The Danish Fisheries Minister (at today’s AGRIFISH Council) will challenge the Fisheries Commissioner to increase the country’s haddock quota. Photo: European Union
The Danish Minister for Fisheries Jacob Jensen will challenge the European Commission over the low haddock quota the nation’s fishing industry must work under.
Jacob Jensen says that he understands the fishermen’s frustrations over the low haddock quota and that is why he will raise the issue with the EU Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevicius at today’s AGRIFISH Council in Brussels.
The Danish Minister says that he has listened to the Danish Fishermen’s Association and Kreds Nord after they complained of the low quota that Denmark has been given. The associations have emphasised that while the stock is prospering, and according to the recommendations from the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES), the quota should be higher. This is something Minister Jensen is keen to impress on the Commissioner. He said:
“I fully understand that the fishermen are frustrated that the haddock quota set for 2023 is lower than what the biologists have advised, both because it may seem illogical that the quota has only increased by 64 percent. since 2020, when the stock has increased significantly more than that. But also because the low quota risks becoming a stumbling block for other fisheries. I have therefore sent a letter to the fisheries commissioner with the message to get something done about the problem. In addition, I will raise the issue today, when I am at the Council meeting in Brussels.”
In the letter, Jacob Jensen draws the Fisheries Commissioner’s attention to clause 16, subsection 3 of the EU’s basic regulation, which makes it possible to raise the quota. However, it requires that the EU, Great Britain and Norway can reach an agreement on this.
At the same time, the Minister of Fisheries would like to ensure that the problem does not recur in 2024. He therefore calls on the Commissioner to ensure a haddock quota that reflects the scientific advice when the negotiations on next year’s quota soon get under way.
“Finally, I have called for undersized pollacks in the Kattegat to be exempted from the landing obligation for vessels with a camera or a specific tool in order to ease the burden on the individual fisherman,” explained the Minister.
The Danish fishing industry is hoping that Norway and the UK, along with the EU iself will see sense in raisinf the haddock quota
In an open letter Kreds Nord said:
“The numbers speak for themselves. Since the year 2020, the haddock population has grown by 500% according to the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. But the quota has only been raised by 64% since 2020. It is thus inevitable that we catch more haddock than we have quota for, and this can be very serious for the fishery, which in the worst case can come to a complete standstill.
“Fortunately, on the Danish side, it has been ensured that the EU rules allow the quota to be adjusted on an ongoing basis, so that sustainable fishing can be ensured, where there is a correlation between the size of the fishing quotas and the size of the fish stock.
“Therefore, we jointly encourage the minister to make use of that opportunity. This will make everyday life easier for the fishermen. This will ensure that fishing can continue and contribute with healthy and climate-friendly food. And it can even be done with the blessing of the marine biologists of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea.”
Danish opposition MP, Per Larsen said:
“It’s really great that there are many haddocks. We should all be delighted. But when the quota does not harmonize with the significant increase, it becomes a stumbling block for fishing. We risk that the quota will not be enough and will be a hindrance to other fisheries.”