Now the trawl limit will be moved out

25 November, 2021

Today, a parliamentary majority has voted to move the limit for trawl fishing from 4 to 12 nautical miles from the Baltic Sea’s Swedish coast. The Riksdag has also decided to allow more hunting of both seals and cormorants, and to make it easier for those who engage in small-scale commercial fishing.

How much the large trawlers should be allowed to fish – and where they should be allowed to do so – is something that has been discussed persistently in recent years. Last week, the Environment and Agriculture Committee submitted a report called “Measures to save fish stocks in the Baltic Sea”, and today a majority in the Riksdag has voted in favour of the proposals.

The much-talked-about trawl limit, which regulates how close to the coast you can trawl large-scale for fish, will be moved from four to twelve nautical miles from the coast, according to the decision.

“It’s great. We have been fighting for this for a long time,” says Henrik Svedäng, researcher at Stockholm University’s Baltic Sea Centre.

Insufficient according to scientists

Svedäng believes that the relocation of industrial fishing will benefit the more small-scale, coastal fishing. However, he does not believe that the measure is sufficient to bring healthy fish stocks into the Baltic Sea, but that fishing quotas also need to be reduced.

“In the long run, it would have been good to have some other management plan. That you should not be at MSY (maximum sustainable yield, ed.note). The quotas should perhaps be half of that to take into account the uncertainty in the stock estimate.

Increased hunting

Other measures that the Riksdag has voted for today are to increase the hunting of both seals and cormorants and limit the growth of the large pike’s population. The regulations will also be made simpler for those engaged in small-scale fishing.

Text: Daniel Hedström
Photo: Christoph Mohr/DPA/TT

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