Fish stocks “much better” than twenty years ago

In partnership with The European Commission
Ocean Copyright euronews
By Euronews
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North Sea benefits from stricter regulations on fish "dumping"

Johan Grahn is a fisherman who specialises in fishing for prawns and langoustines off the coast of Sweden.

Today he’s catching double his haul from a few years back.

"The prawn fishing is much better these days than 20 years ago,” he says. “I think we catch around 35-40 tons of prawns per year. You can just go back a couple of years — the common catch was about 18-21 tons."

Tougher EU regulations banning the dumping of fish back into the sea have encouraged fishermen to be more selective on what they catch: any unwanted fish still count in their annual quotas, so they have an interest in adopting equipment that spares smaller, younger fish.

Grahn shares his boat with a second captain.

"We are two owners of the boat, and both of us have the captain status,” he says. "It’s a good size boat for prawn fishing when you are two, and we've got a big cargo hold as well, with cooling systems. We’ve got banks there, and we’ve got a microwave, the toilet and shower, and everything. So it’s a good working place.”

Most of his catch goes for export, he says: "I think 90% of all prawns that we fish here are going abroad, especially to France, Italy and Spain.

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