The environment minister, Kirsten Brosbøl, and the food and agriculture minister, Dan Jørgensen, have revealed they intend to protect 650 square kilometres of the Kattegat Sea in a bid to improve its habitat conditions.
The protected area will be off limits for seabed trawling, the dumping of purified sand and gravel, and the exploration of raw minerals.
”Nature on the seabed and a number of rare animals in the sea are under pressure,” Brosbøl said in a press release. ”We must protect the habitat of the coral and crustaceans because they are an important part of our nature, even though they live far below the surface.”
The protected region consists of six areas that make up about four percent of the Danish part of the Kattegat.
But the government's decision, which still needs to be approved by parliament, isn't popular everywhere – particularly the island of Læsø. Its mayor, Tobias B Johansen, fears for the future of the island.
Johansen argues that the protected area includes two central areas that are critical to Læsø's world-leading langoustine fishing industry.
”Fishing in Læsø will stop and the fishing fleet will automatically vanish,” Johansen told Jyllands-Posten newspaper.
”We will lose out on harbour funds and jobs connected to the industry. We won't be able to manage.”