The EU has just set out this year’s sandeel quotas and there is good news in store for Danish fishing, which looks to be getting the best quotas the fleet has seen for more than ten years. In February ICES announced its advice on sandeel fisheries, with the expectation that there would be a healthy 2017 quota.
Now that the quotas have been negotiated, and Danish fishermen can look forward to the best overall sandeel quotas since 2005.
The total Danish quota for sandeel is set at 458,000 tonnes for the three main sandeel areas in the EU sector of the North Sea and Skagerrak.
‘I am very pleased that we have managed to ensure the highest total fishing opportunities for sandeel since 2005,’ said Environment and Food Minister Esben Lunde Larsen. ‘It has been a declared objective for me that positive biological advice also should lead to more fish in key areas and good opportunities for the industry.’
A high sandeel quota is of great importance for the Danish industry, which holds more than 94% of EU quotas. Last year Denmark had to settle for significantly lower quotas for sandeel at approximately 82,000 tonnes, and therefore this year’s increase is especially welcome for both fishermen and the processing sector which uses sandeel for fishmeal and fish oil production.
With an estimated average price of around DKK1.30 per kg, the landing value of the Danish sandeel quota could total approximately DKK600 million if the full quotas are caught.
‘I’ve had a very good dialogue with the industry throughout the entire process, and now we must work together to ensure that we get the best possible use of quotas. Even if we fail to fish all the quotas fully, there are still significant earning opportunities there for the industry,’ said Esben Lunde Larsen.
This year sandeel fishing begins on the 1st of April and it normally continues until midsummer, but in good years fishing can continue right up to the end of July.