Copenhagen.- Denmark is one of the world’s largest importers and exporters of fish and fish products. If Danish fisheries were healthy and well managed over the next ten years, the total revenues in the fishing sector would increase by at least 248 million EUR and in the direct fishing industry alone 900 new jobs would be created, according to a new study released by Oceana.
The social and economic value of recovering fisheries had not been calculated in such a comprehensive manner, until now.
The study reveals that restoring fish stocks to sustainable levels in Denmark would increase:
– The total weight of fish landings by 642,000 tonnes per year (+74%)
– The net revenue of the fishing sector by 248 million euros per year
– Employment opportunities by 900 in the fishing sector and additional 4300 in associated downstream industries such as retail and consumer goods
The findings highlight the urgent need for strong political changes that could eventually benefit fisheries, fishers and the Danish economy.
“Sustainability is good for business. In less than ten years, the Danish fleet can catch 74% more fish sustainably if we allow fish stocks to rebuild. Sustainable fisheries would not only benefit fish stocks but also the Danish fishing sector and all related industries. More fish means more jobs and economic growth, but the full potential of Danish fishing can only be realized if we stop overfishing.” explained Lasse Gustavsson, Executive Director of Oceana in Europe.
According to the new Oceana study, Denmark shows the highest employment multiplier in the fisheries sector within the EU. Every job created in the direct fisheries in Denmark will create 4,7 jobs within associated industries.
Furthermore, catches of Denmark holds about 44% (2,444 tonnes in 2018) of the total quota of the Western Baltic cod stock. The potential increase could be close to 40 thousand tonnes, if fished sustainably and the stock recovers. This would result in additional 17,600 tonnes of catches for Denmark and potentially generate 32 million EUR.
The results of the study come after an agreement reached by EU’s Agriculture and Fisheries Council (AGRIFISH) on the 2018 fishing limits for the Baltic Sea, where the Council regrettably decided to set the Western Baltic cod quota at 5,597 tonnes (same as 2017), which not only exceeds scientific recommendations but also undermines the goal of the Common Fisheries Policy to fish at sustainable levels by 2020.
Oceana has continuously urged EU-decision makers to give up the short-term approach of setting unsustainable fish catch limits and instead take urgent action to put an end to overfishing in European waters once and for all.
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