An investigation has been handed over to Rural Affairs Minister Peter Kullgren (KD) with proposals for a general ban on bottom trawling in protected sea areas.
The investigation, which was added in connection with the January agreement between S, MP, C and L, proposes that bottom trawling be prohibited in national parks, nature reserves, biotope protection areas and Natura 2000 areas.
Today, trawl fishing is carried out in several areas within the so-called trawl limit – where trawling is generally prohibited. Bottom trawling in protected areas is also carried out, but to a very limited extent. It takes place in areas such as Kosterfjorden, Gullmarsfjorden, in the Kalix outer archipelago and Bergöfjärden in the Gulf of Bothnia. Mainly, it applies to fishing for whitefish, shrimp and crayfish.
The fishing method can cause serious damage to marine environments as the trawl, when dragged along the seabed, not only affects fish and shellfish but also tears up bottom sediments.
The number of vessels that bottom trawl in marine protected areas within the trawl limit is currently 146.
The investigation proposes a general ban on such fishing, but that exceptions should be granted if there are scientific or other special reasons.
The ban is proposed to come into force on 1 July 2025.
SLU Aqua in Lysekil has for several years filmed bottoms in three different marine protection areas. Bratten is a Natura 2000 area far out to sea towards the Norwegian border. It is located in an area that is one of Europe’s most fished places. Here it is possible to trawl right through the protection area, except in certain specific zones. Watch in the feature what it looks like on the bottom after a trawl has pulled out. …
Mattias Sköld is a researcher at SLU Aqua in Lysekil. He has been involved in filming the seabed in marine protected areas, including in Bratten, on behalf of the Norwegian Sea and Water Authority (HaV)….