Illegal cod fishing in the Oslofjord: – World Today News

– Nobody knows how much cod is fished illegally. But the visions that we divers regularly see underwater are clear signs that some people are either deliberately engaging in environmental crime or are unaware of the cod rules in the fjord where they are fishing.

Fredrik Myhre is a marine biologist and leader of the marine team at the WWF World Wide Fund for Nature. He says divers all too often find gutted cod down on the fjord bottom.

– I get it right too, as there are indications from the public that someone has intentionally fished protected cod in various places in the Oslofjord.

ILLEGAL: This sight is a regular sight for divers in the Oslofjord. Photo: Fredrik Myhre / WWF World Wide Fund for Nature
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– What are your thoughts?

– I am both sad and angry about such realizations. Sad because the cod stock in the Oslofjord is at a historically low level and needs our help to rebuild. Cursed because someone is either fishing it with knowledge and will, or just hasn’t bothered to familiarize themselves with the rules that govern fjord fishing.

Willful environmental crime

Compared to most European countries, recreational sea fishing in Norway has a long tradition as a right of public access. The combination of nature experiences, relaxation and hobbies is good for your physical and mental health. And if you’re lucky, you’ll bring fish home for dinner.

But before you cast out the line in hopes of a bite, be aware that cod are fully protected all year round from Vestfold and Telemark to the border with Sweden. These are measures introduced to conserve the cod stock. In addition, there are 14 defined areas along the Skagerrak coast where fishing is completely prohibited from January to April.

However, this does not prevent the amount of gutted fish at the bottom of the Oslofjord.

COMPLETE PEACE: No one knows how much cod is being illegally fished in the Oslofjord.  Photo: Fredrik Myhre / WWF World Wide Fund for Nature

COMPLETE PEACE: No one knows how much cod is being illegally fished in the Oslofjord. Photo: Fredrik Myhre / WWF World Wide Fund for Nature
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– This most likely stems from intentional environmental crime or unconscious stupidity, Myhre believes.

– There are so many information posters around quays and known fishing spots along the Oslofjord that the cod is protected and therefore not allowed to be fished. It’s also written in several languages, so anyone who fishes the fjord should have noticed by now, he explains.

Marine Biologist: Fredrik Myhre is the leader of the marine team at the WWF World Wide Fund for Nature.  Photo: Geir Barstein / WWF World Wide Fund for Nature

Marine Biologist: Fredrik Myhre is the leader of the marine team at the WWF World Wide Fund for Nature. Photo: Geir Barstein / WWF World Wide Fund for Nature
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demands for higher fines

The fact that the cod is fully protected is due to the historically low stock. Myhre emphasizes that the ban also largely applies to recreational fishermen.

– It is absolutely crucial that everyone follows the laws and rules that have been put in place for cod if we can take care of them. In addition, of course, we need a larger rescue package for the Oslofjord so that the cod habitats are secured for the future, explains the marine biologist.

– The world is in both a climate crisis and a natural crisis. Incidentally, the Oslofjord is also proof of this. The cod in the fjord here are struggling with a warmer fjord, runoff and drainage problems, and widespread overfishing over a long period of time, he continues.

SEVERAGE: From a seizure of illegally caught cod on Nesodden in the summer of 2021.  In addition, some are below the minimum size that has been in place for cod for many years.  Photo: Private

SEVERAGE: From a seizure of illegally caught cod on Nesodden in the summer of 2021. In addition, some are below the minimum size that has been in place for cod for many years. Photo: Private
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The consequences of illegal fishing vary from case to case depending on the extent.

– We need to set up a system that leads to solid fines for intentional environmental crimes. It should also be the case that almost anyone who fishes in the fjord should be required to familiarize themselves with what species of fish can and cannot be caught.

They do this when the accident is over

Myhre emphasizes that he loves that people want to take advantage of the values ​​that nature offers.

– At the same time, it is important that you familiarize yourself with the laws and regulations that apply to sea fishing if you want to use a fishing rod or a crab stone, for example.

HEADCAPE: Illegally caught cod at Alværn Pier on Nesodden.  Photo: Fredrik Myhre / WWF World Wide Fund for Nature

HEADCAPE: Illegally caught cod at Alværn Pier on Nesodden. Photo: Fredrik Myhre / WWF World Wide Fund for Nature
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– What advice would you give to those who are unlucky enough to hook cod?

– Then you should unhook the fish as carefully as possible and try to put it back into the sea viable.

You can easily download the Recreational Fishing Rules to your phone through an app called Recreational Fishing or by going to Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries website.

Reference-www.nach-welt.com

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