Denmark’s Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries has decided to bring forward the evaluation of the camera project to a 1st October completion date in order to make a faster decision on the future of the project, which is designed to reduce illegal discarding of cod.
Based on this evaluation, originally scheduled to be completed on 31st December, minister Jacob Jensen aims to come to a decision on whether changes should be made to the project. At the same time, the minister will work to provide more incentives to make it participation in the scheme a more attractive option.
Following discussion with the industry, the minister has also decided to extend the guidance period until the end of 2023. During the guidance period, which until now ran until 1st July 2023, the Danish Fisheries Agency will primarily guide fishermen rather than sanctioning violations, unless there are serious or repeated violations. Experience shows that guidance has a high preventive effect.
‘We have a big problem with the declining cod stock in the Kattegat, and that is why I have had several meetings with the fishermen about the camera system that has been introduced. I would like to acknowledge the positive dialogue with the Danish Fishermen’s Association. It has been constructive and on that basis I have decided to bring forward the evaluation of the camera project so that we can get a clarification of the project’s future more quickly,’ Jacob Jensen said.
‘I would like to see what the evaluation shows in terms of results, so that I can make a decision on the best possible basis. It is important to me to find a sustainable solution that takes both the fishermen into account and the protection of our fish stocks. There is a strong motivation in fishing for cooperation on a voluntary scheme under which the vessels have clear incentives to participate.’
“I very much welcome the minister’s announcement, and I am happy that the minister is taking the fishing industry’s concerns seriously and is acting on them,’ said DFPO chairman Svend-Erik Andersen.
‘From the beginning, we in Danish fisheries have called for a camera project in the Kattegat to be carried out in collaboration with the fisheries and not imposed on fishermen. A project of this nature must be based on thorough preliminary work, carried out in co-operation with the fishermen concerned, be based on voluntary participation and with positive incentives for the vessels that participate.’