15 182

21

45,3

22,4

3

17 152

Ustka

3 655

1 068

1 743

131

62,0

31,2

12

6 702

Darlowo

2 970

273

706

343

51,9

16,2

4

4 364

Dziwnow

1 862

718

111

282

 

 

14

2 987

Gdynia

1 308

481

675

78

15,2

4,8

37

2 599

Swinoujscie

 810

1 104

127

108

0,1

 

76

2 225

Leba

1 203

34

 

222

2,7

1,0

1

1 464

Jastarnia

475

460

28

44

142,3

33,3

50

1 233

Other*

3 272

3 109

27 290

1 818

48

3

4 089

39 629

Total

26 580

19 229

71 705

5 787

385

118

4 291

128 095

*including foreign ports

FISHERIES MANAGEMENT

Overall strategy

The main goal of Poland's fishery policy is to prepare Polish fisheries for future membership in the EU. The principal priorities of Polish fishery policy are:

  • to achieve a permanent balance between available fish stocks and their exploitation;

  • to strengthen competitiveness and contribute to the development of economically viable enterprises, market stabilisation, improvement of fishery product quality and technological advancement;

  • to support the economic development of regions that are dependent on fisheries.

Main management systems

Specific management strategies depend on the type of fisheries in question. The Polish fishing industry can be divided into three main sectors, or types of fisheries: a) cutter fishery, which is carried out on the Baltic Sea and to a lesser extent in the northeast Atlantic; b) boat fishery (coastal fishery), which is carried out within the boundaries of Poland's territorial seas and in the Vistula and Szczecin lagoons; c) deep-sea factory trawler fishery, which is carried out on fishing grounds beyond Poland's EEZ.

Baltic fishery (boats and cutters) 

Main goals and objectives

The overall objectives for this sector are:

  • adjusting fishing activities by using the resources available to further the principle of sustainability;

  • providing assistance to fishermen by restructuring and modernising Poland's fishing fleet in compliance with EU requirements;

  • installing the vessel positioning satellite system;

  • increasing the salmon and trout stocks with financial support from the Government budget and fishermen;

  • revitalising the regions that are dependant on fisheries.

Management methods

The general framework of the conservation policy with regard to Baltic fish resources has been elaborated by the International Baltic Sea Commission (IBSFC) and presented in the form of recommendations. These recommendations include: a provision regarding the total allowable catches (TACs) for the entire Baltic area and the national fishery zones (EEZ), technical conservation measures, catch reporting, etc. The IBSFC recommendations become obligatory once they have been implemented through national legislation. In many cases, the conservation measures established at the national level are more far-reaching than those set by the IBSFC.

Output control                

The main instrument of fishery management and resource conservation in Poland, in terms of the most commercially important Baltic species (cod, herring, sprat and salmon), are the TACs that are annually set by the IBSFC.

Based upon the decisions that are annually made by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Polish TACs for cod and salmon are allocated to the fishing vessels'  operators in the form of individual quotas (IQs). The allocation key is based on the size and type of vessel in question. The vessels' quotas are free of charge and are generally not transferable.  However, if a company is operating more than one cutter, the quotas can be transferred from vessel to another.

Herring and sprats are not subject to the IQ system, inasmuch as the national quotas for these two species are not fully utilised.  

Coast fishery, involving undecked vessels under 15 meters in length and hundreds of small fishing boats of this size, is granted a fixed percentage of the national TAC, without setting individual quotas for each boat.

Input control

The maximum amount of fishing activity permitted is determined for both coastal boats and cutter fisheries in terms of the number of vessels utilised. Registering a new vessel is prohibited, unless an old one of equal capacity is taken out of service. There are also time limitations with regard to the use of static gear, namely, cutters and fishing boats cannot leave their nets in the water for longer than 24 and 48 hours, respectively, without their skippers' supervision.

Technical measures

Various technical conservation measures such as closed areas and seasons, gear regulations, minimum mesh sizes, by-catch regulations, etc. are applied as part of fisheries management in the Baltic. Some are implemented on the basis of the IBSFC recommendations, while others have been independently established on the national level. Those measures are of a general nature and either refer to all the Polish maritime waters, or to a specific type of fishery. In addition, there are a number of technical conservation measures of a local nature which exclusively refer to particular, clearly defined areas. These measures have been established either by the Government, or by the regional maritime administration authorities (regional inspectorates).

