Minister of Fisheries Rasmus Prehn and the Danish Fisheries Association have now agreed on 10 changes to the monitoring project for the trawlers in the Kattegat.
The changes come on the background that several fishermen have expressed concern and dissatisfaction with the project, and therefore the Minister has listened and decided to make a number of concessions to the fishermen. The project will continue to help ensure sustainable fishing in the Kattegat.
On 25 May 2022, Minister of Fisheries Rasmus Prehn announced that, based on discussions with the fishing industry, he has decided to change the monitoring project for the trawlers in the Kattegat. The Minister presented ten concrete concessions, which the Ministry and the Danish Fisheries Association (DFPO) have since been in dialogue about.
The ten changes have now finally fallen into place. At the same time, the Danish Fisheries Agency will now start issuing party hearings to the vessels selected to be part of the project.
Minister of Fisheries Rasmus Prehn states:
“There has been talk of Danish fishing. It is a pressured profession, which is why I have recently been on a number of visits to the fishermen to hear their concerns, suggestions and ID.honor. Among other things. to talk about the monitoring project, which has never been intended as a punishment by fishermen, but a necessity to take care of fisheries and the environment. However, many fishermen and the Danish Fishermen’s Association have raised concerns and amendments to the project. It has made a big impression and that is why I have now decided to make ten concessions to meet the wishes of the fishery, without compromising on the aim of the project. It has been important for me to land in a place where we continue to take a big step towards more sustainable fishing. I am very happy with the process we have had with the Danish Fisheries Association over the past few weeks, and I hope that the fishermen will welcome the adjustments, where we make the control more risk-based and introduce a de minimis limit so that accidents or human error are not punished.”
Chairman of the Danish Fisheries Association Svend-Erik Andersen stated:
“I am really happy that we have ended up with a project that the fishermen can more easily see themselves in, and I would like to acknowledge that the Minister has moved and met the fishermen on some important points. It is really good that the level of conflict in this case is falling. I hope the agreement can provide some peace of mind in the Kattegat. The fishermen have stretched far and it is far from the dream scenario. Therefore, I really hope that they can now have peace to take care of their work in peace as a thank you for that effort.”
Strandby Fiskeriforening is also satisfied that a solution has now been found in which fishermen can see themselves better.
“We have always tried to work with camera surveillance based on a voluntary approach, where the vessels that participate in the project get some more benefits. We have gained much better control over which recordings are obtained and why they are obtained. That, I know, provides some security for the fishermen, and it is crucial if we are to be able to cooperate on camera surveillance,” says Claus Hjørne Pedersen, chairman of Strandby Fiskeriforening.
From the chairman of Læsø Fiskeriforening, Thomas Christiansen, who said:
“It’s fine, we’ve made an agreement. It is significantly better, and a great deal of work has been done. Both here on Læsø and in the Danish Fisheries Association. But this is all out of proportion. We have just been out fishing for four nights in a row, and together we have caught two kilos of undersized cod. That is nothing. Therefore, anyone can see that it is out of proportion that we should wear the cameras. It is a waste of citizens’ tax dollars to set up such a huge system when we are virtually not catching cod.”
However, it is certain and known that the fishing industry does not believe that camera surveillance will make a difference to the cod stock. Instead, it is hoped that the camera project will give fishermen a freer framework, such as free choice of gear, control easing and other regulatory easing.
“We have always said that camera surveillance in the Kattegat is to shoot sparrows with cannons. Now the fishermen are putting on cameras, and I see this as a step towards us being able to incorporate real-time data into the biological advice in such a way that it can be ensured that there is a connection between the fishing opportunities and the reality the fisherman is in at sea. Finally, I hope that we will initiate a broad-spectrum effort to solve the problems that we know for sure put the cod stock under pressure, such as environmental impact from land and seals. It is simply needed. Both for the sake of the cod stock and for the sake of fishing,” says Svend Erik-Andersen.
The next step in the process is that the Danish Fisheries Agency will now start issuing party hearings to the vessels selected to participate in the project.
Specifically, there will be the following ten changes:
- In order to provide the basis for a risk-based selection of recordings, 5 percent are randomly selected. of the recordings for each vessel for inspection. In addition, a risk-based selection of approximately 5 per cent will be initiated. of the recordings. Fishermen who comply with the rules on discards will therefore experience less control pressure.
- When the Danish Fisheries Agency requests recordings for review, the Agency will inform the fisherman of the reasons for the review. Thus, the fisherman always knows what has been taken out for control and on what basis.
- Until July 2023, the Danish Fisheries Agency will continue the current practice with guidance as a starting point rather than sanctioning. Repeated or more serious violations at vessel level may, however, be sanctioned. In the event of technical problems and breakdown of the camera equipment, the Danish Fisheries Agency may, for the first time and on the basis of a specific assessment, allow the fishing to continue.
- The Danish Fisheries Agency will operate with a de minimis limit for sanctioning discards found on the camera footage, so minor accidents etc. not sanctioned. This means that in situations where a small number of fish smoke overboard by actions that can obviously be attributed to accidents or unintentional misjudgments, no sanction will be given.
- The camera vessels are exempted from the time-consuming cargo haul control, where the fisherman’s catch is reviewed and sorted by the fisheries control.
- The Danish Fisheries Agency will focus on specifying which recordings are brought in for review in order to minimize their scope. During the inspection, footage from the most recent fishing trips in the Kattegat is obtained.
- The Danish Fisheries Agency is investigating the possibility of limiting the scope of recordings through motion sensors in the long term. The fishing industry is continuously informed about the progress.
- Under the fisheries development program, a total of DKK 15 million has been allocated for 2022 and 2023. DKK for the development of selective gear that can support the fishermen in being able to adapt their fishing and continue to have a sustainable fishing despite the decline in important stocks such as cod. Work is being done on initiating pilot projects with, among other things, more free choice of tools, where more of the camera vessels will have the opportunity to participate.
- Targeted efforts are being made to ensure a freer choice of tools and other regulatory relaxations for the camera vessels through pilot projects and dialogue with the European Commission and other Member States. Efforts are also being made to ensure that capture data from the camera project in the Kattegat can be incorporated into the biological advice on an ongoing basis.
- A working group is set up between the fishing industry and the authorities to help support the fishermen’s tasks as data controller and data owner.