According to a new report by the “Öresund Water Co-operation” Recreational Sea Angling in the Öresund (the straight between Sweden and Denmark) might be worth over €50 million euros. EAA’s Swedish member (Sportfiskarna) has read the report and commented on the findings.
Öresund, the narrow entrance to the Baltic Sea, is one of the world’s most heavily trafficked waters. Due to that a trawling ban was implemented in 1932 and is still in place. As a result, there is a larger fish biomass there than in adjacent waters north and south. The report is based on extensive data collection from, among others, the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), DTU Aqua, the Agricultural Board, Copenhagen University, the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management (HaV), as well as interviews with commercial fishers and recreational angling organisations.
In short, the report found that the commercial fisheries landings in 2013-2016 were on average ca. 2,400 tonnes annually. The recreational catch figures show greater uncertainties but are estimated at about 1,000 -1,500 tonnes. The majority of fish caught are cod according to the findings but data for Danish herring and flatfish catches are not available. The total value of Danish and Swedish recreational fishing, based on the licences and the number of fishing days in the strait, is estimated to be between €49 and €55 million euro.
Moreover, the report suggests few changes to the actual trawling ban. This is in line with EAA Sweden and Denmark recommendations, among which:
•The trawling ban from 1932 should be maintained, preferably as a biological protection measure and not, as now, based on the lively vessel traffic alone;
•Stop for dredging in the sensitive areas of the northern part of Öresund;
•The uniquely strong cod stock should be assessed separately by ICES and not, as it happens today, as an inseparable part of the Western Baltic cod stock;
•A total trawl ban should be considered for Kilen, the northernmost part of the Öresund where trawling is now permitted during April-December;
•Regulations and minimum sizes should be coordinated between Sweden and Denmark.
The report is currently under final review and will be published later this month (February 2018). More information will be available on the Website of the Öresund Water Co-operation: www.oresundsvand.dk
Also, you can read Sportfiskarna’s article on the report (in Swedish) here.