Norway’s Directorate of Fisheries is adding to its efforts to retrieve lost fishing gear and is planning both a routine open sea retrieval cruise and two trips to search for lost fishing gear in Oslo Fjord and in waters off southern Norway.
‘Commercial fishermen are required to report lost fishing gear and most of the abandoned gear we retrieve from the sea is reported. In recreational fishing, we will go to specific local areas along the coast based on reported losses in the Recreational Fishing App and tip-offs,’ said senior adviser Gjermund Langedal at the Directorate of Fisheries, who is responsible for these clean-up efforts.
According to the Directorate, the retrieval surveys in southern Norway are planned for the summer, while the routine annual clean-up cruise in open waters takes place in the autumn.
These retrieval afforts have been conducted for a number of years. Efforts to develop smarter and biodegradable solutions is continuing in both the private and public sectors, but the Directorate expects it will be some time before this work leads to a reduced need for clean-up operations. This retrieval work is divided between clearing up lost commercial fishing gear, and recreational fishing gear closer to the coast.
The open waters retrieval cruise is carried out using a chartered fishing vessel or other vessel that meets established specifications. The assignment is extensive and has been put out for tenders.
‘Such a trip will typically start in the first part of August and last towards the end of September. Based on experience, there will be the greatest need for clean-up in waters between from Stad and Kirkenes, but prioritisation of areas will be decided later,’ Gjermund Langedal said.
This year, two coastal areas have been identified – one area at Horten in the Oslo Fjord and one area in Sørlandet near Kristiansand. Selection of areas is based on a balance between several different sources of information.
‘In addition to commercial fishermen’s requirements for reporting losses, we also encourage recreational fishermen to report losses of fishing gear. Recreational fishermen can easily do this in the Fritidsfiskeappen app,’ said senior adviser Bård Aarbakke at the Directorate of Fisheries, who is responsible for the two clean-up expeditions closer to the coast.
In addition to the planned clean-up cruises, the Directorate of Fisheries’ own vessel Fjorgyn will also contribute to clean-up in other coastal areas. Fjorgyn is equipped to carry out lighter clear-up duties.
Image: Jan-Erik Indrestrand