MP: Introduce a total ban on trawling in the Baltic Sea

21 July, 2022

The Green Party wants to see an immediate end to all industrial trawling in the Baltic Sea. Samtidigt bör hela havsområdet skyddsklassas.Vi har en akut kris som kräver akuta krisinsatser, säger språkröret Per Bolund.

The ecosystem in the Baltic Sea is threatened and about to tip – cod is depleted and an extensive decline is visible from herring and herring, Bolund points out.

“The Baltic Sea is a unique sea area, it is a resource that gives us so much but that we are in the process of completely devastating. We have a totally acute crisis,” he said.

The Green Party (MP) wants to see a total ban on all industrial trawlers in Swedish waters, without the possibility of being able to give exemptions. This is something that Sweden can move forward with on its own, according to the party.

The next step calls for a ban on industrial fishing throughout the Baltic Sea and a decommissioning plan should be drawn up. Such a ban existed until EU accession but expired in 1997.

Herrings are piled up in a net of a fisher boat coming back from a catch in the harbor of Niendorf at the Baltic Sea, northern Germany, Tuesday, April 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

Only large-scale

According to the MP, the trawling ban should only apply to the large-scale fishmeal and oil industry and not to small-scale fishing for consumption. Bolund mentions that only about twelve percent of the herring and sprat fished in Sweden goes to food.

Fishmeal and oil are widely used in the mink industry and in salmon farms.

“It is not reasonable for us to destroy our marine environment to make such industry live for a while longer,” he says of the mink industry.

The stop should take effect immediately, well in advance of the boats heading out this winter.

At the same time, the MP wants to establish a protected area of the entire Baltic Sea, from the Gulf of Bothnia in the north to the Baltic Proper in the south. The protection should remain in place until the ecosystem has recovered.

According to the party, an individual member state has the opportunity to ask the EU Commission to carry out such a measure.

Complaining about S

At the same time, the Mp accuses the Social Democrats (S) of having done too little for fish stocks in Swedish waters. S has previously opposed moving the trawl line along the east coast to protect spawning herring and herring.

The Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management is now carrying out a project that corresponds to the relocation of the trawl limit, but as I said, it is only a project, Bolund points out.

Unfortunately, this is the reality that we have encountered in negotiations many times, that the Social Democrats do not protect fish stocks and local fishing, but protect the fishing system.

The MP wants to cooperate with the Social Democrats after the election and Bolund calls the next term “the term of the oceans”. The question is what speaks for it.

“It depends on the balance of power between the parties and how we negotiate after an election. This is a clear message that the Green Party will prioritize maritime issues, he says.

Green Party’s spokesman Per Bolund
VISBY 20220707 The Green Party’s spokesperson Per Bolund speaks during Almedal Week. Photo Henrik Montgomery / TT

Five billion

In the package of measures, the party also proposes an investment of five billion kronor every year to “clean up old environmental sins” and restore coasts. This may involve cleaning up environmentally hazardous wrecks or building new wetlands.

The Green Party had intended to present the proposals during its day at Almedalen Week. But the suspected terrorist attack in Visby caused the plans to be cancelled.

After Per Bolund and spokesperson Märta Stenevi held a minute’s silence for the victim from the Almedalen scene, Bolund addressed fishing in his speech and said:

– We have treated the seas if they were our worst enemies. It’s time to treat them as our best friends instead.

Text: Niklas Svahn/TT
Photo: Michael Probst/AP/TT, Henrik Montgomery/TT

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