The Danish Fishermen’s PO (DFPO) has weighed in with its own criticisms of ICES advice for North Sea, Skagerrak and Kattegat fisheries for 2022. Like the Scottish associations, they Danish fishermen claim there is too great a discrepancy between the advice and what they see on the fishing grounds.
The DFPO states that the scientific advice for 2022 underscores the need scientific research to be boosted to ensure sustainable exploitation of fish stocks.
‘We experience too much difference between what biologists who prepare scientific advice see and what the Danish fishermen experience,’ said DFPO chairman Svend-Erik Andersen.
‘This is a big problem that we would love to see solved. That’s why we hope we can address this problem as soon as possible and see if we can’t do things better. This would benefit the Danish fishermen and the fish stocks.’
Advice for haddock, whiting and sole is positive, while for species such as turbot and brill it remains stable. The advice is also for a reduction in the langoustine quota for the Kattegat and Skagerrak, which reflects the wishes of the industry, which has its own concerns about the ensuring ongoing sustainable exploitation of this species.
But for other species the outlook is less bright as ICES advises substantial cuts to saithe (-24%) and cod (-10%) quotas, which could cause difficulties as these could become choke species.
Skippers report that there is no lack of abundance for these two species on their fishing grounds.
‘It’s devastating for fishing when what fishermen see doesn’t tally with the scientists’s spreadsheets. This shows how poor fisheries management is. For years we have been asking for closer co-operation between researchers and fishermen so that we can improve the quality of advice and get better at finding the right balance between exploitation and protection of stocks. This is yet another example of the need to move on that agenda,’ Svend-Erik Andersen said.
Earlier this year DFPO presented a set of proposals for the future of Danish fishing, one of which aims precisely at improving biological advice through increased use of real-time data, with the intention of being able to provide a precise picture of the state of stocks at any given time.
DFPO is also working with partner organisations in the UK and Norway to improve the basis of ICES’s advice, as well as co-operating with DTU Aqua to improve the basis for ICES recommendations.