Danish fisheries has called on the Minister of Fisheries to completely ban chain mats
The Danish Fisheries Association has called on the Minister of Fisheries Rasmus Prehn to completely ban chain mats in fishing in the Skagerrak and the North Sea.
First, the Danish Fisheries Association and the Dutch main organisation, VisNed, entered into a voluntary agreement to stop the use of chain mats in the Skagerrak. Now the Danish Fisheries Association has gone a step further and recommended a general ban on chain mats in both the Skagerrak and the North Sea.
The Minister of Fisheries has been contacted with the clear message that he and the Government, through the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy and cooperation in the Scheveningen group, should take the initiative to immediately have a general ban in the EU on the use of chain mats in all fisheries in the North Sea and Skagerrak.
Despite a long debate, there are still fishing vessels – especially beam trawlers from outside Denmark – that use chain mats.
“This is deeply worrying, because the use of chain mats should not be part of sustainable fisheries management. The use of chain mats means that you can fish on bottom types where traditional gear cannot be used. For example, rock reefs, which increase the pressure on the marine environment in the North Sea and Skagerrak. At the same time, the use of chain mats also has the effect that larger stones are moved into fishing grounds, where other fishermen traditionally drive their fishermen, who thus risk having their gear destroyed,” writes Svend-Erik Andersen, chairman of the Danish Fisheries Association, to Fisheries Minister Rasmus Prehn:
“It is not fair – and in no way sustainable – and we as a responsible fishing industry cannot just look at it passively.”
The Danish People’s Party has now coming up with a bill to remove beam trawlers from Danish waters. Morten Messerschmidt, Rene Christensen, Peter Skaarup and the chairman Kristian Thulesen Dahl are raising the proposal.
They want not only chain mats banned, but a total union against boom trawling for demersal species. They believe that the gear causes great damage to the seabed’s environment, flora, fauna and to the local Danish fishery.
Over the years, there has been repeated debate about foreign beam trawlers in Danish waters, and DF now believes that the time has come for political intervention. The Minister of Fisheries has been critical of the use, which has led the DF to make this urgent proposal immediately – and the Minister should prioritize this. Erik Høgh-Sørensen from the Danish People’s Party is upset that the minister wants to intensify control of motor power on mussel vessels in the Limfjord, while foreign beam trawlers are obviously free in a much more serious case.