According to the Danish Pelagic PO, blue whiting has proved to be an increasingly important resource for Denmark’s fishmeal sector. This year Danish pelagic vessels have landed 81,000 tonnes of blue whiting valued at DKK132.4 million (€17.80 million) compared to 61,000 tonnes last year worth DKK83.50 million (€11.20 million) last year.
Sandeel is historically a vital species, although quota restrictions have meant that sandeel landings have been irregular in recent years, according to DPPO.
‘The cold spring this year with low water temperatures has delayed this year’s sandeel fishery and with a quota of around 200,000 tonnes, there is no prospect of a record season this year. Fortunately, the fishery for meal and oil is not dependent only on sandeel.’
‘Sprat is another key species for industrial fisheries and blue whiting has become increasingly important. This is fished primarily in deep water west of the UK and Ireland. The fishery was developed in the late 1970s.’
According to DPPO, the Danish fishery is sustainable and MSC certified, and as well as boosting the fleet’s activities, the fishery has been a significant benefit to the meal and oil plants and to the communities around them.