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June 10, 2013

Monday 10 June 2013, Sweden

BY: Magnus Eckeskog




Today we made some dives, underwater photography and filming in the Sound. We launched the zodiac in the beautiful village of Ålabodarna. We were greeted by a super friendly harbor captain, making the launch of the zodiac very smooth. In the morning we made some diving near the mainland in the shallow waters and in the afternoon we took the zodiac over to the island of Ven, about 4 nautical miles offshore. During the diving session we saw some beautiful sea grass meadows and spotted some big cods as well as flatfish. We made two underwater filmings with the RoV off the southern tip of Ven. The first attempt was made in a deeper area at about 22 meters depth. The bottom was muddy and the current was strong making visibility low, so we were unable to see much but a few brittle stars. The second filming was made close to the shore at about 6 meters where we found a nursery area for fish, consisting of mostly brown algae. There was a lot of juvenile fish. However, the visibility was low, so we were unable to see what species they were. It will probably be easier to identify them on the computer later when time allows. Perhaps Mike can help us in the office…

During the day when we had some spare time, I had an interesting conversation with Magnus (not myself…), a local fisherman. Four years ago Magnus decided to quit his day job and invest in a fishing boat. His grandfather was a fisherman too and he grew up in the village, so he was not completely inexperienced when entering the trade. Since it is prohibited to trawl in Öresund, Magnus uses passive gears, mostly bottom set nets targeting herring and cod. His boat is comparatively small and I would dare to say that his fishery fits into the category that we in the environmental movement sometimes refer to as Low Impact Fisheries – a fishery which has a comparatively low negative impact on the ecosystem, as opposed to more destructive fishing methods like bottom trawling.  Interestingly his business is doing rather well, allowing him to make a good living as well as new investments in his business. Considering that we saw some rather large size fish today as well as beautiful habitats, it is quite positive to see that an area can host a healthy ecosystem and a viable fishery at the same time.