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.
I was in the harbour when I head the sound of a boat coming in. It was Helge Selliken who had been out checking his fishing gear. With his four fish traps and three pots in the sea he usually got a lot of crabs and sometimes a cod – or two. Last fall he hoped to get a lobster, but without any results.
Today he met me with a big smile. I had to ask him; Did you get a lobster? He could not hide his smile and he nodded. Finally a lobster had visited one of his pots. In Norway it is only allowed to fish lobster in October, and with a lot of bad weather the season is short.
It was a nice lobster. Helge estimated it to be around 2 kilograms. Before he (and the lobster) left, he let me take some pictures of the catch.
It was a pleasant surprise when some pictures from Sardinia dropped into my mailbox. The pictures were sent to me by Piero Addis and show fishermen from Sardinia (Italy) fishing bluefin tuna with the traditional fish trap called «tonnara». This kind of fish trap is still in use in Sardinia although the decrease in the bluefin tuna stock has led to a decrease in the catches and number of fish traps. There are now only three fish traps left in Sardinia. One of them can be seen below.
The first two pictures show the «Mattanza», the happening when the bluefin tuna is trapped in the last chamber of the tonnara. This has always been an important event for the fishermen in Sardinia.
The net is hauled and the bluefin tuna is forced to the surface where they will be landed into the vessels surrounding the chamber – also referred to as «the chamber of death». The last years there has been a significant decrease in the average size of the fish caught in these traps. While swimming in the tonnara there are still some nice seized bluefin tuna to see.