Danish Fisheries Minister Rasmus Prehn has signed a new law that will force all trawlers fishing in the Kattegat to be fitted with a camera
Danish Fisheries Minister Rasmus Prehn has signed into law a new directive that will force all boats fishing in the Kattegat to be fitted with Remote Electronic Monitors in the form of CCTV.
The Minister has said that in order to strengthen the historically endangered cod stock and save the Norway lobster fishery in the Kattegat, he has decided to make camera monitoring of the catch mandatory on these fishing vessels.
The Minister of Fisheries Rasmus Prehn made the decision after several discussions with the parliamentary parties, the industry and DTU Aqua.
Prehn sats that the decision must ensure that Danish Norway lobster fishing can continue and that the critically pressured cod stock is strengthened.
Since 2020, 12 cutters in the Kattegat have been part of a pilot project with a camera over the sorting belt. This happened as part of an agreement with the EU in 2019, which secured Danish fishermen a so-called by-catch quota for cod, which inevitably happens when fishing for Norway lobsters with trawls.
Figures from DTU Aqua show, however, that 65 percent of the cod caught in 2020 were not registered, but instead thrown illegally overboard. Most often these fish were dead. On fishing vessels with a camera, only five percent were discarded.
Fisheries Minister Rasmus Prehn says:
“The marine environment is historically pressured. The cod is fighting for its survival, and I take that very seriously. If we are to have cod in the Kattegat in the future, we will have to take the spoon in the other hand. That is why vessels must in the Kattegat in future have a camera over the sorting belt, so we take better care of the cod. At the same time, we have a clear agreement with the EU: If there is no camera on the boats, then the by-catch quota for cod is in serious danger. The latter will mean a total stop. Therefore, I have chosen cameras. If the price for the survival of the fishery is to film the fish that are caught and the hands that sort them, then I think we should spit in our fists and say that it is a deal.”
The large pelagic vessels in the Danish Pelagic Producers’ Organization announced this month that they voluntarily mount cameras on their vessels. It follows the ministry closely.
- The cod stock in the Kattegat has fallen by about 90 per cent since the end of the nineties.
- In 2021, lobster was landed in the Kattegat for a value of DKK 109 million (€14.6m/£13m)
- The Danish Fisheries Agency will be responsible for mounting a camera on the catch belts of the approximately 100 vessels during 2022.
- This is a camera that points directly at the fishing line, so that the risk of identifying the fishermen in question is minimized.