PRESENTATION DOSSIER - CCR registration form

For EU Tacis. 1999




Landsforeningen Levende Hav (abbreviated "LLH") (The Danish Society For A Living Sea)

LLH is a non-profit non-governmental organisation based on Djursland, Denmark, and working to forward the following aims:

-         To work for the conservation of the maritime landscape and ensure the diversity of species in the associated flora and fauna.

-         To work for the future generations and their fisheries based on ecological principles that are sustainable both economically and socially and that ensure the employment in the different units of the trade.

These aims are sought accomplished through national and international co-operation in projects, workshops, discussions, and exchanges of knowledge, etc.

The society is organised in a general assembly with supreme authority, a board of directors, a secretariat, and a number of working and project groups. At present day, the society counts 200 members paying subscription. The project and working groups have high priorities in the society, since its objective is to gather experts on subjects concerning the sea around concrete work, rather than to represent general political opinions.

One of the working groups in the LLH is the "NGO Aral Sea Working Group Denmark" that has been engaged in international co-operation in and about the Aral Sea since 1995. This working group is responsible for the implementation of the running fishery project "From Kattegat to Aral Sea", which since 1995 has worked to improve the conditions of fishermen and their communities near the Aral Sea. The history and accomplishments of the fishery project are described below with reference to the relevant sectors, marked in the CCR registration form. The Danish Foreign Ministry, Danida and Demokratifonden, and a number of private funds have financially supported the work in the fishery project.

A brief chronological summary of the history of the fishery project:

1991: First contact between Denmark and Kazakstan is established.

1994: One Danish delegation visits Aral, and the idea emerges (on behalf of local fishermen) to exploit Danish traditions and resources in the efforts to re-establish fishery on the Aral Sea.

1995: Aral fishery community leaders visit Denmark and sign a "Protocol of our common aims".

1996: 19 Kazak fishermen, specialists and interpreters visit Denmark one month to study Danish traditions in fisheries and sales, especially concerning flat fish.

1996: A one month trial fishery is carried out on the Small Aral Sea near village Tastubek, supervised by four Danish specialists. The results prove the Aral Sea to contain valuable unexploited natural resources.

1997: Agreements are made with local fishermen to further the establishing of small-scale private co-operatives.

1998: 8 Danish specialists, during five months, study and support the newly established co-operatives in catching, treating and selling flounder. NGO Aral Tenizi is founded.

1999: NGO Aral Tenizi and LLH plan their common efforts for years 2000-2004.

Since December 1998, LLH has developed the fishery project in close co-operation with the newly founded NGO Aral Tenizi in Aral City, Kazakstan. NGO Aral Tenizi counts ca. 400 members at present, approximately 200 of which are paying subscription. The overall aim of the NGO Aral Tenizi is to work for the rehabilitation of the Aral Sea, and this aim is furthered through supporting local fishermen and their families, and through participation in international projects and exchanges of knowledge with partners that support the same aim.

Address and contact person of Aral Tenizi:                      

Aral Tenizi                                                                                       

Makataev Street 10-14                                                                                    

Aral City                                                                                        

Kzyl-Orda Oblast                                                                                        


Ph./fax:                      007 32 433 22256                                                               

Att.                      MAKHAMBETOVA Zhannat


A number of members in the Danish working group have visited and worked in the Aral region, Kazakstan, and have accumulated a capital of experience and knowledge that relate to the sectors marked in the CCR registration form. LLH can provide expertise and experts as follows (alphabetically):


Fisherman. Has been working in Aralsk twice in the fields of fishing, transportation, treating and storing of fish, improving sales and organising of NGO work in supporting fishermen in these activities. Has worked with environmental issues since 1988, mainly in international projects including Poland, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Russia, Kazakstan.

BJERRE, Henrik Jøker

BA of Philosophy. Has been working in Aralsk five times (one of these a five month stay) in the fishery project with guiding, translation, co-ordination, photography, statistics.

