The country's long coastline, conveniently situated on rich fishing waters, provides Denmark with excellent fishing grounds. Fishing is an important source of domestic food supply, and both fresh and processed fish are important exports. During 1990–95, the government financially supported fleet reduction in order to alleviate structural problems in the industry, and 605 vessels left the fleet during those years. At the beginning of 1996, there were 4,995 Danish fishing vessels, with a combined 97,174 GRT. The catch is composed mainly of herring and sprat, cod, mackerel, plaice, salmon, and whiting; but sole and other flatfish, tuna, and other varieties are also caught. Both trout and eel are important. In 2000, total Danish landings were 1,534,089 tons.
Denmark is one of the world's leading seafood exporters. In 2001, fish exports were valued at $2 billion, up 11% from 2000.