The first new longliner to be built for an Icelandic company this century will be working with a mainly Mustad fishing gear package supplied by Ísfell.
According to Sigurður Óli Thórleifsson who heads Ísfell’s longline division, the last new, purpose-built longliners built for Iceland were the two Tjaldur vessels that were delivered in 1992. But now the Grindavík-based Vísir is investing in new tonnage with the new 45 metre Páll Jónsson, now under construction at the Alkor Shipyard in Poland and designed by Navís with input from Vísir’s fleet manager Kjartan Viðarsson.
Páll Jónsson is expected to replace an older longliner of the same name that has fished successfully for Vísir for many years. It will have accommodation for a crew of 14 in single cabins and fishroom capacity for 420 tubs to land fresh fish for processing ashore.
Ísfell are supplying the full package of fishing gear, including the longline hauler, SuperBaiter, splitter and a hydraulic Magpacker for storing the racks, which eliminates much of the heavy manual work on deck in handling the hooks on racks.
‘We’re also supplying the SeaBird Saver, which is the laser system that deters seabirds from coming close to the line as it is shot away – and this works like a dream,’ Sigurður Óli Thórleifsson said.
‘Páll Jónsson is going to be fishing with 9.50mm lines supplied by Fiskevegn, rigged with what we call the 40,000 hook,’ he said.
‘This is an extra-strength number 12 hook, which is made with the same amount of material as the larger number 13 hook, so it has more weight and strength for its size, and the experience with these hooks is that they don’t bend. If they’re under tension they are more likely to snap than bend.’
He explained that the break point is 80kg, double the breaking point of a standard no 12 hook.
‘This makes a huge difference. What we have found is that longliners using these get through fewer hooks, so there’s less time spent replacing snapped hooks.’
He commented that Páll Jónsson will be getting a longline system similar to those already used by the Vísir fleet with a 55,000 hook capacity.
‘Most of them work around 45,000 hooks. We expect that Páll Jónsson will working on the same basis with much the same hauling speed as the other Vísir longliners, although with faster handling on board, they should be able to work more efficiently and get more out of each day’s fishing.’