Danish fishermen throw cod overboard

15 December, 2021

Danish fishermen are throwing more cod back into the sea than before, even though cod stocks have never been smaller, according to a new report.

A report by DTU Aqua, Denmark’s Institute for Aquatic Resources, shows that in recent years, 65% of all cod caught in trawlers’ nets in lobster fishing have been discarded.

Most of the cod die when they are thrown back into the Kattegat.

“We see surprising and terribly large numbers from biologists when we know that cod is under historical pressure,” Fisheries Minister Rasmus Prehn (S) to Politiken.

But Svend-Erik Andersen, chairman of the Danish Fisheries Association, thinks the figures are misleading. He describes it as three small cod of half a kilo each that are thrown back after each trawling.

“It’s grotesquely manipulative to latch onto a percentage increase from 2019 to 2020 when the actual catches are no bigger than this,” he said in a press release.

He adds that so far this year, only a quarter of the cod quota has been fished.

But the minister does not think there are any excuses for throwing fish.

“When we’re down to as few cod as we are in the Kattegat, we have to say that every cod counts.

Cod is a predatory fish found in both the Baltic Sea and the West Sea. It can grow up to 1.5 meters in length, although such large ones are now rare.

Cod fishing has traditionally been of great importance to both recreational and professional fishermen, but cod stocks have declined sharply since the late 1990s.

When EU countries agreed on next year’s fishing quotas in October this year, targeted cod fishing in the Baltic Sea was stopped in an attempt to reduce pressure on the hard-pressed stock.

Source: Swedish Society for Nature Conservation and ne.se

Text: TT
Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

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