FISHERY COUNTRY PROFILE

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

FID/CP/DEN
Rev.4

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October 2004

PROFIL DE LA PÊCHE PAR PAYS

Organisation des Nations Unies pour l'alimentation et l'agriculture

RESUMEN INFORMATIVO SOBRE
LA PESCA POR PAISES

Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Agricultura y la Alimentación

THE KINGDOM OF DENMARK

Greenland Fishery Sector Overview

GENERAL ECONOMIC DATA

Area:
(excluding Faeroe Islands and Greenland)

43 075 km2

Shelf area (to 200 m):

approx. 105 000 km2

Length of coastline:

7 314 km

Population (2003):

5 400 000

GDP at producer’s price (2003):

US$ 212.4 billion


FISHERIES DATA

Commodity Balance (2001):

Production

Import

Export

Total supply

Per caput supply

tons in live weight

kg/year

Fish for direct human consumption

362,232

863,728

1,114,179

123,643

23.2

Fish for animal feed and other purposes

1,189,780

Source: FAO-FIDI Food balance sheet of fish and fishery products

Estimated employment (2000):

Primary sector:
fisheries:
aquaculture:
total:


5 399
955
6 354

Secondary sector:

11 095

Trade (2002):

Value of imports:

US$ 849.8 million

Value of exports:

US$ 2 872 million

2. A description of the management regime in place

1. Introduction

Denmark consists of 400 islands of various sizes - to a total of 43 000 square kilometres. The coastline is approx 7 300 km.

For a long time Denmark has been a fishing nation, with processing a natural corollary and trading a major activity. Approx 17 500 persons are employed in the fisheries sector (fishery, processing, aquaculture and sales). Furthermore, a significant number is employed in industries related to the activities of the fisheries sector. Though the overall contribution of the fisheries sector to the Danish economy is relatively minor, about 0,5 pct., fisheries constitute a very important economic activity in specific regions of Western and Northern Jutland and the island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea.

There are basically three types of fishery in Denmark:

The following Associations part-take in the political process:

  • The industrial fishery for fishmeal and fish oil, mainly for sandeel, Norway pout, blue whiting and sprat in the North Sea, sprat in the Skagerrak/Kattegat, and sprat in the Baltic Sea,

  • The pelagic fishery for human consumption, mainly herring and mackerel stored in tanks and landed whole,

  • The demersal fishery for white fish (cod, hake, haddock, whiting, saithe), flatfish (sole, plaice, flounder etc), lobster and deep water prawns.

Figure 1. Denmark and nearest waters


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The major part of the production is exported. The EU is the most important market for Danish fishery products; in 2001, 79 pct. of the total exports went to other EU member countries. The value of Danish exports of fish and fishery products was 18.6 billion DKK in 2001, and imports, which are dominated by unprocessed fish, came to 11.3 billion DKK.

The general framework for Danish resource management is the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) of the European Community. The CFP contains an agreement on the allocation of resources between member states as well as general rules on technical conservation measures, fisheries control, market arrangements and structural policy.

1.0. The Danish fisheries sector

1.1. Landings and catches of fish

Most of the revenue earned by Danish fishers derives from species which are in the EU quota system. Other important species in the Danish fisheries are i.a. European eel, European flounder, common shrimp, garfish and blue mussel.

Many fisheries are mixed fisheries for species for human consumption; for example Norway lobster, cod and sole in the Kattegat or cod and haddock in the North sea.

The Danish fishery consists of species for human consumption and species for reduction (fish oil, fish meal). The development in catches for the last ten years is shown in Figure 2 and 3.

Figure 2. Development in catches for human consumption and reduction
(fish meal and fish oil) measured in tonnes.


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The industrial fisheries (species used for fish meal and fish oil), which began in the early 1950s, fluctuated around a production trend of 1,4 million tonnes from 1994 to 1997, but from 1998 to 2002 the production level decreased to around 1,1 million tonnes. The fisheries of species for human consumption decreased gradually from around 500 000 tonnes in the beginning of the periode to 400 000 in 1997 and has more or less maintained that production level in the rest of the period. All in all, there has been a relative stable partition between the catches of species for reduction, constituting around 72-75 percent of all catches, and those for human consumption (i.e. 25-28 percent of all catches) in the period 1993 to 2002.

Looking at catches measured in value the picture alters a bit. Whereas catches of species for reduction has fluctuated from 600 million DKK to 1 billion DKK for the hole period in question, there has been an upward trend in the value of catches of species for human consumption to a total of more than 2,5 billion DKK in 2002.

