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Danish anglers attend funeral of ‘dead’ Vejle Fjord


The body that represents the angling community across Europe has held a funeral to mourn the loss of life in a fjord that was once rich in fish species, animals and plants.

The European Anglers Alliance (EAA) Denmark joined forces with Greenpeace and other local organisations to mark the loss of life in Vejle Fjord, hoping their action would also spark an initiative to break new life into the waterway.

More than 1,000 people gathered to ‘bury’ Vejle Fjord and mourn the loss of nature in the water. Danmarks Sportfiskerforbund Fish Biologist Kaare Manniche Ebert told the congregation: “Vejle Fjord has been a beloved friend to a lot of anglers. It has been a hotspot for fishing for generations, but over the last 15 years it has just got worse. Today, the fish are largely gone.”

Last year a Danish newspaper highlighted the worsening condition of the fjord which it revealed had ‘virtually’ no life. This was compounded by the worst oxygen depreciation in Danish waters for 20 years.

The situation has been blamed on the emission of nitrogen from agricultural fertiliser. The farming sector is said to be responsible for 70% of nitrogen emissions from land into the marine environment.

Greenpeace and the Danish Sport Fishing Association are calling for solutions that will reduce emissions.

To reduce nutrient emissions from agriculture, it is crucial that political action is taken by setting aside 600,000 hectares of agricultural land for nature. This will provide cleaner drinking water and improve biodiversity on land, says Greenpeace and the Danish Sport Fishing Association.

“The burial of Vejle marks a shift where the marine environment has now become a matter for all Denmark. And even though Vejle Fjord has become a symbol of decline of the marine environment, it will in future also represent the hope for a better future where all stakeholders take responsibility for getting life back for the fjord and inland waters,” added Manniche Ebert.

Photographs courtesy of Greenpeace

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