Folketing parties agree to distribute €123 million to Danish fisheries for projects including green fishing
In a broad political agreement, the Danish Parliament has agreed to distribute DKK 917 million (€123m) to Danish fisheries which will support the implementation of the Marine, Fisheries and Aquaculture Program 2021-2023.
The package includes DKK 138.3 million (€18.6m) to make the fisheries industry more environmentally friendly through the development of electric fishing vessels and land-based aquaculture. Education of fishermen and remote electronic monitoring of fisheries, REM, will receive 204.6 million DKK(€27.5m).
The broad agreement among the parties leads, among other things, to the allocation of DKK 436.8 million DKK (€58,7m) for a number of green and sustainable initiatives. This is for example for the development and testing of green technologies, new fishing methods, the development of fishing gear, river restoration and environmental and climate improvements in the aquaculture sector. In addition, funds have been set aside to deal with the issue of seals and cormorants, which are destroying fishermen’s catches. The agreement also strengthens efforts against ghost nets, just as money is set aside to support and develop the gentle and close coastal fishing for the benefit of the smaller communities. The Danish fisheries associations will also be able to receive support to promote the sale of fish.
Minister of Fisheries Rasmus Prehn welcomes the good climate of cooperation that has existed throughout the negotiations.
He said “I am glad that we can land such a broad agreement, where we jointly give a historic amount directly to green conversion in the fishery. We have all entered into negotiations with an ambition to help fisheries develop in a sustainable and more climate-friendly direction, so that Danish fishermen are better equipped for the challenges of the future. I would like to thank the parties for their commitment and cooperation. It is democracy at its best.”
Despite good intentions on the allocation of the DKK 917 million (123 million EUR) to Danish fisheries, chairman of the Danish Fisheries Association, Svend-Erik Andersen, is disappointed with the agreement, which in the eyes of the fishing industry strengthens the Danish authorities rather than the fishing industry.
“Danish fisheries are among the most sustainable in the world. We must safeguard that position. Therefore, it amazes me that most of the money that is to be developed by the profession is used from a political point of view to strengthen the authorities. We had gained more sustainability for the money by supporting the fishermen’s opportunity to make absolutely necessary green investments at a time when fishing is under historical pressure,” says the chairman of the Danish Fisheries Association, Svend-Erik Andersen.
Specifically, more than DKK 600 million (€80.7m) is earmarked for government tasks out of a total amount of approx. 900 million kroner. At the same time, the industry’s desire for support for green investments that can ensure CO2 reductions and help achieve the target of 70% CO2 reduction by 2030 has been ignored. This surprises Svend-Erik Andersen, who points out that politicians should squint at how agriculture is supported in the green transition when politicians discuss green development of fisheries.
“When it comes to agriculture, politicians have no problem allocating large sums to new sustainable investments and compensation when environmental requirements are tightened. We should do the same in the area of fisheries if we are to continue to have the world’s greenest fishery,” says Svend-Erik Andersen.
However, the agreement contains some good elements, as funds are also set aside for the sale of fish products, strengthening of coastal fisheries, development of sustainable gear and maritime knowledge. At the same time, it is positive that funds must also be used to look more closely at the problems with seals and cormorants.
“There are some good bits. It is good to help coastal fishing along the way. Both in relation to securing the conditions at the ports, but also in relation to seals and cormorants, which for many coastal fishermen destroy the business basis,” concluded Svend-Erik Andersen.