Anglers in Denmark are calling on the EU to increase the Baltic Sea cod limit to help save the livelihood of boat fishing tour operators in the region.
In a consultation response to the EU, the Danish Sport Fishermen’s Association proposes that the quota should be raised for 2021. Currently anglers are allowed to keep two a day during February and March and five for the rest of the year. The Association is seeking an all-year-round five-fish-a-day bag limit.
“We recognise that as anglers we must help to take care of the vulnerable stock of cod in the Baltic Sea, even though it is not anglers who are responsible for the critical condition it is in now,” Kaare Manniche Ebert, a biologist at the Danish Angling Association, told Denmark’s Sportfiskerforbund. “A daily catch limit is a fine tool for that, but the rules have been too strict this year.”
Boat fishing tours in the Øresund Sound, which separates Denmark and Sweden, present those living in the densely populated region their only chance to go out to sea and fish and they have been hit hard by catch restrictions.
“If the very tight restrictions continue we will probably see more tour boats go out of business. The Sound should have special rules. It is no secret that cod stocks in the Sound are better than the rest of the Baltic Sea. Therefore it should be regulated differently,” added Manniche Ebert.
The new EU regulations for the Baltic Sea fisheries will be decided at a Council of Ministers meeting next week.
Photograph: Danmarks Sportfiskerforbund