Danish fishermen have called for a ban on dumping of excavated sludge from harbour basins at sea as it effects marine life

Danish fishermen have called for a ban on dumping of excavated sludge from harbour basins at sea as it effects marine life

A Danish fishermen’s organisation has called for a ban on the dumping of excavated sludge from harbour basins at sea.

Foreningen for Skansomt Kystfiskeri Producentorganisation (FSKPO) claim that the dumping of the excavated sludge is damaging valuable fishing grounds for inshore fishing vessels.

In a statement they said:

“When harbour basins around Denmark are to be expanded or excavated. Then the excavated mud and sludge are dumped into the sea at the so-called tipping sites. This takes place all year round throughout Denmark. And it has consequences for the fish. And thus, also for the coastal fishermen. Because when dumped, the fish disappear, and the coastal fishermen cannot catch the fish they are usually able to catch.

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“It is the Danish Environmental Protection Agency that gives permission for the dumping of harbour sludge. But the coastal fishermen do not understand why the permits are granted. Because even though the authorities assess that there are no significant negative consequences for nature by dumping the harbour sludge, fishermen’s experiences are completely different.

“In the Great Belt, there is a tipping site at Asnæs Spids, located by Kalundborg. For over 20 years, the area has been used as a dumping ground for, among other things, the Port of Kalundborg. The area was once one of the best places to fish for cod. Today, the fishing ground is filled with sludge, and the fish are long gone.

“But also, in the area around the dumping site, coastal fishermen are experiencing problems.

“The Port of Kalundborg dumped 1.2 million m2 on the tipping site over a short number of years some few years ago. And from one day to the next, good fishing spots all the way up to 4-5 km from the site were deserted.

“From that the coastal fishermen could catch 2-300 kg of plaice a day in their nets. They suddenly caught no fish. And here two years later, the fishermen in the area still do not put gear on the old fishing grounds. Dumping has simply left otherwise good fishing grounds desolate.

“FSKPO believes that dumping of harbour sludge should be banned.”

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Danish fishermen call for a ban on dumping excavated harbour sludge at sea

by editor time to read: 6 min