New trawler Linette was handed over by Thyborøn Skibs & Motor (3XJ) to its Thyborøn owners at the end of October, and finished its first trip with respectable results.
Linette L-120 has been built for Alfred Fisker Hansen and Tommy Svart who have been looking forward for some time to upgrading to a new vessel, which was delayed to the end of October.
‘We completed our first real fishing trip with new Linette, sailing on Saturday 6th November and landing in Thyborøn on Monday 15th November. This was a trip on the Egersund Bank in the Norwegian zone, and we landed a reasonable 23 tonnes of mixed fish and a little langoustine, which fetched good prices,’ said Alfred Fisker Hansen who is also chairman of Thyborøn Fishermen’s Association and sits on the board of the Danish Fishermen’s Association.
He said that Linette performed perfectly throughout the trip.
‘It’s steady in the water and everything worked perfectly. The conditions for the crew are absolutely excellent, which makes fishing easier and which also makes fishing a more attractive prospect for newcomers to the industry,’ he said, adding that a few minor adjustments needed to be made after the first trip, which is only to be expected.
He commented that circumstances have changed since the order for Linette was placed, but he’s convinced the right decision was taken at the time, even though the Danish industry has been through considerable turmoil in the last few years.
‘All things considered, the decision, despite the changed conditions for fishing, was the right one. Because when conditions stabilise, there will still be a need for sustainable Danish fishing,’ he said, adding that he has been fishing all his life and is very familiar with the fluctuating fortunes of the fishing industry.
Co-owner and co-skipper Tommy Svart has been fishing since the early 1980s, and he’s also looking forward to seeing what the new Linette is capable of achieving.
He explained that things have changed over the years, and in the past the focus was always on getting back to sea as soon as possible after landing, regardless of the weather. The rush to get back to sea often too precedence over common sense, and the consequences were that damage and extra costs could outweigh earnings for those trips.
This is an attitude that has changed, and these days all the options are carefully evaluated before leaving the harbour. This change in the way they operate ash reduced fishing days to around 250 each year – but without any significant effect on the bottom line.
According to Tommy Svart, this, together with rising costs, means that a more intelligent way of fishing is being ushered in, with prices and abundance of each target species taken more carefully into account as the financial results are assessed in advance.
‘Today it has to be worthwhile to leave the quay,’ Tommy Svart said.
Linette’s primary target species are plaice, sole, turbot, dab, haddock, saithe and cod, all landed to the Thyborøn auction, which sells throughout Denmark as well as across the wider European market.
Designed as a twin-rigger, Linette represents an upgrade in technical terms compared to the older vessel it replaces.
According to Tommy Svart, handling characteristics and manoeuvrability are much the same as the older trawler, but the upgrade to equipment and systems on board contribute significantly to lower running costs and a more sympathetic and sustainable fishery.
He commented that the working deck has more space, making work on deck easier, and the auxiliary winches make gear handling much lighter than in the past, adding that these improvements may not look much, but when all this is added together, the result is a major difference for the crew and the bottom line.