In a broad political agreement, the Danish parliament have agreed to distribute DKK 917 million (123 million EUR) to Danish fisheries to support the implementation of the Marine, Fisheries and Aquaculture Program 2021-2023. The package includes DKK 138,3 million to make the fisheries industry more environmentally friendly, e.g. develop electric fishing vessels and land based aquaculture. Education of fishermen and remote electronic monitoring of fisheries, REM, will receive 204,6 million DKK.
Danish fisheries enjoy a strong support from all parties in parliament, the Folketing. All parties have agreed to develop danish fisheries in a greener and more sustainable direction. To support the development the parliament has decided to distribute almost 917 million DKK from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) for the period 2021-2023, according to a press release from Denmarks Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries.
Green and sustainable initiatives
The agreement leads, among other things, to the allocation of DKK 436.8 million for a number of green and sustainable initiatives. This is for example for the development and testing of greener technologies, new fishing methods, the development of fishing gear, river restoration and environmental and climate improvements in the aquaculture sector.
In addition, funds have been set aside to deal with the issue of seals and cormorants destroying fishermen’s catches. The agreement also strengthens efforts against ghost nets, just as money is set aside to support and develop the gentle and close coastal fishing for the benefit of the smaller communities. The Danish fisheries associations will also be able to receive support to promote the sale of fish.
Minister of Fisheries Rasmus Prehn (Social Democrats) welcomes the good cooperation that has existed throughout the negotiations, leading up to the parliament decision:
“I am glad that we reached such a broad agreement, where we jointly give a historic amount directly to support a more environmentally friendly fishery. We have all entered into negotiations with an ambition to help fisheries develop in a sustainable and more climate-friendly direction, so that Danish fishermen are better equipped for the challenges of the future. I would like to thank the parties for their commitment and cooperation. It is democracy at its best”, said the minister.
Torsten Schack Pedersen, fisheries spokesman for the Venstre (Liberal Party) said: “For Venstre, it is important that the agreement promotes the green transition in both fisheries and aquaculture. It is Danish positions of strength that get a helping hand for a green transition. At the same time, a sensible effort is ensured for coastal fishing and for the development of new and more gentle gear. Finally, it has been important for the Liberal Party that priority is also given to efforts to promote the sale of Danish fish.”
René Christensen, fisheries rapporteur for the Danish People’s Party, DF: “The Danish People’s Party is really happy that we have now landed an agreement in the fisheries area of DKK 300 million annually. We are especially pleased that there is now agreement to look at the problem of seals and cormorants in Danish waters. Now money is being set aside so that we can also find some solutions.”
Support for small scale low impact fisheries
Rasmus Nordqvist, fisheries rapporteur for Socialist People’s Party, SF, said: “In SF, we are pleased that the agreement supports low impact coastal fishing and sets in motion a climate change of the fishing fleet.”
Per Larsen, fisheries spokesman for the Conservatives, said: “We Conservatives have placed emphasis on promoting the green transition, with reduction of CO2 emissions, as well as securing facilities in the smaller ports and investing in coastal fishing. We have also had a strong focus on promoting the marketing of edible fish, which can contribute to improving public health.”
Kasper Roug, Fisheries Rapporteur for the Social Democrats, said: “I am really pleased that such a broad majority in the Folketing agrees to strengthen the development of coastal and low impact fishing. Specifically, we set aside funds to create better facilities in the smaller ports where coastal fish are landed, so that it will be easier for fishermen to sell their catch for the benefit of both fishermen and consumers. It is also good for the local communities, who benefit greatly from a well-functioning and healthy coastal fishery”
Susan Kronborg, fisheries rapporteur for the Radical Left: “The Radical Left is very happy in particular that EU funds have been prioritized for gentle fishing and gentle fishing gear. And the Radical Left is proud to have been given a leash in EU support in such a way – that if there is cheating, if there is tax evasion, if there is tax shelter – then we withdraw the support – back to the common fund.”
Søren Egge Rasmussen, fisheries rapporteur for the Unity List (Red-Green Alliance): “The Unity List has given priority to low impact coastal fishing in the negotiations. We also look forward to fisheries control being improved and, as something new, the clean-up of lost fishing gear will be started, restocking of eel and commercial use of seaweed will be supported. The fish farms do not get a penny, but in return there are funds to develop fish farming on land.”