Successful retrieval survey along the coast of Norway
The yearly raid along the Norwegian coast after lost fishing gears was successfully completed at the end of September after five weeks retrieval survey. The survey coverd a distance from Varangerfjorden up north, to Ålesund. The main focus was as always lost gill nets, but there was alos an increesed focus on retrieval of lost king crab pots. Furtheremore, significant amounts of other gears pulled up. The yearly retrieval survey has bin conducted by the Directorate of Fisheries since 1980.
During this years retrieval budget, approximately 850 gill nets and 150 king crab pots was retrived. In addition, roughly 44 000 meters of rope / line, 2000 meters of wire, over 700 meters of rope form other gears as trawls, danish saines, pures seins, ect. Furtheremore, a huge number of grapnels was found. The amount of fish in caugth in the retrived gears was approximatley 10000 Kg fish and 5600 Kg of crab. The amount of fish and crab stuck in the gear is also a snapshot of reality, and there is reason to belive that the numbers are much higher over time, since biologic material as fish and crab degrade.
The results are clear, It is of highest importance to retrive lost fishinggears since the gears is fishing until they are retrived form the ocean. This is because the gears are mad of materials with long degradation time and the gear wil ofteh fish for many years despite fouling. Furtheremore, the retrieval survey reduce future gear loss due to reduced risk for gears to det stuck in lost gears. There was also some positive signal, because the registerd amount of dumped wier was reduced. However, plastic in all categories are observd more frequently in the retrived gear.
Test of a new method to retrive lost pots from the bottom of the sea
King crab pots is of the put out in short links on 3-4 pots. This result in a short georafical dispersion of the pots and combined with an increasing amount of sea cables in costal and fjord areas sometimes make it challanging to search for fishing gear with grappling hooks. Therefore, a new method was tested. The new metod used a remotly operated underwater vehicle (ROV) to search and retrive kingcrab pots. This was a succsess, but ROVs is a time- and costconsuming tool and the effectivnes was a bit to low compaired with the the normal retrieval technique with grappling hooks. However, the trial had value by useful mapping of remaining tools in given areas and a comparion of the retrieval methods.
Return of lost tools
The Norwegian Fisheries Directorate has never returned so much fishing gear to the rightful owner. This is done in hope of increasing the reporting of lost gear in the sea. The
remaining gears which is not returned is delivered to Nofir AS for recycling. It is also possible for fishermen and other interested parties to go to the Fisheries Directorate's map tool to see what has been removed in the different areas.
Norwegian fishermen must report lost fishing gear
In order to conduct an efficient retrieval survey, it is crucial that fishermen report loss of fishing gear. In Norway it is mandatory for fishermen to report loss of fishing gear to the Coast Guard Center. Thus, the acquisition of knowledge through the enrollment form and the dialogue with fishermen is crucial for a successfull retrieval survey. The registration works relatively well along the entire Norwegian coast, and many key people in the fishing communities contribute with important information. However, there is room for improvement.