Danish fish producer organisations have proposed a package of eleven initiatives to strengthen the country fisheries through the COVID-19 crisis
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.
“It is crucial for the Danish economy and for Danish fisheries that we come through the corona crisis strengthened. Our initiatives can help with that. And then we think it is important that we think in blue sustainability, while at the same time strengthening the framework conditions and sales opportunities for Danish fisheries,” says Svend-Erik Andersen, chairman of the Danish Fisheries Association PO.
“We are almost drowning in EU regulations, fisheries legislation and executive orders. Therefore, it is extremely important for Danish fisheries that we get a look at the regulatory basis and cleaned out, so that we can finally get the simplifications that the last many governments have talked about. And then this unfortunate situation with corona has given us the opportunity to strengthen our work with sustainability when the economy is to be restarted, says Fridi Magnusen,” chairman of Denmark’s Pelagic PO.
The eleven initiatives that the Danish Fisheries Association and the Danish Pelagic Association are set out below.
GOOD FRAMEWORK CONDITIONS MUST ENSURE EMPLOYMENT
If not, the corona crisis will end as a protracted economic crisis with negative consequences for the Danish business community and Danish employees, there is a need for measures that can strengthen competitiveness. This applies not least to the fisheries sector.
Against this background, the Danish Fisheries Association PO and the Danish Pelagic Producers ‘Organisation have the following proposals for measures that can contribute to strengthening the fisheries’ competitiveness and contribution to employment.
Simplifications that can be felt
The regulatory basis for fisheries management consists of a concoction of EU regulations, the Fisheries Act and a myriad of executive orders that, overall, determine the framework for Danish fisheries.
Despite the fact that changing governments have worked for simplifications. In the field, the regulation has budded to an unmanageable number of paragraphs and regulations which give business and management some very difficult working conditions. It goes in the end body in addition to the competitiveness of Danish fisheries. Danish fishing wants the roof to be lifted once and for all with the unmanageable rules Therefore, under the auspices of the Commercial Fisheries Committee, a thorough review of the regulations that surrounds the world of fisheries, where the guideline must be simplification and transparency for the benefit of management and the fishing industry.
Burden stop and analysis of the tax conditions of the fishery
In view of the exceptional circumstances, the fishing industry wants a tax and burden freeze to be implemented, which can help the Danish business community through the crisis. Especially for the fisheries sector, we propose that an analysis be carried out of the taxation situation in the fisheries sector. Fishing is like a maritime profession subject to general maritime law. It does, however
not applicable in tax matters where other maritime industries are better off. That means it can be difficult for fisheries to maintain labor in competition with the other tax-favored parts of the sector. There therefore needs an analysis to form the basis of one tax equality of commercial fishermen with other maritime profession.
Possibility of temporary suspension
The export markets for fishery products have been hit hard by the corona crisis. This gives rise to lower settlement prices and threatens the business basis of consumer fishing. There is therefore a need for action there can help ensure a better connection between tenders and demand for fishery products. Therefore, the fishing industry proposes that the unused funds in the current programming period of the European Sea and Fisheries Development Program
(EMFF) is applied to a decommissioning scheme that allows vessel owners and crew to suspend fishing for a shorter period of time period. Thereby one can limit the loss as lower settlement prices would otherwise result and one can avoid that
fishermen have to throw the towel in the ring. The concrete model for the decommissioning scheme must be prepared in collaboration with the fishing industry in such a way that it targets the parts of the where the scheme will have the greatest positive effect.
Young fishermen – leisure jobs in the fishing industry
To improve young people’s opportunities to get a part-time job in the wake of the corona crisis, and to give young people the opportunity to try their hand at fishing, a juvenile fishing scheme is established. The scheme must be developed in collaboration with the fishing industry, and must provide young people with, for example 13 and 25 the opportunity to sell fish for the rest of the year for example 30,000 kroner.
Thus, one will both create more part-time jobs in Denmark and hopefully increase recruitment for fishing.
Increased opportunity for quota flexibility
Without markets to sell fish on, many Danish fishing vessels have been at a standstill during the corona crisis. That means the sector now is lagging behind not just earnings in 2019, but also the utilization of quotas. In most fisheries this is not possible to catch up on months of lost fishing for the remainder of the year.
This is especially true in the seasonal fisheries. Denmark risks missing out on significant earnings from fishing and off important raw materials for the whole sector. Today, the EU includes common fisheries policy legislation that allows the transfer of quota from one year to the next. That is, one can transfer unfished quota for next year – and vice versa. The ceiling for transfers is 10%.
Transfer of 10% is not sufficient to compensate, for the losses caused by the corona crisis. The level for year-to-year flexibility should therefore be raised to 25%, as was the case then the Russian market for EU fishery products collapsed due to the trade embargo in 2015.
The coronavirus allows us to kill two birds with one stone spank. When the economy needs to be restarted, it is crucial that we in Denmark are considering the green transition. Thereby we can get the most out of the otherwise unfortunate situation, the corona has created. A green restart can bring Denmark closer to the target of 70% CO2 reduction by 2030, and blue Denmark closer to the goal of being CO2-neutral by 2050.
