Two bills have been introduced in the Danish Parliament that seek to restrict the growth of the country’s offshore aquaculture sector.
Environment minister Lea Wermelin said the measures are required in order to protect the marine environment. She also said she wanted to see more fish farming take place in fresh and salt water dams on land rather than in open pens at sea.
The first bill removes the option of offsetting the environmental impact of a proposed fish farm development by various mitigating measures.
The second piece of legislation brings regulation of fish farming under the country’s Environmental Protection Agency. Currently, responsibility is divided between that agency and local authorities.
Introducing the bills on Thursday, Wermelin said: “Our marine environment is under pressure and I desire neither more or larger aquaculture in Denmark. It’s a sector where fish are raised in net cages out at sea and where substances are released directly into the water environment, without any form of cleansing. The time has come to clean it up and effectively monitor our aquaculture.”
In a speech last year defending her policy, she said: “‘Denmark has reached the limit over how many fish can be farmed at sea without risking the environment.
I am concerned about the state of our aquatic environment. I do not think Denmark should be expanding its aquaculture industry at this time.”
The two new law proposals are expected to come into effect on 1 January 2021.