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New case for tinkering with fishing quotas: John got illegal herring for millions

'Among your colleagues in the profession, you do not tell too much about it'.

With this call to keep close, got the fish John Christensen from the island of Fur in Limfjorden awarded special sildekvoter for between one and a half and three million of kontrolchef Mik Jensen in Fiskeristyrelsen - even if it was the plug in against the rules.

I thought, that it is perfectly ok that I should not go and kæfte up around it. I would not be the agency for cargo. It was a special case, where I got dispensation to catch some fish. And I figured since with the fact that everything was in order, says John Christensen for the Extra Magazine.

Everything was not in order, should it prove.

John Christensen is speechless over Fiskeristyrelsen. Photo: Claus Bonnerup

the Case takes a beginning in november 2016, where the 39-year-old John Christensen applied for a special sildekvoter (generationsskiftesild, as it is called), which is reserved for the young or start-up fishermen, and that would give him the right to catch 200 tonnes of herring each year for three years.

But when John bought his cutter Emma in 2015 and first applied for the special late-allowances in 2016, he lived not up to the requirements.

- In principle I should just sell my cutter to a colleague and then buy it back again. So would the date fit and I could get access to the quotas. But such antics, I will not go in. Therefore I called the agency and asked for waiver and got it.

- I thought it was nice with an official - Mik Jensen - could well see the sense in that, just because I had missed a date, so I should not be punished. I was just assigned some fish, which I could have gotten, and I thought that everything was as it should be.

But it was not.

John Christen bought the cutter Emma in 2015. It gave him trouble to live up to the quota rules. Photo: Claus Bonnerup

in addition to John Christensen should keep close with its lucrative and illegally awarded allowances, selected NaturErhvervsstyrelsen (now called the Fiskeristyrelsen, ed.), that the case should not journaliseres and thus exists in John's application and approval, in principle, not.

It shows an email from Fiskeristyrelsen to John from 8. February of this year, which Ekstra Bladet has gained an insight into.

- the Board has been aware of the information, which has given rise to doubts whether the requirements for your førstegangstildeling of generationsskiftesild was fulfilled in 2017, writes and continues:

- Therefore will Fiskeristyrelsen re-evaluate whether the conditions for førstegangstildeling of generationsskiftesild was met (...). It will also be considered whether the assessment will affect your application for reallocation of generationsskiftesild in 2019, they write.

Excerpt of email from Fiskeristyrelsen to John Christensen 8. February 2019.

- It means that I can't be sure that I am allowed to fish for years, because they do not have it in the system. So their mistake now is going to go out on me, says John.

Expert on the agency's method of operation: Breach of the law

an Expert in administrative law, Stone Bønsing from Aalborg University, believes that kontrolchef in Fiskeristyrelsen, Mik Jensen, with his comment that John Christensen should keep close on its allocation of allowances, the evidence that the committee were well aware that the rules were broken.

he tells This to TV2, where he also says that the Mik Jensen and NaturErhvervsstyrelsen, as Fiskeristyrelsen was in the past, broke the law, when John's case was not journaled.

- This is a must. It stands in the law. The authorities must be responsible for, that you have done well, and it can't when you can't control it, says Stone Bønsing for TV2.

- What happens if you don't get awarded a quota?

- So I can't catch fish. Longer is not. I'm addicted to the quota.

- But it makes me, of course, mega angry. We have spent a lot of money on the cutter to be able to catch fish going forward, and because of their error should I - a small fish from the Limfjord - are punished.

Mik Jensen is suspended from his position in the Fiskeristyrelsen. It is far from the first time that the former kontrolchef have been involved in the mess with the distribution of fishing quotas. Photo: DR.
Kontrolchef in Fiskeristyrelsen, Mik Jensen, is currently suspended from his position. It happened already in 2017, when he was involved in a case concerning a sponsorship from the largest Danish fishermen - kvotekongerne - to the sailing club at the Dragør sailing club, where Mik Jensen was chairman of the board.

Mik Jensen does not want to comment to Extra Blade.

the Current fisheries minister Eva Kjer Hansen (V) to call the opposite TV2 the matter 'very serious' and 'worrying'. It can sildefiskeren from the Limfjord well recognize. In each case, in relation to what is going on in the Fiskeristyrelsen.

- the Agency is a big failure. Bogus, fraud and corruption all the way around. They make me the villain. It is damn well those who have made a mistake. Not me.

the History of John Christensen and the illegal handling of fishing quotas is just the latest example in a long line of stories about the chaos in the Danish fisheries.

Stories, among other things, cost the then Environment and Food, Esben Lunde Larsen, responsible for fisheries, and which pulls the trawl to Danish prime minister, Lars Løkke Rasmussen (V).

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