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Herring fleet nets record catch despite seals

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Herring fleet nets record catch despite seals
Photo: DPA
07:45 CET+01:00
Germany's herring fleet is netting record catches, pulling in five times as many fish than normally seen at this time of year, despite complaints from fishermen about hungry seals.

The association of German cutter and inshore fishers said trawlers in the Baltic Sea had been remarkably successful since January.

“The crews have been delivering top catches of up to 100 tonnes a night from the Euro-Baltic region into Mukran. Catches like this have not been seen since German reunification,” said the association's chairman Nobert Kahlfuss.

Catches of around 20 tonnes per day were the norm over the last few years, he said. And not only were the catches now looking good, the quality was also high with some fishing boats approaching their annual quota already.

But the trawlers are not without competition – the fishermen have been complaining about an increasing number of seals eating fish, particularly in the Greifswald Bay area where nets are sometimes hauled up full of fish heads.

The gillnet fishers are also preparing for the season now that the melting ice is freeing the fleet.

The German herring quota in the western Baltic Sea is 11,532 tonnes – around a third more than last year. The fleet is now just under 300 boats, down from the 1,400 or so which used to operate from East Germany along the coast during the Cold War.

DAPD/The Local/hc

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