This year’s seabed clean-up operation run by Norway’s Directorate of Fisheries is well underway – and has been disappointingly successful in retrieving lost fishing gear.
64-metre pelagic vessel Vikingbank has been leased for this year’s operation and had to dock last week to offload the volume of retrieved gear, as deck space had run out. This included a significant volume of discarded seine ropes.
The operation has stayed away from marked lost gear, and these retrieved seine ropes have been located by luck and thanks to tip-offs from fishermen who have indicated areas where these ropes have been for some time – and often caused problems for other fisheries.
‘Much of the seine rope has been retrieved is entangled with lines or nets. This is unfortunate, and contributes to increased ghost fishing,’ said Directorate adviser Gjermund Langedal.
‘There has also been a significant amount of trawl wire. This is being offloaded part-way through the trip, along with a number of traps which take up a great deal of space.’
The next stage of the operation is taking Vikingbank to the Greenland halibut grounds, and amounts of net have already been recovered. This will either be returned to the owners or recycled by Nofir.
‘Fishermen who have no reported the loss of gear during the Greenland halibut season still have the opportunity to get their lost nets back,’ Gjermund Langedal said.