Economic incentives

The following direct or indirect aid is provided for the sector:

·        cheaper fuel for fishermen (without VAT and excise taxes);

·        preferential credits for the purchase and storage of fish;

·        financing the introduction of salmon and trout smolt into Baltic Sea waters ;

·        overhaul and maintenance of the harbours.

Deep-sea fishery

Main goals and objectives

  • to provide political, scientific and financial support in negotiations regarding access to the resources of the Russian Federation's economic zone;

  • to support the international fishing organisations and conventions in their efforts to gain access to fishing grounds;

  • to develop and implement a schedule for the gradual reduction of the fishing fleet by selling or withdrawing decapitalised and economically ineffective trawlers and using them for scrap or for capital co-operation with foreign partners, with financial support from the budget.

Management methods

Management policy with regard to deep sea fishery is carried out by participating in various international fisheries commissions and conventions as well as in bilateral agreements dealing with access to fishing grounds. All technical conservation and other management measures concerning the deep sea fleet are in conformity with the recommendations of these organisations.

The principal fishing activities of the Polish high seas fleet (Northwest Pacific region) are based upon the bilateral agreement with Russia signed in July 1995.

The Polish deep sea fleet also operates in fishing grounds that are under the management of international organisation such as:

            The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Living Resources (CCAMLR);

            The Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO);

            The North-East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC);

The Convention on the Conservation and Management of Pollock in the Central Bering Sea (CCMPRCBS) 

Economic incentives

Subsidies for fish caught on Russian fishing grounds are granted by the Government to state-owned deep sea fishery enterprises.

FISHERY REGULATIONS

The basic fishery rules for Poland were established in the Sea Fishery Law Parliamentary Act promulgated in 1996. The provisions of this Act are implemented through a number of detailed regulations; those of a general nature have been issued by the Government (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development), whereas those which deal with specific implementation issues or which refer exclusively to local conditions have been established by the local fisheries authorities (Regional Inspectorates).

Three new regulations concerning the conservation of fishery resources, the organisation of the markets in fishery and aquaculture products and structural assistance in the fisheries sector will come into force in the year 2001. These three laws will bring the national fisheries legislation closer to the European Union acquis communautaire.

SUPPLY AND DEMAND PROJECTIONS

According to the Central Statistical Office, the total population in Poland in 2025 will remain at the present level of 38.6 million people. However, the age pattern of the population will change, as there will be more older people above the age of 60. This population group  generally eats more fish than do the others. In addition, there will be a slight increase in the number of people inhabiting the coast regions (Pomorskie and Zachodniopomorskie districts), areas where there is a traditionally high level of fish consumption. This will result in an increasing demand for fish products in the future. Poland's approaching accession to the European Union will also result in an increase in fish consumption in the future, since certain measures will be introduced ensuring the sustainability of fisheries and providing funds for the promotion of fish consumption.

It is obvious on the other hand that the supply of fish from the country's own catches will be disadvantaged due to the reduction in the number of deep sea fishing vessels. It can be predicted however that these fish supplies will be replaced by imported fish products.

ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE OF FISHERIES AUTHORITIES

The Maritime Administration is organized as a two-level structure. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in Warsaw is the central maritime administration authority. Three Regional Inspectorates of Marine Fisheries serve as regional maritime administration authorities for the west, centre and east coasts. Both the central and regional authorities are responsible for the administration of fisheries, and operate through their respective fisheries departments.

The overall responsibility for fisheries policy lies with the Fisheries Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. The regional inspectorates are responsible for enforcing compliance with fisheries policy regulations, both at sea and ashore.

The organization structure of fisheries management is presently under revision. In 1999, the Fisheries Department was transferred from the Ministry of Transport and Maritime Economy to the Ministry of Agriculture. In compliance with European Union requirements, Poland's fisheries authorities will have been considerably strengthened before the country enters the EU. The diagram below indicates the future organizational model for Poland's fisheries authorities.

Fisheries management and control authorities in Poland