The Danish Norway Lobster Committee has called for the lifiting of restrictions on nephrops fishing with immediate effect
The chairperson of the Norway Lobster Committee in Denmark has called for the restrictions on the fishery to be lifted with immediate effect as markets return.
Norway lobster fishing was suspended at the end of March due to the collapse of the European shellfish markets due to the knockon effects of the COVID-19 crisis.
The situation was declared serious by the Danish Fisheries Association who advised its members involved in catching nephrops to cease fishing with immediate effect.
Fishing for nephrops only began again at the start of June but boats were allocated only a limited quota as market circumstances dictated that the fleet would not flood the market with Norway lobster, thus causing a glut and hammering prices.
Prices at the start of June averaged at €3.37 per kilo compared to this week when prices averaged €8.62 per kilo.
The Norway Lobster Committee oversaw the allocation of quota for the limited fishery due to the negative consequences of the corona crisis on export markets but due to a more normal demand resuming, the recommendation from the committee now is for a free nephrops fishery with immediate effect.
“The demand is fortunately on the right track again, and we must ensure that there are lobsters for the buyers, so that we can maintain the Danish nephrops market situation in Europe. That is why we now recommend a free Norway lobster fishery with immediate effect,” says Claus Hjørne Pedersen, chairman of the committee.
As a result of the positive development and the return to normal fisheries, the Norway Lobster Committee will now be mothballed by the Danish Fisheries Association.
During the COVID-19 crisis many skippers and crew were forced to tie-up their boats. Some chose to take work on larger pelagic trawlers and others sought employment elsewhere.
Also, during the crisis, the nephrops fleet was hit by the news that the Danish Fisheries Agency had chosen 14 fishing boats that fished in the Kattegat area, between east Denmark and west Sweden where most of the nephrops fishing is carried out, with remote electronic monitoring devices. This has caused many of the boatowners to threaten to retire their vessels from the industry.