jan 30 2010
I keep publishing films and this one is rather special. Allthough the quality is «average» it is a very rare film as it is from 1952 and in colors. It is also a unique documenation of the first years of fishing bluefin tuna with purse seine in Norway.
The film shows an ordinary Norwegian fishing vessel using a tuna purse seine. Allthough it seems primitive, this was how it was done in the early 1950’s. The fishing vessel gets a large catch and the catch is more than the vessel and the crew can handle. The captain calls for help, and when the film starts we can see that another vessel (named «Ådrott») has arrived. With one vessel on each side of the purse seine the crew lift the tuna out of the purse seine.
When a bluefin tuna dies it sinks, and the weight of the dead fish in a large catch could make it impossible to lift the purse seine and the fish to the surface. The force of the heavy purse seine could also be a danger to the purse seiner and the crew. That is why we can see that a third vessel and two motor boats starts to tow the purse seiner and the catch while the vessel «Ådrott» still helps to stabilize the weight in the purse seine.
The heavy purse seine, the purse seiner and the vessel «Ådrott» are towed towards land, and when reaching shallow waters the purse seine with all the dead tuna is rested on the bottom. Then we can see how the fishermen are «fishing» for dead tuna in the purse seine. We can see several smaller boats helping out, and this film is recorded by a man in one of the motorboats that assisted the purse seiner.
1952 was the best year for bluefin tuna fishing in Norway. Catches of several hundred fish were not unusual. The tuna seen on the film have an average weight of 120 kilogram. Unfortunately the number of fish in this catch is not known. The catch was loaded on several vessels and landed on different locations. It is still likely to believe that there must have been more than 200 bluefin tuna in the catch.
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