The Danish Fisheries Agency has apprehended a Dutch beam trawler found to have been fishing with lined codends.
‘We have a case in which a beam trawler has illegal inner bags inside the legal codends. When fishing with inner bags, you also catch the smallest fish,’ said Jesper Bech Eiersted, master of patrol vessel Vestkysten.
‘This is a clear breach of the EU’s common fisheries policy, which must ensure sustainable fisheries. In addition to the illegal inner bags, it was found during the inspection that there was also illegal discarding of fish. According to regulations, the full catch must always be landed so that the correct quantities of fish can be calculated against quotas. We are satisfied that we have once again put an end to illegal fishing.’
The case is still in preparation, but this is seen as a serious violation. The case will be passed to the police, and a fine of up to DKK400,000 could be demanded.
The Danish Fisheries Agency has ramped up fisheries control recently. In particular, there has been a focus on vessels that switch off their AIS transmissions, and the Agency reports that new methods are still being tested to further tighten controls. The purpose is to be able to document the violations that take place in Danish waters.
This control takes place through electronic monitoring, risk analyses as well as boardings and inspections of fishing vessels at sea, testing of new technologies and co-operation with other authorities.