The conflict between seals and fisheries in the Baltic Sea is causing significant losses for coastal fishers. The problem has worsened in recent decades as the gray seal population has grown, causing damage to fishing gear and significant catch losses.
Reconciliation between conservation organizations and the fishing industry is necessary to mitigate the conflict, which requires a broad knowledge base and collaboration between stakeholders.
The report recommends developing a seal management plan that includes technical solutions, management strategies, economic measures, and governance and institutional solutions. Collaboration and mutual understanding between Baltic Sea states and regional authorities are necessary to find sustainable solutions. The report supports the development of a seal management plan covering the entire Baltic Sea.
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