CHRISTENSEN, Kurt Bertelsen

Project co-ordinator and initiator of the contact between Danish and Kazak fishermen. Former fisherman. Has been working in Aralsk eight times. Has worked with environmental issues since 1988, mainly in international projects including Poland, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Russia, Kazakstan.


Laboratory technician and maritime nature guide. Participated in the 1996 trial fishery on the Small Aral, by supporting and organising practical fisheries, assisting the local ichthyological expertise, and collecting samples of Platichtys flesus for analysis in Denmark.

HANSEN, Jesper

Fisherman and boat constructor. Worked in Aralsk in 1998 and investigated the problems and perspectives of local boats and boat construction.


Fisherman. Supported Aral fishermen in catching and treating flat fish from Tastubek fishery camp in October 1998.


Electrician with significant experience from development projects. Has worked (1998) with the problems of practical food distribution procedures and quality control in Aralsk.

LARSEN, Jan Christian Gruwier

Biologist. Was in 1998 in charge of a bilateral biological test fishery on Small and Big Aral Sea, in co-operation with the Kazak Ichthyological Institute, Aral branch. Has at his disposal detailed information about the history and present situation of the flora and fauna of the Aral Sea, and has ongoing relations with Kazak biologists and fishery experts.

OLSEN, Erik Bjørn

M.A. and bookkeeper. 1998 he supported the organisation and structure of NGO Aral Tenizi, first of all in introducing and monitoring methods of accounting.


Ethnographer. 1998 she carried out an analysis, based on interviews, of the situation and perspectives of the women working in fishery related industry in Aral region.

References of each of the declarations in the CCR registration form:

LLH has been host and performed training programs for two employees at the Kazak Ichtyological Institute in Aralsk: Zaoulkhan Ermakhanov (September 1996) and Nurtai Ibraimov (August 1998). Furthermore, a biological trial fishery was performed in October-November 1998 on Small and Big Aral, under the auspices of LLH biologist Jan C.G. Larsen. This investigation concerned size and population structure, distribution and production of Platichtys flesus in the Aral Sea, as well as composition and biomass of bentos community and composition and biomass of planktons. Moreover, the eco-toxicology of the sea was examined.

 - LLH is the only international organisation that has been directly involved in working with the natural resources of the Aral Sea - the fish.

In developing the co-operation between Danish and Kazak fishery related organisations and communities, LLH has succeeded in encouraging local forces to establish an independent NGO (Aral Tenizi) that has as its primary aim to further and protect environmental interests. This work also aims to secure valid biological monitoring of the sea resources and to encourage local fishermen in developing common criteria and objectives in resource management.

In September 1996, 15 Aral fishermen and specialists visited LLH in Djursland, Denmark, in order to study the Danish traditions in catching, treating and selling especially flat fish. In the work in Kazakstan since 1997, the LLH has focused on the development of Small Enterprises, organising local fishermen in independent co-operatives that are economically and organisationally capable of self-management. This new structure in business management is supported by Kazakstani law, through the law of Small Scale Business Enterprise from 1997. In supporting the establishing and function of NGO Aral Tenizi, LLH has sought - and is seeking - to improve the conditions of local fishermen in organising individually in private co-operatives.   

1995 in Denmark and 1996 and 1998 in Denmark and Kazakstan, LLH has introduced Kazakstani NGO workers, fishermen, specialists and interpreters to Danish traditions in local and international co-operation. The establishing of NGO Aral Tenizi in Aral City is the culmination of this work. The NGO is inextricably connected to on going social dialogue, since its members and partners are fishermen and fish factory owners as well as biologists, workers in the fishery industry, and common people with an interest in environmental issues. The focus of Aral Tenizi as well as of LLH is the sea, and in order to protect the common interests of all parties living from and by the sea, conflicting interests must be accorded. NGO Aral Tenizi is aiming to be an independent and democratic organisation with numerous national and international contacts and projects. LLH will support it financially until 2004.

In working to re-establish the fishery on the Aral Sea, LLH has build up significant experience in developing of local communities. The Aral fishermen have been forced to abandon their sea since 1975, and have travelled several thousand kilometres each year in order to maintain their professional occupation. Only since 1996 have Aral fishermen again been able to catch valuable amounts of fish on the Aral Sea, and the continuing improvement of these possibilities has meant significant development in the villages and former kolkhozes around the sea.

