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Blog: copenhagen09

“Sea and climate: change the course”

Katie Day


Skipper of the Anton and founder of The Danish Society for a Living Sea Knud Anderson, is calling for a ban on brutal fishing methods to save energy and bio-diversity of the sea.

 Docked in the Copenhagen harbour for the duration of the climate summit, the crew on board the Anton want a law that bans trawl fishing to be agreed upon.

 “Our aims at the summit is to save biodiversity in the sea, support sustainable and nature gentle fishing and we want to fight against brutal fishing,” Knud said.

 “We want a law for an immediate ban on all trawl fishing”

 Knud explains that trawl fishing uses very heavy fishing equipment that drags along the bottom of the sea-bed using excess energy. Knud wants fisherman to switch to passive methods of fishing which he describes as anchor sailing, long lines and hook fishing.

 “Using these better methods will save half the energy per tonne of fish, compared to trawl fishing,” Knud said.

 “If in Denmark, there was a ban on using trawl fishing and they only use these passive fishing methods, then Denmark fishing could reduce their energy consumption by half.”

 Knud said he understands why some fisherman choose the trawling method, especially bigger companies who find it easier and quicker, but urges those who do to consider the environment.

 “Fuel is cheap, trawl fishing can be very effective to catch fish and there is not much work in it,” Knud explains.

 “Passive fishing requires fisherman to put more effort in rather than using the fuel, more handwork by the fisherman is required.”

 “But passive fishing is better for the environment and reduces energy consumption to help combat climate change.”

Knud believes that the world needs to think differently about the way that we work on the water, believing there are other things that seaman can do to reduce their impact on the climate.

 “If cargo ships in Denmark reduced their speed by 25% they would save 50% fuel,” Knud said.

 “When we go at the speed of 9 knots we use 35% of fuel, when we go 7 knots we use 14%.”

 “Phasing out trawl fishing and slowing down will help reduce our impact on the climate.”

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It's done - COP15 was from 7-18 December 2009 - and did not reach the expected results. We (the student newsroom and lab) worked from 6-15 December - and reached more than we expected.

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