The fisheries consultant’s thoughts on protected areas

03 February, 2022

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In the video above, fisheries consultant Henrik C. Andersson talks about the conservation area at Lännåkersviken at Gålö in the Stockholm archipelago. There was a total ban on fishing in that water between 2010 and 2015, and since then the fish have been protected during the spawning season.

Andersson believes that the County Administrative Board would have liked to extend the total ban on fishing, as it proved to work so well.

According to Martin Rydgren, an investigator at the Fisheries Regulation Unit of the Swedish Maritime and Water Agency, the agency took the matter further and put the proposal out for consultation. However, making the total ban permanent was not popular with some fishing rights holders, who in this case are the property owners around the bay. And since the ban had been so effective, it was doubtful whether there were any conservation reasons to ban the fishery, according to Rydgren.

– But the main reason we did it this way was that we wanted to test this management method. To see if the good effects of the total ban on fishing can be maintained by allowing limited fishing afterwards. To use the total ban on fishing as a boost for what will then be a conservation area,” he says.

Restrictions on fishing are not straightforward – especially in individual fishing grounds like this one,” says Rydgren. In the Fisheries Ordinance, the Government has given the Danish Agency for Marine and Water Management the mandate to regulate fishing precisely when there are reasons to protect fisheries.

– We have to be able to show that there is a need for the measures we are proposing,” says Rydgren.

The impact of protected areas is documented. And that the total ban on fishing at Lännåkersviken also produced good results was also clear. But whether the healthy fish stocks at Gålö will be maintained through protection during the spawning season remains to be seen.

– It’s an ongoing follow-up effort where we don’t have any clear results yet,” says Rydgren.

Reportage: Johan Candert and Daniel Hedström
Photo: Leif Eiranson

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