Fisheries Exchange Norway

Fisheries Exchange Norway

More than 25 years ago, Norway introduced a ban on discards to stop the decline of the Arctic cod. As a result, stocks of the species have recovered. The country’s fisheries minister at that time, Lisbeth Berg-Hansen, declared: “I hope the rest of Europe will see this ban can be possible. Fishermen saw it as difficult at first but they have seen the quick results of this ban – the quota got bigger year by year.” (1)

The second exchange of the MINOUW project – organized by WWF – took place in Egersund, Norway, from 16 to 19 November 2016. Fishermen and scientists from Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece went to meet their Norwegian peers who are bottom trawling experts to evaluate how to improve the methods to reduce pre-harvest mortality and post-harvest discards in their Mediterranean fishing operations while avoiding damage to sensitive marine species and habitats.

Participants visited the Egersung Trawl company, one of the largest suppliers of trawling equipment to fishing fleets worldwide. In particular they were introduced the selective devices – grids – that are used to reduce bycatch in Norwegian fisheries.

The Mediterranean fishermen also went on board a typical local fishing vessel (76 meters long!).

“I was able to observe that in Norway they have multi-purpose fishing vessels: a fishing boat can carry out three types of fishing in a year and this allows them to reduce waste and environmental impact. In Sicily if you are fishing with a trawler you do the same type of fishing for 12 months and we cannot change. We welcome the kind of innovation we saw during our visit to Norway” declared a participant from Sicily.

The next and last exchange visit of the MINOUW project will be in Portugal next March.

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