The Danish Fishermen’s PO annual general meeting comes on the back of a tough year for Danish fishing, hammered by a the effects of a combination of Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic. Some of the industry has seen its turnover down by 25%.
The outcome of the DFPO’s AGM is that facing a serious situation, Danish fisheries will need to readjust to be able to continue to contribute to growth and provide employment.
‘I must acknowledge that we in Danish fisheries face great challenges. That is why we took the opportunity of the general meeting to look each other in the eye and to present proposals for how we can ensure that Denmark can remain a proud fishing nation,’ said DFPO chairman Svend-Erik Andersen.
The ‘Denmark’s Fishermen – Heading for a Common Future’ proposal comes with some big proposals, one of concerns the need for fleet adjustment – effectively a reduction in the number of Danish fishing vessels.
‘It’s a tough message. There are too many fishing vessels in Denmark as the country is now, and we must change this. It is simply a prerequisite for us to be able to turn the tide and ensure a profitable and sustainable fishery in the future,’ he said, commenting that industry wants to see the so-called ‘Brexit reserve’ to be brought into play for a scrapping scheme, in addition to the compensation to which affected fishermen are also entitled.
‘There is no doubt that Brexit has cost Danish fishing dearly,’ he said, adding that with the proposal, the Danish Fishermen’s PO is also sending a clear signal that it is ready for a broad collaboration to strengthen Danish fisheries and prepare the industry for the future. The proposal contains further proposals designed to ensure better management of fisheries, development of future fishing gear and to ensure that Danish fisheries remain one of the world’s most sustainable.
The proposals include ideas for a new development centre for Danish fisheries be established, located in a port in North or West Jutland – where the fishing is.
A new model is also proposed for coastal fishing, how future fisheries control can be organised and how Denmark can play a more leading role in the EU for the benefit of Danish fishermen who struggle daily with regulations that have roots in the EU.
‘It’s our ambition that the fishery should develop in such a way that the fishery can continue to contribute important jobs around the fishing ports. We want to be Denmark’s fishermen,’ Svend-Erik Andersen said.
‘Of course, we must also continue the work on sustainability and to ensure a healthy marine environment. We believe that we can go a long way with this initiative.’