The Norwegian deep sea and coastal purse seiners are looking forward to a different kind of mackerel season this year as catches have to be taken in home waters, and coastal seiner Einar Erlend is one of those to have made a good start.
Having already taken its 1160 tonne saithe quota in just 16 days in the spring, Einar Erlend started the mackerel season with a 200 tonne landing.
According to skipper Einar Meløysund, successful fishing is about a combination of elements that come together – a good boat and equipment, skilled handling, a good skipper and a good crew, plus a little luck.
Einar Erlend also works with a set of Furuno electronics on board, and the Furuno High Frequency Zone FSV-75 has served them well, both in saithe and mackerel fisheries.
‘We typically look for saithe within a range of around 400 meters. The FSV-75 has plenty of range and very good separation. The high frequency means that the sonar works very well, even though there are challenging conditions in the sea, such as tidal conditions, temperature changes and a lot of feed species in the water,’ Einar Meløysund said.
He added that the challenge with mackerel fishing in coastal waters is shallower grounds and more uneven seabed formations.
‘That’s when you depends on a sonar with high frequency, to achieve sufficient separation between bottom echoes and marks of fish. Another challenge is that early in the season, the mackerel is often at the surface. Then the high frequency is also crucial for good detection,’ he said.
Complementing the high-frequency set, Einar Erlend also has a Furuno low-frequency FSV-25 sonar.
For both coastal seine boats and the ocean-going purse seine boats, the combination of high-frequency and low-frequency sonar can be optimal.
‘High frequency sonar is what is essential for mackerel fishing on the Møre coast,’ said Furuno Norge’s Terje Petersen, who has been selling fishing electronics to the fleet for more than forty years.
‘At the end of the 1980s, the Møre coast was the place for mackerel fishing. Every boat used high-frequency sonar, at at the time the Furuno CSH-70 was installed on more than a hundred vessels. As it became possible to catch the fish outside the Norwegian sector, the fleet could optimise its activities, focusing on the best possible quality. So this became a significant deep-sea fishery, with most of the quota has been taken outside the Norwegian sector,’ he explained.
‘Now conditions have changed again. This year, the mackerel will have to be mainly caught on coastal grounds. So everyone who looking for the mackerel should have a high frequency sonar.’
He added that for herring and for the deep-sea fishing fleet’s blue whiting fishery, the 3D presentation of the FSV-25 comes into its own, along with its long range of 7000 to 10,000 metres, and very good separation ability at any range range.
The F3D-S 3D option provides an easily read 3D presentation of marks, making it much easier to assess shape, depth, direction and speed. The 3D presentation also gives a good indication of biomass, as well as the likelihood of by-catch.