Economically sustainable fishery for Nephrops in Skagerrak and Kattegat (ØBJ-FISK) (38865)

Project Details


Optimizing the exploitation of the resources of the sea areas Skagerrak and Kattegat is central to promote an economically sustainable development in the region.

Norway lobster or Nephrops is one of the economically most important resources for the majority of the commercial fishery in the Kattegat-Skagerrak (KASK)-region where the annual first value was app. 350 million DKR in 2011. Nephrops are mainly caught in bottom trawls (95 % of the total landings), where other species such as cod and sole constitute part of the by-catch. A minor fishery with creels – partly commercial and partly recreational – takes place along the Swedish and Norwegian coast in areas that are generally inaccessible to the trawlers. Taking into account the majority of the Nephrops landings in the KASK region are sold directly to the local fish processing industry or are sold directly in the local areas, the total socio-economic value is much higher than the first value.

In later years, there has been a shift towards an ecosystem-based management e.g. through the NATURA2000 regulations or the Community Action in the field of Marine Environmental Policy. The consequence of this shift is that the focus is no longer on the state of single species but on the entire marine ecosystem. This has led to regulations aiming at reducing discard of unwanted catch as well as reducing the impact of fishing on vulnerable habitats. Regulations that among other things include a discard ban (implemented for Skagerrak by Norway, Denmark and Sweden in 2013), area closures, reductions in number of days at sea, and minimization of unwanted by-catch, have caused uncertainty in the fishing industry and limits the possibilities of exploiting the resource maximally. To ensure an economically sustainable growth of the Nephrops fishery in the KASK region, an increased collaboration between science and industry is needed as is innovation in the design of low impact fishing gears and a reliable stock assessment.

The project aimed at:
- Establishing a platform where the industry, the science, and the managers could work together to identify the challenges that restrain an optimal exploitation of the Nephrops resource
- Establishing a knowledge based collaboration to identify low impact fishing methods that may lead to future economically sustainable growth in the KASK region
- Improving the biological knowledge on which the stock assessment is based - Increasing the reliability of the stock assessment.

The project was coordinated by DTU Aqua and funded by EU, InterReg (regional collaboration).

Research area: Fisheries Technology
Effective start/end date01/06/201231/12/2014

Collaborative partners

  • Technical University of Denmark (lead)
  • Lund University (Project partner)
  • Institute of Marine Research (Project partner)
  • Aalborg University (Project partner)
  • Danish Fishermen's Association (Project partner)


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