Call for charter boats to be compensated if new EU cod restrictions are imposed
Charter businesses which fish for cod in the western Baltic Sea should be compensated if proposed European Union restrictions are imposed in 2022.
That is the view of Karre Manniche Ebert, the Fish Biologist for the Danish Sport Fishermen’s Association. His plea comes after the EU proposed that next year anglers should be restricted to just one fish a day during the season. It has also said that all commercial fishing for the species could be stopped altogether.
“We are strongly appealing to the EU to ensure that the tour boats can seek compensation for the loss of business that will entail in 2022. With the new rules, you actually remove the income base for charter boats and say farewell to fishing and a unique opportunity for many Danes to get out to sea and fish from a boat. Since restrictions were announced in 2017 up to 50% of charter boats have gone out of business. If the new rule of one cod a day is adopted by EU fisheries ministers it will put further pressure on tour boats sailing with anglers.”
In a report published last month, the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) said that cod stocks in the western Baltic are in an historically poor state, and it is against this background that the EU is set to introduce significant restrictions on both the commercial and recreational fishing sectors.
It will be a blow to anglers, tourism and the economy in the region. Already charter boats from Germany, Denmark and Sweden have suffered from the decline in business under the present Baltic cod management system.
“The hopes of the Baltic fishing industry for a more profitable 2022 have been dashed despite the recovery of many European countries from the pandemic. For many fishermen, the opportunities remain extremely limited due to the ongoing crisis concerning many commercial stocks in the Baltic Sea,” said a report in EuroNews.
Virginijus Sinkevičius, European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries told EuroNews: “We need to adopt measures which take into account not only the environmental impact, but also socio-economics. We have to find a way to help our community – fishermen and those along the chain – to maintain or stay in business. Some decisions are painful. When we had an alert from scientists that the cod stock had collapsed in the Baltic Sea we had to take measures.”
The European Commission is due to announce its decision on Baltic cod quotas later this week.