At the same time, it could be the start of another export adventure for the Danish business community, which can have the opportunity to develop and export the leading green solutions. In Danish fishing we will do, what we can do to contribute to this, and we have the following suggestions, how we can help green development on its way to benefit environment, nature, climate and the fisheries of the future.
Greener fishing vessels
Today, there are already technologies that can reduce CO2 emissions by 25% per kilo of fish caught. In addition, Danish fisheries developed an innovative concept for an energy optimizer
and maintenance-optimized vessel There is therefore a large potential in rolling out those technologies, and developing the technologies so that fishing becomes even more climate-efficient.
The fishing industry proposes that two pools be set aside for greener areas fishing vessels. First, a pool that can promote replacement of old technologies to greener technologies such that on.
In the short term, a CO2 reduction can take place. This will be there too an employment gain in the industries that must carry out the modernisations. Second, through a pool with a slightly longer aim, where the focus must be on development and demonstration of the even more climate-efficient solutions of the future. As a third element, the fishing industry proposes to change the EU capacity regime. Today, it is a barrier to green initiatives on board fishing vessels. Therefore, there is a need for a new scheme that better accommodates investments in climate technology and supports the green transition.
Development of the fishing gear of the future
In order to strengthen biodiversity and to reduce the impact of fishing on the marine environment, the fishing industry proposes that funds be set aside for the development and demonstration of the fishing gear of the future. At the same time, an analysis of the trawl fishery’s environmental impact must be carried out, in which the potential for improvement must be identified.
Pool for handling nutrient emissions
The marine environment in Denmark is pressured by the discharge of nutrients from the mainland. It has a negative impact on fish stocks and other biodiversity in our marine environment. That challenge must be taken very seriously, and measures are needed that can limit emissions. Therefore, the fishing industry proposes that even more funds be set aside to limit and collect nitrogen emissions to the marine environment. For example, in the forthcoming rural development program, where parts of the nitrogen effort today are anchored. A healthy marine environment is crucial for fish stocks, biodiversity and commercial fishing, and there are thus many benefits associated with increased efforts to limit nutrient emissions.
The coronavirus has shaken the world market and Denmark’s most important trading partners. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs estimates that the coronavirus threatens up to 1 million jobs. This underlines the seriousness of the coronavirus for the Danish economy, and the importance of measures that can stimulate the market for export goods. At the same time as the export markets are collapsing, the Danish hotel and restaurant industry is underperforming. The HORESTA industry is a major buyer of fishery products. Therefore, it is important for Danish fisheries that the industry is helped back on its feet. The fishing industry in Denmark has the following proposals for measures that can strengthen the sales opportunities for fishery products.
Fisheries, experience economy and tourism
There is great potential in building a bridge between the fisheries sector and the tourism industry in the country’s fisheries municipalities. For example, through activities that can give tourists and others who are interested in experiencing Danish fishing up close, the opportunity to get on board a vessel, and perhaps even experience how the fish are caught. Specifically, the commercial fishing industry proposes in this connection that local working groups be established, where the tourism industry, municipal business centers and the local fishing associations are represented. The group will be tasked with preparing proposals for initiatives that can unleash the fisheries sector’s experience economic potential for the benefit of tourism and employment in rural areas.
The Danes must eat more fish
The corona virus has already had devastating consequences for the hotel and restaurant industry, and this has had a negative effect on the sales opportunities for fishery products. To get the restaurant industry back on track, and to stimulate demand for Danish fish, it is proposed that VAT be reduced in the hotel and restaurant industry, while companies’ deductions for restaurant visits are raised at the same time. In addition, the possibilities for removing VAT on fishery products in the retail trade must be identified. This effort must be complemented by a state-funded campaign focusing on the positive qualities of eating fish. For example, in relation to public health and climate
Increased export efforts
The corona crisis has had major negative consequences for export markets. Therefore, an extra effort is needed to get exports back on track. Specifically, the fishing industry proposes that efforts to open up new export markets be stepped up, while at the same time the export of more species is opened up. For example, the fishing industry has a great desire to have the opportunity to export Norway lobster, conch snails, crabs and whitefish to China. In addition, the fishery also has a great desire for backlash in the form of subsidies when the world’s largest fishing fair in 2021 moves from Brussels to a new start in Barcelona, as the fair is an extraordinary opportunity to promote Danish fishery products. In order to identify the export markets with the greatest potential, a collaboration is established between the fishing industry and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This ensures a targeted and effective effort for the benefit of employment and exports.
The Danish Fisheries Association proposes that the initiatives be financed by national reserves. In addition, the fishing industry wants funds from the European Maritime and Fisheries Development Program – to a greater extent than is the case in the current program – to be targeted at the fishing industry. In the current program, for example, many funds are spent on watercourse restoration. From the point of view of the fishing industry, it should be carefully considered whether efforts such as this can be financed elsewhere, as the fishing industry needs the means to get out of the corona crisis safely, green and strengthened.