jan 27 2013

Fishing cod in fish trap

Published by under Fish and fishing

This short film shows a traditional way of catching cod in coastal waters in Norway. This type of fish trap is only allowed in the cold months (October – April). I am not a professional fisherman and am only allowed to use ten of these traps. This winter I have only used 3-4 traps simply because that is enough. The fish traps have two chambers which the cod is led into. Between the chambers there is a net (8 meters long)  which leads the cod (and other species) into the cambers.

Below you can see some pictures of cod caugth in such fish traps this winter. It is a cold hobby, and the traps can stay in the sea for 4-7 days before you empty them. By using 4 fish traps there is at least one nice cod to bring home.

Norwegian cod from fish trapsCod - guttedCod fishing

Fishing in wintertime

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mai 17 2012

Hunt for basking shark – film

Published by under Fishing history,Sharks

In the 1970’s the basking shark was a common shark in The North Sea. Fishermen were hunting the big shark in spring and summer. For many Norwegian fishermen this hunt was an important part of the income.

The basking shark was not used for food but this large shark had a lot of valuable liver. The oil extracted from the liver was highly priced as it was used in high-temperature-engines. In the 1970’s the fishermen also cut off the fins which was sold to Asia and used in shark-fin soup.

This fishery (or hunt) has now been banned for a couple of decades. The price of the liver (and oil) has dropped due to synthetic alternatives.

During the 1980’s it was clear that the basking shark was not as numerous as in the past. Overfishing, a drop in prices and the moral aspect about this catch led to a stop in this hunt. In Norwegian waters it is not allowed to hunt for basking shark, Greenland shark or porbeagle.

It is easy to judge what former generations did for a living and the hunt for basking shark may look cruel to most of those who see the film. Still the hunt for basking shark was one of many fisheries and the film shows a piece of cultural history. Here is another film from this fishery.

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mai 01 2012

Curled octopus – some pictures

Published by under Fish and fishing

The curled octopus (Eledone cirrhosa) is not common in Norwegian waters, but sometimes it crawls into a lobster pot or becomes an unexpected by-catch. The pictures on this page shows curled octopus from different locations along the western coast of Norway.

octopus

eledone cirrhosa

The first curled octopus (above) was taken in a pot while fishing for Norwegian lobster in 2012. Photo: Bjørnar Akselvoll. The color of the octopus is usually shades of red, brown or orange but the octopus has the ability to change its color-pattern.

Curled octopus

The octopus above was caught in 2003 and I do not recall the story about this catch. Photo: R. Gjerde. The curled octopus seen below was taken as a by-catch while fishing with net in a fjord (Hardangerfjorden) two years ago. Photo: Kåre Grønsnes.

Picture of curled octopusTaking pictures of the catch is in this case done because the curled octopus is a rare sight along the Norwegian coastline. The curled octopus on this page were released after the photo-session. As this octopus is rare in Norway, we have no tradition of eating them.

Merry Christmas with our version of Snowman

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apr 30 2012

Northern stone crab – better than king crab

Published by under Fish and fishing,Seafood

In Norway we kall it Trollkrabbe (meaning Troll-Crab). I may look like a troll with all the spikes covering the body and the claws. I believe this crab is called «Northern stone-crab» and the Latin name is Lithodes maja. It is related to the king-crab, but smaller.

Although it’s smaller it is not too small to eat. I got the crab from a fisherman who had caught one in his net while fishing for herring. He had so much work with all the herring that he didn’t care about the crab. I got the crab and I thought «It looks like a king crab.. maybe it taste like a king crab?»

cooking crabThe large king crab is found further north in Norway, but why not try a northern stone crab? I boiled it for 12 minutes in salted water and then set it outside. When the crab was cold, I served it with white bread and mayonnaise. I have tasted king crab, but the northern stone crab tasted even better. Only the legs and claws are eatable.

norther stone crabThe norther stone crab is also fond in parts of UK and don’t throw it away if you get one in your pot or fishing net – it tastes fantastic! Below you can see a picture of the northern stone crab while it still was alive.

Lithodes maja

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