Newlyn Fish Market - boats due to land.

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Fishing: controversy over the Danish seine

The Anthinéas, one of the trawlers transformed to fish with the Danish seine, with the Sands. Fuel economy, quality fish ... the success of this fishery worries the neighbours. The Anthinéas, one of the trawlers transformed to fish with the Danish seine, with the Sands. Fuel economy, quality fish ... the success of this fishery worries the neighbours.

The fisheries committee of Poitou-Charentes has voted for the ban along the coast. A blow to the new boats of Les Sables-d'Olonne.

" Unity is strength. If the fishermen fight each other, we will pay all the consequences, " pleaded José Jouneau, the president of the regional fisheries committee. The controversy swells around the Danish seine. A technique used since 2010 by a dozen boats, mainly from Les Sables-d'Olonne, and some of La Turballe and Pornic.

Last episode : Monday, the committee of Poitou-Charentes pronounced, for the third time but unanimously, in favour of the prohibition of this technique of fishing in the band of "12 miles", about twenty kilometers offshore. It is then up to the regional prefect to decide. Last year, that of Aquitaine followed the opinion of the fishermen.

For the Sablais, the scope of this decision could be of a different scale. While boats rarely go to Gironde, they often fish in Charente-Maritime, off the islands of Ré or Oléron.

"It would be likely to call into question the economic profitability of our ships, calculates Jacques Lebrevellec, the director of the Acav, the Vendée cooperative armament, based in Les Sables, co-owner of several seiners. And overall a whole sector: fishmongers, auction, etc. "


Why this ban? "The machine is hyper-performance, says Eric Renaud, vice president of the committee of Poitou-Charentes. Initially, two vessels benefited from exemptions. For two years, with more hindsight, professionals have changed their position. We must manage the resource for our small vessels."

The manager mentions the Channel, where this technique was authorised earlier. "There were clashes, with Dutch ships of 35 meters." The Acav disputes the first decree before the Administrative Court. That of Poitou-Charentes will be too, perhaps in summary.

Less fuel

The Danish seine has been an upheaval in Les Sables. After trips to Iceland, fishermen have launched, invested and laid up their boats for several months to transform.

The advantage? Softer, the technique is less fuel intensive. The fish is of better quality, the species are different. This helped to boost the auction of Les Sable, now the fourth in France.

Faced with this success, the neighbours are worried. The national fisheries committee has tried an agreement between regions. In vain: the last meeting, at the end of September, ended on a failure. "We asked for state mediation," said José Jouneau, vice-president. That everyone becomes aware of the scope of these decisions. "

Because the context, in full reform of European politics, remains complicated. "Quotas are always down. We are still told 40 % less . Certainly, we should succeed in negotiating. But in the end, each year the impact is greater. "

Seiners, who normally fish for other fish, will refer, in part, to quota species. "There will be more people for a smaller amount. The strong limitation of the Channel Bass will also have the same consequences. "

José Jouneau advocates for a "multi-species and multi-year" approach: broad and long-term negotiations. " Without visibility to more than a year, how can a company get by ?