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Sustainable capture fishery

Fischnews 350

The small coastal village Thorupstrand is located in the northwest of Denmark. A harbor is not necessary for this special fishery. As in the Middle Ages, the fishermen of the Thorupstrand fishing cooperative go fishing from the beach. A land-based winch pulls Viking-built ships into the water and back onto the beach.

With gillnets and Danish seine the fishery is primarily fishing for cod and plaice. The fishing boats move barely 25 nautical miles from the coast and are back on the beach within a day with their fresh caught fish. The fish is processed on site by the cooperative itself and is sold directly. The largest part is marketed through an auction in the nearby city Hanstholm.

Together and in equal parts, the Thorupstrand fishermen operate jointly over the cooperative's fishing quota. In a flexible system, the quotas are divided among each other annually. In addition a shared organized fishery on each individual boat, simplifies the entry into the fishery, especially for young fishermen. Because every fisherman, whether boat owner or simple crew member, will be equally involved in the profits.


Factsheet of the fishery

Fishing area: Skagerrak (20.3.a) and north of North Sea (27.4.b)

Fishing methods: Gillnets and Danish seine

Target fish species: Plaice

                                  Cod: Naturland certification suspended

Number of fishermen: 30

Number of boats: 8

Size of the boats: 12 - 14 meters


Naturland Wildfish certification

On April 12th of 2018, the first expert meeting took place in Thorupstrand, Denmark. On 29 January 2019 - after there had been no concerns or objections on the report - a positive certification decision was taken after examination of the facts and expert opinions.The Naturland Guidelines for Sustainable Fisheries require the publication of the relevant parts of the inspection report at least four weeks before the decision of the Naturland certification committee on the certification of a fishing project or on requirements within a certain period to be fulfilled. The publication is primarily intended to enable a wider circle of interested organisations, experts and private individuals to comment on the information in the inspection report or to critically question them.

Cod certification suspended
Originally, also cod was certified to the Naturland Wildfish standards. However, recent scientific calculations by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) have shown that the stock of cod in the North Sea, which was recently considered healthy, has fallen to critical levels. As a result, Naturland certification for the cod of Thorupstrand Fisheries has been suspended. The reasons for the decline in the cod stock have not yet been fully clarified - in addition to increasing fishing pressure, scientists assume that the warming of the North Sea and the associated weak production of young fish plays an important role.

file ico Project-specific management conditions

file ico Inspection report