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Danish Fishery Traces Path of Sustainability

DENMARK - The Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries is supporting traceability in Danish fishery to ensure sustainable fishing. Traceability is the red thread that binds the whole fishing industry together and optimises the value chain from sea to table.

A food product network in northern Jutland, DTU Aqua (the National Institute for Aquatic Resources) and the Danish Directorate of Fisheries have just been granted a subsidy amounting to DKr 3.2 million for a new project on traceability.

The purpose of the project is to set up a traceability system that ensures thorough documentation of a sustainable and legal Danish fishery. The project is being implemented together with the fishermen to ensure their affiliation to the establishment of a reliable project for labelling fish.

The traceability system follows the fish from the point of catch to their consumption. This will be done through an integrated IT system that ensures correct registration of catches, documentation of sustainability and legality, and information to the consumer about the fish, its origin, preparation, etc.

Minister of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Eva Kjer Hansen is pleased about the project.

”The project is in accordance with the draft for a new European fisheries policy that I proposed to the European fisheries ministers at the end of September,” says the food minister. ”I am very much engaged in having the industry itself setting market standards and documentation methods that give us certainty that the fishing operations are sustainable. It is optimal if the industry itself can plan and document that it fishes within the overall framework laid down by the EU. This project is one of the links that will help document the concrete alternatives to the present fisheries policy in the EU.”

The framework and conditions for the subsequent IT system are to clarified during the project’s first phase. Including the Danish Directorate of Fisheries and DTU Aqua in the collaboration gives the Northern Jutland Food Net access to additional qualified knowledge.

The project will start in January 2009, and the preliminary results will be reported at the DanFish trade fair in Aalborg in October 2009.