Big bags and big tensions on blue whiting
The springtime blue whiting fishery that takes place west of the British Isles is notorious for the strains it places on fishing gear.
A combination of heavy fishing in deep water and the usually poor weather conditions in the area at that time of year means that this is a fishery for large vessels capable of working under tough conditions â€“ such as the Danish fleetâ€™s pelagic flagship Ruth HG-264.
VÃ³ninâ€™s JÃ³gvan S Jacobsen said that the critical point is when the codend hits the surface and the fish need to be pumped on board, and with the tight marks of blue whiting far below, hauls of 1000 tonnes are nothing unusual, so some extremely robust gear is needed to meet these challenges.
Ruthâ€™s skippers Mikkjal Godtfred and Hans Jacob Petersen opted for an all-VÃ³nin package of gear for blue whiting, with a 2304m Capto trawl and an 86 metre codend, the largest so far in the companyâ€™s range, and capable of handling 1000 tonne hauls.
â€˜We have put a lot of time and effort into getting the combination right for this type of fishing, both to make fishing as efficient as possible and also to make it safe,â€™ JÃ³gvan S Jacobsen said.
â€˜There are some extreme tensions that occur with big bags of fish at the surface in heavy weather, so we had to meet the challenge to make this gear as strong as possible. A thousand tonnes in heavy seas can easily result in damage to the gear if itâ€™s not strong enough for the job.â€™
â€˜The skippers are very happy with the blue whiting gear we supplied for Ruth and the feedback has been that the gear is light to tow, easy to handle, the workmanship is excellent, the gear fishes fast and effectively, and once itâ€™s on the surface the codend pumps out quickly. They were able to pump 800 tonne hauls in just 50 minutes during this springâ€™s fishing,â€™
JÃ³gvan S Jacobsen said that Ruthâ€™s gear is not unique, as VÃ³ninâ€™s blue whiting gear is used by a large number of vessels in the North Atlantic. An estimate made during the blue whiting season in 2017 concluded that the largest part of the total quota is caught with VÃ³nin trawls.
VÃ³nin will be at stand D-768 at Danfish in Aalborg, 11th to 13th of October.
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