 Figure 3. Development in catches for human consumption and reduction
(fish meal and fish oil) measured in value (1000 DKK).


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The last ten years development in the catches of the most important species for human consumption and for reduction is shown in figure 4 and 5, respectively.

From 1993 to 1996 the catch of cod (left scale axis) almost doubled whereas that of blue mussels (left scale axis), mackerel (left scale axis) and to a lesser extent plaice (left scale axis) decreased. Since 1996 the catch of cod has decreased steadily to reach its lowest level in 2002. Inversely, blue mussels and mackerel increased catching up on former catch levels. The catch of plaice more or less stabilised from 1996 on. The catch of herring (right scale axis) followed its own pattern with an overall downward trend reaching its lowest level in 2002.

 Figure 4. Development in catches of the most important species for human consumption measured in tonnes (right scale axis for herring, left scale axis for all the others).


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The catch levels of the most important species for reduction has followed a very volatile pattern, especially in the case of Norway pout (left scale axis). Overall, the catch levels of Norway pout decreased dramatically from 1993 to 2002, though it peaked in 1995 and increased again in 2000. From 1993 to 1997 the development in catch levels for sandeel (right scale axis) and European sprat (left scale axis) followed an identical pattern with an upward surge. But afterwards the catch of sandeel decreased sharply from 1997 to 1999 but gained a little back from 1999 to 2002. All in all, in 2002 the catch level of sandeel is back on its 1993 catch level. The catch of European sprat (left scale axis) followed a more smooth decline from 1999 to 2002 and remain well above its 1993 level.

Figure 5. Development in catches of the most important species for reduction measured in tonnes (right scale axis for sandeel, left scale axis for all the others). 


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1.2. The fishing fleet

The Danish fishing fleet is dominated by trawlers, gill netters and poundnets. Over half of the fleet consists of vessels under 5 GT – predominantly gill netters. At the other end of the spectrum 180 vessels, trawlers and purse seiners, are over 150 GT. About 80 percent of the Danish fleet consists of vessels under 24 metres.

Important fishing areas for the Danish fishing fleet are the North Sea, the Skagerrak, the Kattegat, the Baltic Sea, the Belts and the Sound, but also the larger fjords and distant waters. The Danish fishing fleet is, in general, flexible. Vessels often take part in different fisheries throughout the year, and fishing patterns change from year to year.

As shown in figure 6 the number of Danish vessels has been reduced with around 20 percent from 1995 to 2001. From 1987 to 2001 1,197 vessels have been decommissioned with capacity reduction subsidies, in line with EU decommissioning schemes. At the same time the number of new vessels entering the fleet has been restricted.

Total tonnage has increased slightly from 1995 to 2001. A greater part of the fleet is being measured in GT rather than GRT. The GT measure often gives a higher tonnage than the GRT measure. In 2001 total tonnage decreased due to the introduction of a decommissioning scheme.

The development in the Danish fishing fleet from 1995-2001 is shown in Figure 6.

Figure 6. Development in Danish fishing fleet, 1995 – 2001

(right scale axis for GT/GRT, left scale axis for number of vessels).


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 The categories and size distribution of the Danish fleet are shown in Table 2, covering all vessels.  

Table 2: The Danish fishing fleet as per 31/12 2001, grouped by category and GT/GRT

GT/GRT

Trawlers

Danish Seiners

Purse seiners & multi-purpose vessels

Liners, gill netters and others

Total

- 19.9

261

18

168

2964

3411

20 - 49.9

168

56

19

65

308

50 - 99.9

61

15

3

20

99

100 - 249.9

94

2

4

6

106

250 -

96

0

12

0

108

Total

680

91

206

3055

4032

1.3. The processing industry, trading firms and employment

In 2000, Denmark had 738 companies dealing with processing and trade in fish products: 83 in smoking and drying, 47 in canning and filleting, 5 in fish meal and fish oil, 310 in wholesale trade and 293 in retail trade. The Danish fishing industry, including the processing industry, consists mainly of small and medium sized companies.

The processing sector can be divided up in four main and fairly traditional product groups:

  • Frozen fish: fish landed and frozen whole for reexport,

  • Preserved products: canned fish, fish in sauces etc,

  • Chilled fish: smoked, marinated, etc,

  • Fishmeal and fish oil: for domestic use and for export.

This product range has remained stable for several years and most of what is processed in Denmark goes for export.

