The Danish Fisheries Association’s chief consultant says Danish fisheries feels let down by both the management and research in relation to fishing opportunities in the Baltic Sea.
The Danish fleet in the western Baltic has been advised that the total allowable catch for Cod in subdivisions 22-24 should be no more than 943 tonnes, a TAC that applies to both commercial and recreational fisheries. The advice was published by the ICES on Tuesday 31 May last.
“We cannot use it for anything. It has very little to do with reality,” says biologist Michael Andersen, chief consultant at the Danish Fisheries Association, in relation to the latest advice from ICES for fishing opportunities in the Baltic Sea in 2023.
He acknowledges that the cod quota in the western Baltic Sea has been raised slightly for 2023 compared to what the fishermen have had of fishing opportunities on it in 2022.
“It is very good that things are moving forward with the cod in the west. The problem is that ICES said last year that if fishermen only fished 500 tonnes of cod in the western Baltic this year, the stock would almost explode. That has not happened – we have received advice called 943 tonnes of cod in the west. Therefore, I say that either it is their model that is something wrong with, or it is nature. And both are equally worrying for the fishery,” says Andersen.
The Commission is hesitant about legislation for new fishing gear
There is progress to be traced in relation to the plaice stock in the Baltic Sea, which is gratifying for the fishery. But to put it mildly, Michael Andersen is not happy with the European Commission in relation to the use of selective gear in the Baltic Sea.
“It is gratifying that the plaice stock is progressing, but the fishermen cannot catch them. We have a gear that is demonstrably more selective in relation to catching flatfish, which has been ready for use since 01 January this year. And the European Commission has not yet got the legislation in place. I think that is basically indefensible on their part,” says Andersen. “We feel let down by both the administration and the research in relation to the Baltic Sea.”