The Chairman of the Danish Fishmeal Association is delighted with the new EU agreement on sand eel quotas, but finds the non-existent Norway spout quote for 2011 totally unsatisfactory.
– In other words, industrial fishing has once more been deprived of the opportunity to catch Norway spout, even though we benefited greatly from the 75,000 tons quota last year, says the Managing Director of TripleNine Pharma A/S, Nils Char. Jensen, who is the Chairman of the Association of Danish Fishmeal and Fish Oil industries. – This way of establishing quotas most of all resembles a kind of yo yo decisions, which are completely unpredictable.
– Although we have been promised that the decision will be reassessed in July, an initial quota of 0 is totally unsatisfactory, concludes Nils Christian Jensen.
Quota implies fishing prohibition!
He further points out that the decision to set quotas for the fishing of mullet (which was also landed at TripleNine in 2010) seems paradoxical, when no decision has yet been made on the equipment that may be used.
– In practice, this means that this species may not be caught, Nils Christian Jensen concludes.
On the other hand, the Chairman is pleased that last year’s sprat quota for the North Sea of approx. 136,000 tons has been retained almost unchanged, even though the authorities initially wanted to reduce it by 15 per cent.
The sprat quota in Skagerrak and Kattegat will remain just under 39,000 tons, while the sprat quota for the Baltic Sea has been reduced by 24 per cent to approx. 28,500 tons.
Sand eel is the bright spot
– The major bright spot in the EU negotiation results achieved in December last year is to be found in the new quota model for sand eel, which was agreed according to a Danish proposal, says Nils Christian Jensen. – Here, a preliminary quota of 228,514 tons has already been set, as against 167,436 tons last year. In addition, it has been agreed that the final quota based on dredging tests must be fixed before 1 March, in other words before sand eel fishing starts.
The maximum final quota in 2011 has been set at 500,000 tons as against 400,000 tons last year.
– We can therefore be pleased both that a larger initial quota has been set and that the final quota may end up being larger than last year if the conditions are right. Finally, the agreement of the final quota before the start of fishing answers a very great demand from the fishermen. They will now avoid the fishing stops which last year proved very expensive for some vessels, as they had to remain inactive while waiting for the quota to be agreed, says Nils Christian Jensen.