The Nordic and Baltic Ministers responsible for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Agriculture, Food and Forestry adopted at a meeting in Jevnaker 7-8 November 2006 declaration on the grey seals in the Baltic Sea:
The Ministers are concerned of the socio-economic development of the coastal communities and aware of the serious situation for the coastal fisheries and the need to find new ways to diversify the economic activities of the coastal communities.
Emphasizing the sustainable use of living marine resources and reaffirm the obligation to implement the commitments of international conventions and agreements, including, where it is relevant, the EU Birds and Habitat directive.
Recognizing that seal populations are under restoration in the Baltic Sea, reiterate the need for management plans for seals and welcome the ongoing work within regional conventions, i.e. HELCOM (ref. HELCOM Recommendation 27-28/2).
Concerned that seals in some areas are a serious economic threat to the coastal fisheries, with consequences of reduced catches and destroyed fishing gears.
Fully aware of the balance between the different interests of fisheries and environmental sectors and request national authorities to take effective measures for all populations in order to prevent illegal killing, and to reduce incidental by catches to a minimum level and if possible to a level close to zero.
Emphasizing the need to promote selective fishing techniques in order to avoid the incidental by-catches of seals.
Aware that only licensed hunting of seals are allowed in the Baltic Sea with the aim of protecting the seal populations and the fisheries and reiterate the need of utilizing the killed animals.
Recalling the historical importance of utilisation of seals to the coastal community as a vital resource of food and utility and are concerned about the loss of knowledge and aware of the need to improve and develop a market for Baltic seal products.
Agree to promote a study on how the Baltic seal populations should be managed in view of present and foreseeable legislation and taken into account regional differences and needs.
Agree to initiate study on the possible future market for Baltic seal products including the need for vitalizing historical knowledge, education and training.