Don't rush discards ban, Danish fishermen warn –

Don’t rush discards ban, Danish fishermen warn Published:  18 July, 2012

DANISH fishermen have called on the fishing authorities not to rush a proposed new ban on fish discards.

They arguing strongly that the catching industry must be given time to implement all the planned changes, especially in their own fishing area in the Skagerrak.

The Danish Fishermen’s Association said the European Union and Norway had signed a joint agreement to introduce a new discard ban in the Skagerrak from January 1st next year which meant that fishing vessel skippers and their crews had a less than six months to prepare for that situation.

The association chairman Svend Erik-Andersen  said: “That leaves a very short time-frame to implement the new agreement which is extremely worrying. This is a big change, not just for fishermen, but also for the authorities. There are,  in our eyes, many parts of this agreement that have yet to be explained so it is important that we are 100 per cent sure of the rules before any changes.” It was also important to ensure fishermen had adequate resources so they did not encounter any unexpected problems, he added.

Mr Erik-Andersen outlined some of the outstanding issues which included the handling of fish on deck and at landing points, along with various technical rules and regulations. It was also important that fishermen received the proper rights and information   they were entitled to. He warned that if the new rules were not implemented properly could damage the fishing prospects for more than 400 Danish fishing vessels because it would forces skippers to stop fishing without having used up all their fishing allowances. The Association is planning to convene a meeting on the issue as soon as possible after the summer.