Danish fisheries leader, Svend-Erik Andersen believes there is more room for fishing opportunities in the Baltic Sea for 2021 than agreed by the Agrifish Council
The quotas for fishing in the Baltic Sea 2021 were set last night by EU fisheries ministers. Unfortunately, the willingness to follow common sense and use the room for maneuver in biological advice was limited, and another difficult year awaits Danish fishing in the Baltic Sea, writes the Danish Fish Producers Organisation (DFPO).
In an article, the reaction from the DFPO has been one of disappointment a
Danish fishing is put back under further pressure. That is the conclusion after EU fisheries ministers set fishing quotas for Baltic Sea fishing in 2021.
The negotiations ended with very low quotas and restrictions on fishing for several of the most important species for Danish fishing in the Baltic Sea. Smaller increases of 5 percent for the quota for cod west of Bornholm as well as for sprat and plaice adorn the overall picture a bit.
“In Danish fisheries, we have no doubt that the Minister of Fisheries Mogens Jensen and his officials have to fight to get common sense and understanding into the agreement,” says Svend-Erik Andersen, chairman of the Danish Fisheries Association.
“Unfortunately for fisheries, neither the European Commission nor the Council of Ministers has listened to the need to lift the closure period during the high season for cod fishing. A stop which is not to be found in the biological advice and which is suffocating for fishing. Instead, they have chosen to extend the stop period from two to four months in areas 25 and 26, while the stop period in areas 22 and 23 remains in February and March, which is very unsatisfactory for the fishing environments around the small ports in the Baltic Sea.
“This must be seen in the light of the fact that the advice from ICES – the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea – allows for larger quotas in the Baltic Sea, without compromising the protection of stocks.
“An approach has again been chosen that makes it difficult to be a fisherman. It is really a hard blow for the fishermen of the Baltic Sea. Especially when ICES has pointed out that the cod stock west of Bornholm is increasing markedly, and there is in fact room for maneuver to set quotas higher without affecting fish stocks. Unfortunately, it is developing into an annual event that the opportunities for fishermen in the Baltic Sea are deteriorating despite the fact that there is an opportunity to go the other way,” says a disappointed Svend-Erik Andersen.
The reductions in quotas for herring and especially the retention and extension of the closure period in the cod fishery will hurt Danish fishing and the jobs behind it,
“Cod and herring have traditionally been very important fisheries for the Danish fishermen in the Baltic Sea. The EU’s restrictive approach will inevitably cost jobs. Both in the fishing industry and in the secondary industries. Unfortunately, this will have negative consequences for the small port communities,” says Svend-Erik Andersen.
Unfortunately, in 2021 the fishery will once again have to deal with rules that make it more difficult than necessary to be a fisherman. This applies, for example, to closure periods in the western Baltic Sea that are not to be found in the biological advice. It is, of course, to the great frustration of the fishing industry, which lacks a greater understanding of fishing
“Time and time again, we experience that messy rules are drawn down on the fishery on the basis of gut feeling and well-meaning nonsense. There is simply a need for more knowledge and a dialogue with respect for professionalism, so that together we can find effective ways to protect, exploit and manage fish stocks. The future of commercial fishing depends on the stocks developing positively and the framework for fishing giving the fishing industry the opportunity to develop. Therefore, we must simply be able to cooperate more and better,” points out Kim Kær Hansen, vice chairman of the Danish Fisheries Association and chairman of the Baltic Sea Committee.