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New Regulations for Trawling in Skagerrak
The Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management decided last week to introduce new rules for trawling in the Skagerrak.
The purpose is to reduce ‘bycatch’ or unwanted fish that is unintentionally caught. “This decision means that it is now mandatory to use trawl nets with grids that sort out the bycatch of fish when trawling for shrimp and lobster,” says Bengt Kåmark, an analyst for international coordination.
The decision came about after the EU and Norway reached an agreement on a discard ban and a mutual design of certain fishing gear used in the Skagerrak which entails a more moderate approach to fishing compared to the tools currently being used.
In the EU’s area of the Skagerrak, the discard ban will likely be introduced as early as January 2014.
In the Norwegian zone of the Skagerrak, both the discard ban and the rules for the new, more selective gear were introduced 1 January 2013.
While waiting for the EU to adopt a regulation concerning both the discard ban and selective fishing gear, the Swedish and Danish governments have been eager to introduce the rules regarding selective gear on their own, a decision that the EU Commission has welcomed.
The new rules affect approximately 150 Swedish vessels and take effect on 1 February 2013.
“In the area of the Skagerrak where only Swedish fishing vessels have access, we have already had similar regulations on selective gear,” says Martin Rydgren, analyst for biodiversity and fishing. Such gear becoming mandatory throughout the entire Skagerrak is an important step in efforts to enhance certain fish populations such as cod.”
Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management
WorldFishingToday d. 24-01-2013