Denmark’s Minister of Fisheries Rasmus Prehn has ruled that trawlers fishing in the Kattegat will be required to participate in camera monitoring as part of strategies to strengthen the cod stock maintain the langoustine (nephrops) fishery.
This means that around a hundred langoustine trawlers operating in the Kattegat will be required to have a camera mounted over the sorting belt during 2022. The decision follows discussions in political circles, with the industry and with DTU Aqua, and this follows a pilot scheme with twelve trawlers fitted with cameras.
This came about in 2019 under an agreement with the EU which secured a by-catch quota for cod, which are always a part of the langoustine fishery.
According to DTU Aqua’s findings, 65% of the cod caught under this arrangement in 2020 were not booked and were illegally discarded, while for trawlers with cameras, the figure is just 5%.
‘Cod is fighting for survival, and I take this very seriously,’ Rasmus Prehn said, adding that the Kattegat fleet landed langoustine worth approximately DKK109 million in 2021.
‘If we are to have cod in the Kattegat in the future, we will have to take measures. Therefore, vessels in the Kattegat must have cameras in future At the same time, we have a clear signal from the EU that if there is no camera on the boats, then the by-catch quota for cod is in serious danger. This would put a complete stop to langoustine fishing in the Kattegat.’
He commented that if a condition of being able to continue the fishery is for catches passing along sorting belts has to be recorded, then this is a price that has to be paid. Cameras are mounted to directly record the sorting belt, minimising the risk of identifying crewmen at work.