In Norway only one vessel was allowed to fish for bluefin tuna. The vessel «Hillersøy» spotted a lot of bluefin tuna off the coast of Norway in September 2016, but missed a lot of opportunities. Finally, at the 16th of September they managed to surround the shoal with the purse seine. The video (seen below) shows how it was done, and this is the first time since the 1980’s we can see a Norwegian fishing vessel hunt for bluefine tuna in Norwegian waters.
The film is provided by the inspector from the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research, mr. Øyvind Tangen. In addition there was an inspector from ICCAT on board.
Norway has a quota of 30 tonnes for 2014, and the Norwegian Department of Fishery has decided that the entire quota will be given to just one vessel. 30 tonnes is not much compared to the quotas of other ICCAT-members, but it is a start. 28 vessels had applied for the quota. Most of them had experience from former tuna fishing in Norway (back in the 1970’s and 1980’s),
Last year there were several observations of bluefin tuna in Norway. At one occation pictures were taken.
The vessel you can see on the picture below («Hillersøy») is the lucky winner, and the winner takes it all (30 tonnes), if the bluefin tuna return to the Norwegian coast in late summer and fall 2014.
Photos: Geir Olsen and scanfishphoto.com
Below you can see a Norwegian vessel fishing bluefin tuna in 1967.
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.
The giant tuna – bluefin tuna – once was a common fish along the Norwegian coast. Every summer large schools of bluefin tuna entered the coast. From 1950 this became an important fishery for Norwegian purse seiners. The film shown below shows a Norwegian fishing vessel named «Speranza» on the fishing grounds in 1967.
In 1986 the last school of bluefin tuna was surrounded by a Norwegian purse seine. Today the bluefin tuna is endangered – suffering from the pressure of commercial interests all over the world. Norway has a quota, but the Norwegian Department of Fishery has stated that Norway will not fish bluefin tuna until the stock is managed in a responsible way and in accordance with the advice and recommendations given by scientists.
Norway is familiar with overfishing, but the nation has learned by mistakes done in the past. Hopefully the bluefin tuna some day again will find its way northwards to the feeding areas along the Norwegian coast.