Employment in the Danish fishing and fish processing industry from 1996 to 2000 is shown in table 3.

Table 3. Number of employees in fishing and fish processing industry in Denmark

Type of company

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

Fisheries

5656

5274

5228

5245

5399

Aquaculture

1213

1087

989

931

955

Smoking and drying

1512

1913

1568

1578

1704

Canning and filleting

6473

5220

5251

4962

4859

Fish meal and fish oil

603

499

488

472

424

Wholesale trade

3237

3399

3292

3099

3060

Retail trade

909

901

955

998

1048

Total

19612

18293

17771

17285

17449

2. A description of the management regime in place

A description of the management regime that covers the EU has been formulated by the European Commission.

3. A description of the main fisheries where above market-like instruments/incentives are in use, with respect to their biological, technical, economic and social characteristics

3.0. The management regime in Denmark

The general framework for Danish resource management is the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) of the European Economic Community. The management responsibilities are thus shared.

Once the TAC/quota agreement is adopted in December, the national management scheme is decided by Ministerial Order. The principles used in the management scheme are discussed with the fishermens organisation and the fishing industry before the conditions are finally assigned. The discussions take place in the Regulatory Committee at which the organisations and the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries are represented. The Regulatory Committee meets every month to evaluate the present catch/quota situation for possible changes. The Regulatory Committee was set up in 1979 to advise the Minister of Fisheries both on national administration of the allocated quotas and the national capacity policy.

A series of national management schemes has been put into operation in order to achieve continued fishing opportunities, whilst at the same time ensuring that Danish quotas allocated under the CFP are not exceeded.

3.1. Policy instruments

Instruments used are i.a.

  • Vessel catch limits (e.g. on a monthly basis)

  • Individual Transferable Quotas (only for herring)

  • Days at sea (limiting the days at sea per month)

  • Time closures (e.g. in weekends, summer, etc.)

  • Licenses (limited as well as not limited access)

  • Minimum landing sizes (in some cases higher than those of the CFP)

  • Exclusion of specific gear types in specific areas

  • Limits on engine power in certain areas

  • Notifying the fisheries control before landing

  • Satellite surveillance of vessels.

When deciding on which instruments to use in a specific fishery many factors are taken into consideration, i.a.

  • the nature of the fishery (seasons etc.)

  • is it a directed fishery, mixed fishery or mainly bycatch

  • the market situation

  • experience from the regulation in previous years

  • the need for adjustments due to development in catches and quotas

  • natural fishing patterns of the fleets.

Quotas for a number of the most significant species in the Danish fishery have been decreasing. This has implied that both the annual Order of management and the monthly changes to the Order have become more and more detailed.

A wide variety of management measures has been introduced over the years, inter alia catch limits during different periods, vessel rations according to vessel size, periodic bans, tie-up schemes, demand for notification, bonus quotas in the pelagic fisheries given to vessels with a high percentage of catches used for human consumption, etc.

The Danish management of fishery builds on access regulation in combination with regulation of the total fleet capacity measured by tonnage and engine power. Access regulation implies that in order to fish a person must be an authorised full time/part time fisher and the vessel must be registered as a fishing vessel and granted a license. This license specifies at the same time the technical capacities of the vessel, i.e. tonnage and engine. In other words, fleet capacity constitutes an integrated part of the access regulation.

In 1989, the regulatory system was expanded to include catch quotas per vessel per month, per week or per trip for cod, haddock and saithe. For pelagic fisheries, this principle was used for herring and mackerel. The system has later been extended to include more species.

In 2003, the regulatory system introduced Individual Transferable Quotas (ITQ) for herring in the North Sea, Skagerrak and Kattegat. ITQs have been distributed to vessels according to their historical catches in preceding years. For the moment, ITQs for herring is expected to run for 5 years until the end of 2007.

Economic incentives have been the preferred instrument in controlling the fleet capacity development by granting financial support when decommissioning vessels under the EU fleet management schemes.

The Danish fishing fleet is, as mentioned above, generally flexible; vessels often take part in different fisheries throughout the year - and the fishing patterns change from year to year. Regulations have, accordingly, been drawn up to allow the vessels to participate in whichever fishery the vessel owner finds most attractive; only in some fisheries has access been limited by licences.

3.2.               A Summary of policy instruments used in the regulation of the Danish fisheries

A summary of policy instruments used in the regulation of the Danish fisheries is shown in table 4. A continuous evaluation of the applied policy instruments takes place in order to keep the Danish regulation of its fisheries in accordence with the EU regulation. Therefore, table 4 reflects the current state of play that may alter depending on how the fishery and the conditions behind it developes.

