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New Danish fisheries deal aims to reduce ‘quota kings’

Staff Writer |
Denmark’s government and parliamentary parties have agreed on a deal aimed to prevent the country’s fishing industry from being dominated by a small number of people.

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By introducing tighter regulation, increased control and stronger sanctions, the deal aims to prevent so-called quota kings from controlling large proportions of fishing licensing quotas issued by the state, in a move conservationist groups have called for to prevent overfishing.

“We will, to a far greater extent, achieve a fair balance in Danish fishing and help to prevent fishing falling into very, very few hands in future,” Minister for Fisheries Karen Ellemann told Ritzau, The Local reported.

The deal follows strong criticism by Denmark’s National Audit Office (Rigsrevisionen) and State Auditor (Statsrevisorerne) of the Ministry of Environment and Food’s administration of fishing quotas between 2003 and 2017.

New rules will ensure that outsourced fisheries are also taken into account when the quota of individual fishermen is assessed, a break from previous practice in which only official ownership was considered part of individual quotas.

The new rules will make it more difficult to own or manage excessive quotas through creative ownership constructions, writes Ritzau.

All fishing companies will also be legally obliged to register their economic involvement in other companies or individuals that own quotas, according to the agency’s report.

This will ensure that “limits are limits,” Ellemann said.

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