Overview of the Danish fisheries and aquaculture sector
Small vessels represent the bulk of the fleet (81%), while vessels longer than 24 m account for less than 3% and represent more than 63% of the total gross tonnage. This segment mostly consists of large pelagic trawlers. Around 80% of Danish vessels, that is vessels less than 12 m, use set gillnets. The remaining 20% of the fleet is made of vessels using bottom otter trawls (13%), boat dredges (3%) and other kinds of fishing gear. The latter is used mainly by vessels longer than 24 m.
In 2013 a total of 591 fishing ports were registered in Denmark, of which only 74 ports host more than ten vessels. The main Danish fishing port in terms of fleet capacity is Thyborøn in central Jutland, which accounts for ca. 20% of the total gross tonnage of the Danish ports. Other significant ports include Hirtshals and Skagen, both in the northern Jutland, with 16% and 12% of the gross tonnage respectively.
In 2013 total landings were 859 thousand tonnes with a total value of 461 million euros. The share of catches for human consumption is over 50% of the total and consists of pelagic fish (mainly herring and mackerel) and demersal white fish (cod, hake, haddock, whiting, saithe), flatfish (sole, plaice, flounder), lobster and deep water prawns. Species caught for animal feed are sandeel, Norway pout, blue whiting and sprat in the North Sea, sprat in the Skagerrak/Kattegat, and sprat in the Baltic Sea.
Land based farming tradition dates back to the mid-19th century. Jutland accounts for 70% of the total trout production. The techniques used are ponds, raceways, and recirculation systems producing small portion size trout. Other freshwater species such as European eel farmed in land-based recirculation units is also produced. Pike-perch, turbot and salmon are among the other species farmed. In 2012 there were 203 active land-based farms.
Sea cage farming in Denmark was introduced in 1970 and now represents 30 of the total trout production. Production has been growing since 2008 and products include both meat and trout eggs. In 2012 there were 19 active farms with 261 cages producing 10,387 tonnes of trout. Around 70% of the farming takes place in the Baltic Sea area.
Farming blue mussels on long lines is an activity that started in 2006. Farming takes place mainly in the Limfjord in the northern part of Jutland, but also in the Skagerrak and Kattegat. In 2012 the number of active farms was 46 with total production of 707 tonnes.
In 2013, Denmark imported approximately 660 000 tonnes of fish and seafood for the value of 2.3 billion euros. Norway was the main country in the Danish fisheries imports with 247 500 tonnes. Greenland (82 000 tonnes) and Sweden (65 000 tonnes) were other important suppliers of fish and seafood to Denmark. In the same year, Danish exports of fish and seafood reached nearly 780 000 tonnes for the value of 3 billion euros. Over 80% of the fish and seafood exports from Denmark were destined to the EU countries with Germany as the largest single market (over 168 000 tonnes).
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