french artisanal danish seine

French artisanal fishing groups have called for the banning of Danish Seine-netting

French fishing group, Association Pleinemer has called for the banning of the Danish Seine-net method in the English Channel and elsewhere.

The artisanal fishing group claims that far from being environmentally friendly, the Danish Seine method is highly damaging to areas where it has been used, with the capability of cleaning out fish stocks, though be it only temporary.

The group wrote in an article:

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The Danish Seine, a rotating net maneuvered on the bottom, is often presented as the fishing gear of the future. In the eyes of its supporters, it would provide better quality fish than the trawl, for a lower environmental impact. On the side of the craftsmen, the sound of the bell is very different. So we decided to investigate, and this article is the first in a series of articles about this controversial fishing gear.

In addition to the testimonies of many craftsmen who declare that the Danish seine can “temporarily empty certain fishing areas”, there is one element clearly proving that this fishing gear is not unanimous: while the regional fisheries committees of Hauts-de- France and Vendée have clearly positioned themselves in favor of the Danish seine, the regional fisheries committee of Brittany has always maintained the ban on Danish seine within 12 miles of Breton waters. Indeed, as evidenced by this press release from CDIPMEM56 dated 20/04/2019:

“This opposition reflects the opinion of the vast majority of fishermen in Morbihan. It is also based on a deliberation of the Regional Fisheries Committee of Brittany on December 19, 2013; deliberation signed by Olivier Le Nezet and which stipulates that: “Within the waters falling within the area of ​​the Regional Committee for Maritime Fisheries and Marine Breeding of Brittany, the use of Danish seines is prohibited” […] Moreover, the Fisheries Committees of the four Breton departments share exactly the same opinion regarding the refusal of Danish seine in Breton waters. ”

And Breton fishermen are not the only ones to have publicly announced their refusal of the Danish seine. A recent incident in Ciboure also recalls this strong opposition and the tensions it can generate. In April 2019, the Lucien fishermen prevented a purse seiner from landing at the Ciboure auction, as evidenced by various press articles on the subject:

“Anger had been mounting for a fortnight, when these ships which usually remained north of Arcachon were observed for the first time off the ports of Saint-Jean-de-Luz and Capbreton. It therefore rose a notch at the start of the week. “We now know the effects. Where they pass, there is nothing, they massacre everything ”, justifies a fisherman from Lucerne. “After having plucked all the north, these boats will come to pluck the south? There is no question. We made a mistake once by letting the pelagics come in, we won’t be fooled twice ”, continues another.”

Many artisanal fishermen therefore question the use of Danish seine, such as the Plateforme de la Petite Pêche Artisanale or the Association des Ligneurs de la Pointe de Bretagne. These two structures have always opposed it, as evidenced by a press release dated July 6, 2016 where the “small fishing” segment testifies:

“Any fisherman who has ever had to deal with a purse seiner can attest to their ability to clear a fishing area in record time, leaving all colleagues on the mat. Where the dormant arts could coexist with trawlers, it is now impossible with the Danish seine! ” (press release).

Finally, recently, many artisanal fishermen from Hauts-de-France and Normandy have taken part in the Danish seine on social networks, and these publications have had a strong resonance in the fishing world. In particular, screenshots of AIS showing the quantity of Danish purse seiners registered in Holland and France, and sometimes working in the 3 mile zone, have put the profession in turmoil.

Among other things, in Boulogne-sur-Mer, the recent unloading of dozens of auction crates filled with sea bream and red mullet of equivalent sizes or even less than the legal catch size … strongly mobilized fishermen, especially as these species are sought after by the “small-scale fishing” and “coastal fishing” segments. By observing these tanks of red mullet, we can also question the supposed quality of the fish caught with Danish seine, these photos speak for themselves:

Red mullet caught with a Danish seine and landed in Boulogne-sur-Mer in November 2020 (the black lighter gives an idea of ​​the small size of the fish)

french artisanal danish seine

Right, red mullet fished with a net by the “Petits Pêcheurs d’Iroise”

In a future article, we will question the role of SCOPALE, an armament belonging to the Les Mousquetaires and Le Garec groups and to the Opal Cooperative, in the transformation of the fisheries of the North and Normandy. At this stage of the investigation, it seems legitimate to question the use of the Danish seine in the 12 mile zone, and it seems clear that no derogation should allow the use of this gear in the 3 mile zone. . The opposition of artisanal fishermen, all regions combined, must be heard and respected, especially as it is based on a factual observation made at sea.


Brian J McMullin Solicitors
MMG Welding Killybegs