Fishing grounds opened for oil exploration

Published by FiskerForum, 29-11-2017 · info@fiskerforum.dk

Norway’s Ministry of the Environment has cleared the way for Statoil to drill for oil on the Viking Bank. Jonny Berfjord, chair of the board of directors of Norwegian vessel owners’ organisation Fiskebåt, has expressed his disappointment at the decision.

‘Of course we are disappointed. We were waiting for our appeal on the decision of the Environment Directorate to be included in the ministry. This is an area that has been closed for fishing for several years, to protect the area’s fish resources,’ he said.

Fiskebåt, the Norwegian Fishermen’s Association, the Directorate of Fisheries and the Institute of Marine Research had provided clear advice against llowing oil industry activity in the area in question. The grounds around the Viking Bank are an important spawning area for sandeel. The fish live on the sandy seabed, spending most of their lives buried in the sand.

‘It seems remarkable that Statoil is now allowed to pursue activities with the danger of a spill taking place, just 300 metres from the sandeel fishing grounds,’ Jonny Berfjord said.

Source: Fiskebåt

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