Heavy reductions in quotas for cod and other key species present major challenges for the Danish fishing industry next year.
‘With these Danish fishing quotas, there is a prospect of a financial storm for consumer fishing in the coming year. Danish fisheries are set to be hit hard financially with quotas reductions especially for cod in all waters,’ said Svend-Erik Andersen, chairman of the Danish Fishermen’s Association.
The expectation is that the Danish fishing industry will be under financial pressure next year, with quota reductions on cod in the North Sea, Skagerrak, Kattegat and in the Baltic Sea, with the reduction in cod alone potentially digging a one billion DKK hole in the industry’s turnover each quarter.
‘It will be a particularly difficult year for fishermen in the Baltic,’Svend-Erik Andersen said.
‘The Baltic Sea is particularly hard hit with large reductions in quotas on the most important species, cod, herring, sprat, salmon and plaice. In addition, there is a closed period for cod fishing in the western Baltic in February and March.’
The Danish Fishermen’s Association had put a great deal of effort into working with associations in the UK, Norway, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium to put together a long-term set of measures to address the challenges of the cod fishery that would allow a less drastic reduction in the 2020 quotas that that proposed by the European Commission.
‘Unfortunately, the European Commission has not listened to input from the unified industry from all countries around the North Sea, which is very disappointing. Now we are risking these missing cod quotas preventing us from utilising other quotas. If we cannot do that, the decline in fisheries turnover in 2020 will unfortunately be even greater.’
For industrial fisheries, the quotas for sandeel and sprat will be decided in the first half of 2020.
‘After the unnecessarily low quotas for the last few years, we are going to need a good industrial fishery in 2020,’ he said.
‘Sandeel and sprat quotas were sharply reduced in 2019 despite the fact that there was plenty of fish out there. That must not happen in 2020. These low quotas have hit industrial fishermen, ports and fishmeal and fish oil factories hard,’ Svend-Erik Andersen said, commenting that over the past few years, Danish fishing has shown an optimism that has resulted in newbuildings and modernisation of existing vessels.
‘Parts of the Danish fishing fleet have been modernised and ready for the future, but there is concern about how things are going to be in the coming years. It is not just Brexit that has been haunting us for a long time – it’s also the very unstable quotas that have been up and down like a yo-yo to an extent that makes it difficult for the industry to make any plans.
Added to this come plans for camera monitoring of Danish fishing vessels in the Kattegat.
‘This is not the way to ensure continued sustainable Danish fishing,’ Svend-Erik Andersen said.
‘We need peace and stability. There is no need for new management measures and experiments on Danish fisheries.’