The Danish Minister of Fisheries, Ramus Prehn, has meet with the EU Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevicius to discuss a number of issues affecting the fishing industry in Denmark, including Ireland’s attempt to grab his country’s mackerel quota.
The Danish pelagic fishermen and the Minister have been very upset since Ireland’s midnight ambush on their North Sea mackerel during the AGRIFISH Council meeting on 12 October 2021.
After the event Prehn wrote, “It has been difficult and at times chaotic negotiations. Late at night we were subjected to an ambush from Ireland that would suddenly have a share in our mackerel in the North Sea. A mysterious and untimely attack, which I, together with my skilled employees, in the best way averted.”
The Irish delegation denied the ambush with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) issuing a statement saying on the 23 September 2021, the EU Commission “presented a proposal on an EU Mackerel Fishery (historically utilised by Denmark only) that had, in previous years, taken place in Norwegian waters.
“Ireland, along with a number of other Member States raised queries as to how this proposal could proceed in the absence of an access agreement between the EU and Norway.”
The Danish Minister has a close relationship with the head of the Danish Pelagic Producers Organisation, Esben Sverdrup-Jensen, who is also President of the European Association of Fish Producers Organisation (EAPO).
In a post yesterday after the meeting, Minister Prehn wrote, “Fruitful meeting with EU Fisheries Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius …
“Among the many, many topics we turned to were:
The mackerel quota and the problems with e.g. fishing in Norwegian waters and with Ireland trying to take over our quota;
ICES and the often-outdated biological assessments of fish stocks;
The skyrocketing of fuel prices and the challenges of fishing;
Fair competition and the problem of landing fish in Danish ports compared to foreign ones;
The Control Regulation and the problems of a little too zealous rules for the small pelagic species when keeping a logbook;
The future of trawl fishing. When do we take better care of the seabed, how do we save fuel, etc.? And finally, I mentioned the Danish opposition to toll trawling in the Skagerak and the North Sea;
The camera project and what we can do to increase the tolerance for small errors etc. As well as what other control we can exempt the fishermen from when we get cameras on;
The eel catches of the future in Denmark;
Green conversion – both of agriculture and fisheries.”