An agreement has been reached by a broad majority of the Danish Parliament on a coastal fishing scheme which offers advantages for fishing with low-impact gear such as static nets and seine nets.
Under the scheme, fishing quotas are reserved for coastal fisheries and fishing with low-impact gears, with open and closed options, with fishermen in the open sector able to opt out after three years if they prefer not to be permanently committed.
The closed sector has been made more attractive with larger quota supplements when low-impact fishing gears are used. The open sector of the coastal scheme will be evaluated after three years.
‘There is agreement on the will to have Danish low-impact coastal fishing, and I am very pleased that we have reached a broad political agreement. Now we will maintain the open scheme for another three years, but at the same time strengthen the closed system and low-impact fisheries by rewarding fishermen who sign up to these sectors. More people will hopefully find it attractive to tie quotas to coastal and low-impact fishing,’ said Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Mogens Jensen, commenting that strengthening coastal fishing scheme provides advantages both ashore and at sea.
‘Several communities are dependent on functioning coastal fishing, which helps create jobs at sea, as well as ashore. That is why we are now rewarding the fishermen who agree to lock their quotas to the closed scheme with supplement that are larger than they are currently. He pointed out that the scheme sets out to incentivise fisheries that use methods which do not affect the seabed.
In addition to strengthening the closed system and low-impact fishing, the new agreement also includes the need to make it easier for newly established fishermen to sign up to the closed scheme. They are given an opportunity of a three-year probation, after which they can decide whether they want to stay or not.
There are a number of restrictions that fishermen are required to abide by, including that 80% of trips must be less than two days and the length limitation is set at 17 metres, or at 15 metres for vessels in the closed sector using gear that is not classed as low-impact.