Milton takes shape at Hirtshals

Published by FiskerForum, 05-03-2017 · info@fiskerforum.dk

‘In the eighties there were some new boats here, and then that all stopped,’ said Jan Woller of the Hirtshals Fishermen’s Association who is bringing the first newbuild for years to the port.

Jan Woller and Peter Jensen spoke to Hook & Net, which has a report on the Danish port of Hirtshals in its latest issue.

His family and the Milton name go back a long way. The first boat to carry the name was acquired in the year he was born. The previous Milton, a 31 metre trawler, has been sold, finding its way to Finland via Sweden to fish on industrial quotas.

Its replacement is a smaller vessel, the fifth to carry the name, that can operate as efficiently as possible, built to alternate twin-rigging with jigging for saithe using Belitronic reels when conditions are right, and this is a way of working that the old Milton had pioneered.

‘Because he’s jigging for fish, he’s Greenpeace’s favourite fisherman’ quipped local fisherman Peter Jensen.

‘There’s a better yield from jigged fish,’ Jan Woller said. ‘It’s a few percent, but it makes a difference. We had a buyer from France who had bought some of the jig-caught saithe. When called and asked for more, the market had to tell him that the weather had been bad and there was only trawl-caught saithe on offer. He didn’t want that and said he’d just wait until there was jigged saithe again.’

The new Milton is a departure from the old one in terms of size, and also in sophistication. There is a lot packed in a hull just under 17 metres long, including capacity for twin-rig trawling as well as jigging, so the new trawler can switch to trawling when the fish aren’t inclined to take a hook.

Milton’s hull has already been delivered by builder PTS Ltd in Gdansk to the Hirtshals Yard, and as much as possible in the fitting out has been sourced from companies locally. The winches are being built at Vestkaien, Sea Mech are delivering the electronics and a group of other local companies are involved in the build that is expected to be complete in the summer.

‘We also looked at electric winches, but for such a small trawler it wasn’t practical and we went for a hydraulic system,’ he said.

There are plenty of energy-saving factors incorporated in the new Milton, such as LED lights that alone save DKK20,000 a year compared to conventional lights.

The main engine is a Mitsubishi geared to drive a large propeller, which is expected to increase efficiency by 30%.

‘Emission levels are being kept very low and the engine room is designed to minimise CO2 and NOx emissions to standards that apply to merchant vessels but not yet to fishing vessels – but we want to be ready when those regulations come in.’

‘It’s vital to make the most out of every drop of fuel,’ Jan Woller said.

Go to the Hook & Net for the full report on Hirtshals, or check out the mobile app for IOS or Android.

Source: H&N

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