Danish Arrests May Only Be Tip Of Iceberg – Fishupdate.com

Danish Arrests May Only Be Tip Of Iceberg Fishing Monthly Published:  12 December, 2002

DANISH industrial catchers found with hundreds of tonnes of small haddock on board may only be the tip of the iceberg, a fishermen’s spokesman said today.

George MacRae, secretary of the Scottish White Fish Producers’ Association, said the Danes, supported by some scientists, claim repeatedly that industrial fishing, to which a million tonnes annually is allocated in the North Sea, is a clean fishery directed at sandeels and does not impact on haddock, whiting, cod and plaice.

“ However, the Danes say also that they have a very strict management regime to control industrial fishing and are no doubt claiming also that the success of their monitoring policy resulted in these two vessels being arrested.

“But we feel these two Danish vessels caught with most of their catch being illegal is just the tip of the iceberg and generally Danish industrial fishing vessels are only monitored once every three/four landings.”

He said industrial fishing means vessels using tiny mesh inevitably scooping up very small, immature fish, not just haddock but cod, plaice, and whiting, the very fish that fishermen have been told they either cannot catch at all or will very restricted quotas to prosecute in 2003.

“For cod to recover they must have food, the food on which they rely mainly being sandeels.And with hundreds of thousands of tonnes of sandeels being taken in an industrial fishery every year, how can the cod be expected to recover to anything like what they were before?”