In 1996 the woman in the fishery industry took part in the project with making filet and other product of the fladfish. A team where constructed to handle the fish in one month under Danish leadership. In 1998 an ethnographer carried out an analysis, based on interviews, of the situation and perspectives of the women working in fishery related industry in Aral region.

In 1996 during one month, 15 Aral fishermen and specialists were introduced to the Danish systems of cold food chain, packaging and food safety, and these three subjects have had the highest priorities in the work of LLH in Kazakstan. Apart from the actual fishing tackle, the major need in the Aral region is an effective system to treat the fish caught, from water to table. Cooling facilities, transportation and storing/packing facilities need much development, and much effort has been put from LLH in stressing the importance of these factors. In October-November 1998, LLH supported Aral fishermen in producing a high quality product from flounder, cooled, treated, stored and packed according to European standards and sold on the market of Almaty.

In the work proceeding from the trial fishery in 1996, the LLH has continuously supported and encouraged Aral fishermen and fish treating plants to maintain high standards in food treatment and distribution. This work continues since 1998 via the NGO Aral Tenizi that counts among its staff experienced specialists from the once highly productive fish treating plant "Aralrybprom". During ten years (1995-2004) LLH supports and emphasises the importance of this monitoring, and works to improve the physical conditions for this work.

Aral business men, fishermen and administrators have, on behalf of LLH, visited Denmark in 1995, 1996 and 1998 to study Danish traditions in fish distribution, product development and market principles. In October-November 1998, LLH supported Aral fishermen in producing a high quality product form flounder, cooled, treated, stored and packed according to European standards and sold on the market of Almaty. Being a new product to the local fishermen and fish treating plants, the flounder required techniques and principles of treatment that were to some extent alien to the Aral fishery trades (flat fish require a quite different treatment than round fish). Furthermore, the proceeding assimilation of Kazakstani economy to market terms has left the fishermen in a somewhat peculiar situation: On the one hand juridically enabled to enter the private market in small co-operative units, on the other hand traditionally bound to the existing larger (former state-) companies. The transmission of the sovkhoz structure into a number of self-managing co-operatives, with the accompanying difficulties in navigating between potential buyers and increased individual responsibilities in especially the cold food chain, has confronted the fishermen and fish treatment industries with new and challenging problems. This transition stage of the fishery trade in the Aral region again emphasises the necessity of a common dialogue between fishermen internally and between fishermen and biologists, factories, etc. The effort to establish the NGO Aral Tenizi has therefore proved valuable (see above, p. 1).

The fishery project, "From Kattegat to Aral Sea", has implemented simple fishery technology in the Aral region. Techniques and equipment that are relatively easily adopted by the Aral fishermen have been introduced in order to improve the catches of flounder from the Aral Sea on an economically and biologically sustainable basis.

Working in the fishery project "From Kattegat to Aral Sea", one of the major tasks of the "NGO Aral Sea Working Group Denmark" has been to inform and advocate about the Aral Sea and its environmental problems, as well as potential. To meet this need, conferences and seminars have been arranged in Denmark as well as in Kazakstan, constantly emphasising the importance of activating the actual users of the sea, the fishermen, in the efforts to make clear and give liability to the necessity of environmental work. Fishermen have come to tell the story about the Aral Sea, which has been one of the major targets in the LLH work since 1994: Only they can give real and credible substance to the world debate about the fishery related environmental problems in the Aral Sea Basin. Newspaper articles and TV programs have focused on the Aral Sea, and in this process, the NGO Aral Tenizi has obtained valuable experience in Public Relations.

Since 1996, the fishery project, "From Kattegat to Aral Sea", has engaged local interpreters in Aral City. In order to obtain the highest possible access to local tradition and culture, and in order to give an opportunity to local school teachers (mainly of English) to improve their abilities and broaden their knowledge about English speaking countries. This work has included visits and training in Denmark for 8 Kazak interpreters.