Thousands of king crabs released in lost gear cleanup
A cleanup of lost fishing gear along the Norwegian coast is in progress, and a few days in, thousands of king crabs have been released from lost nets.
The Directorate of Fisheries started the cleanup operation on the 22nd of August off the coast of Finnmark, near the border with Russia, where there is an active fishery for king crab.
The areas where the lost gear is being retrieved are chosen according to reports from fishermen of where they have lost fishing gear.
â€˜It would be very difficult to carry out such a cleanup operation without a system that obliges fishermen to report where nets, lines and ropes have been lost, and there is a requirement to report lost fishing gear. This gives us both precise positions and hot spots for cleanup,â€™ said Gjermund Langedal, Director of the Directorate of Fisheries.
He said that although many fishermen conscientiously report where they lose gear, there is still too much is left in the water.
â€˜Fishermen are getting better reporting, but there is definitely room for improvement. It is sad that we find nets full of king crabs that have not been reported lost,â€™ he said.
The cleanup is being carried out using the fishing vessel Vendla which the Directorate of Fisheries has chartered for this work. Vendla is equipped to handle all types of fishing gear retrieval. What is retrieved is sorted and delivered for recycling in co-operation with Norsk Fiskeriretur AS.
Vendla is currently located in the area of R03;R03;Nordkapp.
â€˜So far, the operation has been concentrated in areas of king crab fishing. This will end soon and then we will continue in new areas at SÃ¸rÃ¸ya, before we begin creeping up netting used for catching Greenland halibut and other species further west and south along the coast,â€™ he said.
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