The owner of the new build ‘Gitte Henning’ has sold up and left the Danish fishing industry depite the boat being under construction
One of Denmark’s leading pelagic skippers is selling up and leaving the industry because he’s tired of how he has been treated.
Henning Kjeldsen has announced his retirement on Facebook saying, “I’m tired. Not tired, as in tired. But tired of the political hetz that has been on me and my shipping company as well as family the last, yes, few many years.”
TV2 Nord, in Denmark reports the Kjeldsen has sold all his fishing quota, and is also selling the new ‘Gitte Henning’, which is currently under construction with Zamakona Shipyards in Spain.
It is still unknown to the public who bought the quotas, but regardless, it is a loss for Skagen says John Jakobsen, chairman of the Skagen Fisheries Association.
“This means that there are fishermen in Skagen who are without a job. It is a great asset for the city that is disappearing,” he says.
Henning Kjeldsen still owns two vessels and shares in a third, but the sale of the other vessels and rights means that the fishing for him will be on a different scale in the future.
“It’s not because you have to feel sorry for me, because I have had a fantastic life with the fishing close by,” wrote Kjeldsen.
58-year-old Henning Kjeldsen, who lives in Skagen, became seriously known in connection with the case of quota fraud, which is considered the largest criminal case to date in Danish commercial fishing.
At the Court in Holstebro, he was fined DKK 54 million in December last year for violating the rules on fishing quotas in the period from 2013 to 2019.
In addition to the large fine, he had 64 million kroner confiscated from one of his companies, Gitte Henning ApS. In total, more than DKK 162.5 million was confiscated from the big fisherman’s companies.
A total of 10 people were charged in the case, including Henning Kjeldsen’s wife and stepson, but the stepson was, as the only one of the accused, acquitted.
The court ruled that his wife Birthe Kjeldsen had worked as a straw man and was therefore fined DKK 3.5 million.
Lawyer Lars Espersen and auditor Jørgen Riise were also convicted. They were each given a personal fine. Jørgen Riise had to pay two million kroner and his company was fined around three million kroner.
Lars Espersen had to pay one million kroner, and his law firm had to pay two million kroner.
In an interview in December 2021, Kjeldsen denied guilt and claimed he believed that he had just helped some young fishermen get started with their businesses.