Table 4. Summary of policy instruments used in the regulation of the Danish fisheries, 2003

Regulated fishery

Policy instrument applied

Comments

Cod in the North Sea and the Skagerrak.

Periodic catch limits depending on vessel length.

No license needed.

Rations are not the same in the North Sea and the Skagerrak.

First marketing of all cod shall take place through public auctions.

Cod in the Kattegat.

Periodic catch limits depending on vessel length.

Catches must not without permission be brought into other waters and landed in harbours situated in other water (with 2 exceptions).

Cod in the Baltic Sea and the Belts.

Periodic catch limits depending on vessel length or annual vessel quotas.

Vessels must have a licence.

Hake in the North Sea.

Periodic catch limit independent of vessel length.

No license needed.

Hake in the Skagerrak and the Kattegat.

No quantitative restrictions for the moment. No license needed.

Haddock (the North Sea, the Skagerrak, the Kattegat, the Baltic Sea and the Belts).

Periodic catch limits depending on vessel length.

Rations are not the same in the North Sea compared to the other waters.

Saithe (all waters).

Periodic catch limits depending on vessel length.

No license needed.

Blue Whiting in the North Sea.

No regulation until a treshold level has been reached.

Blue Whiting in the Norwegian zone.

No fishery allowed for the moment.

European Plaice (the North Sea, the Skagerrak, the Kattegat, the Baltic Sea and the Belts).

No regulation until a treshold level has been reached. No license needed.

Common Sole in the North Sea.

Periodic catch limits depending on vessel length.

Catches must not without permission be brought into other waters and landed in harbours situated in other water.

Common Sole (the Skagerrak, the Kattegat, the Baltic Sea and the Belts).

Periodic catch limits depending on vessel length.

No license needed.

Catches must not without permission be brought into other waters and landed in harbours situated in other water.

Northern Prawn (the North Sea (EU zone), Norwegian zone in North Sea, the Skagerrak and the Kattegat).

No quantitative restrictions for the moment. No license needed.

In Norwegian zone no regulation until a treshold level has been reached.

Norway lobster (the North Sea, the Skagerrak, the Kattegat, the Baltic Sea and the Belts).

Periodic catch limits depending on vessel length.

No license needed.

Rations are not the same in the North Sea and the other waters.

Catches must not without permission be brought into other waters and landed in harbours situated in other water.

Sprat in the North Sea.

Periodic catch limits depending on vessel length.

No license needed.

Sprat in the Limfjord.

Periodic catch limit independent of vessel length.

Vessels must have a licence.

Sprat the Baltic Sea and the Belts.

Periodic catch limit dependent on vessel length. Vessels must have a license.

Sprat in the Skagerrak and Kattegat.

Periodic catch limits independent of vessel length.

Vessels must have a licence.

Salmon in the Baltic Sea and the Belts (EU zone).

Vessels must have a licence.

Mackerel in the North Sea, the Skagerrak, the Kattegat.

Periodic catch limits or annual vessel quotas.

Vessels must have a licence.

Herring in the North Sea, the Skagerrak, the Kattegat and ICES subareas I and II.

Individual Transferable Quotas for each vessel. Vessels must have a license.

ITQs are not absolute but constitute a share of the total quota.

Herring in the Baltic Sea and the Belts.

Periodic catch limit dependent on vessel length. Vessels must have a license.

Species used for reduction - Sprat, Sandeel, Norway pout, Blue Whiting).

Vessels must have a license for fishing species used for reduction.

Before landing the catch the fisheries control must be notified.

The North Sea, the Skagerrak and the Kattegat: The share of unspecified fish must not exceed 25 percent of total catch on board.

Blue mussel

Licence and periodic catch limits.

Sandeel in the Norwegian zone.

No quantitative restrictions for the moment. No license needed.

Angler, Lemon Sole and Witch flounder in the North Sea.

No regulation until a treshold level has been reached.

Ling in the Skagerrak, the Kattegat, the Baltic Sea and the Belts (EU waters).

No fishery allowed for the moment.

Other species in the Norwegian zone in the North Sea.

Periodic catch limits independent of vessel length.

No license needed.

Fishery in the waters West and South of the British Isles.

Vessels must have a license.

Atlantic Horse Mackerel in the waters West of the British Isles and in the English Channel.

Vessels must have a license.