Fishermen in Sweden are turning their backs on their trawlers according to new figures which reveal that a third of them have quit their jobs over the past 12 years as the industry continues to take a battering.
On the east coast 50 percent of fishermen have quit since 2002, while the average age of those still hauling their nets is over 50. Encouraging new people to take up the trade is proving difficult with recruitment figures remaining low.
"We say in Sweden that we want to promote local fishing and that it's ecological, but I say that it's high time that those who decide these things show it in action," said Christian Johannisson, a fishermen from the east coast told the newspaper.
Stricter EU regulations have had their impact on the decline of the fishing trade argued Johannisson, with fines handed out with regularity. He cited one incident where he was slapped with a 2000 kronor penalty ($300) after he reported having 20 kilos less of a catch than he had with him in the dock.
A new rule slashing the amount of cod which fishermen can catch from two tonnes to 800 kilos a week, due to declining stocks, has also hit them in the pocket he said.