Danish Fisheries Association Chairman, Svend-Erik Andersen has been forced to defend the country’s trawler fleet against newspaper comments
Chairman of the Danish Fisheries Association Svend-Erik Andersen has been forced to defend the country’s trawler fleet against comments made in the Danish newspaper, Politiken.
Addressing the comments, the Chairman wrote:
“If you recently read Kathrine Richardson, Anders Morgenthaler and Anders Barsøe’s debate posts in Politiken, you were presented with the claim that Danish trawling is as harmful to the environment as mining, and therefore trawling should be banned.
At first glance, it is sympathetic that the three believe that extra efforts are needed to ensure a healthy marine environment and climate. We also believe this in the Danish Fisheries Association, and we are happy to take our share of the responsibility. That’s why we’re sad about the writers’ posts. Not least because the post is based on scare images, easily bought allegations and contradicts Danish research in trawl fishing.
If the writers had familiarised themselves with things and, for example, read the note that the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) recently submitted to the Folketing’s Environment and Food Committee, they would see that a conversion to fishing with nets does not increase biodiversity.
In contrast, more fishing with nets will actually “lead to an increase in the amount of ghost nets and plastic in the sea”. The authors’ claim that trawl fishing destroys the sea’s ability to store CO2 is also refuted, because DTU states that trawling is generally not done at the depths where CO2 is stored. Thus, their arguments are without teams in reality.
The Danish Fisheries Association knows that the fishing industry has a shared responsibility for our climate and environment. That is why we have been working on sustainability for years.
We have reduced our CO2 emissions by 60 percent since the early 1990s. And in the spring, we presented – together with the Danish Society for Nature Conservation – a proposal to preserve 10 percent of Denmark’s sea area.
Here we proved that there is room for both a healthy marine environment and a viable commercial fishery.
It is simply too easy to sit in Copenhagen and think that we should just stop fishing with trawls in Denmark. 90 percent of the economy in Danish fishing comes from trawling, and Danish fishing contributes greatly to the national economy. Not least in Vandkantsdanmark.
Fisheries make up 3.7 percent of Danish exports and contribute 16,000 jobs in parts of Denmark that can absolutely not do without them.
In Danish fisheries, we want dialogue and cooperation to ensure a healthy marine environment.
Therefore, it is fundamental that unsubstantiated arguments and the easy, populist solutions are parked. Instead, the debate should focus on the initiatives that create real change for the marine environment.
More than anyone else, fishermen live in a healthy marine environment.