The fishery for Norwegian Spring Spawning Herring has rich traditions along the western coast of Norway. Fishing herring with gillnets is a methode used for hundreds of years. Some fishermen still use gillnets and get permission from the sales-organisation to sell herring in the harbour.
The film below was made west of Karmøy in March 2013. One fisherman had set the net at daytime, for only 20 minutes. Enjoy.
Today I got up early. I had an important appointment with two fishermen in the harbour. Yesterday they had set their herring nets on the old fishing ground west of our island, and they knew that the Norwegian spring-spawning herring had entered the coastline.
As the nets were hauled, we had hopes for the result although you never know anything for sure when it comes to the herring. The nets rose towards the surface and the first herring was glimmering in the sea. There were so much herring that the fishermen decided to haul the nets from the stern of the boat.
After an hour on the fishing ground we returned to the harbour. Some people were already waiting for fishing boats to come in with the catch. Buying herring in the harbour is an important tradition and the former importance of the herring fishery is not forgotten. The few fishermen that still participate in this fishery believe that the herring will stay on the fishing grounds for at least a week or two. I got my chance today – and it was a great experience.
During the fishery for herring in the northern part of Norway this year, a purse seiner got an unusual catch. As the crew was hauling the seine they saw a mink whale swimming along with the herring. It was a young whale estimated to weigh about 5-6 tonnes.
Neither the fishermen nor the whale thought it was appropriate for the whale to be in the seine. One of the fishermen, Thor-Stein Løvås, therefor found a long fishing gaff and started to tear a hole in the seine. The young mink whale seamed to know what was going on and swam towards the fisherman.
The wale waited patiently, without any sign of panic, while the fishermen made the hole bigger.
The mink whale found the hole in the net, and had no problems finding its way out of the purse seine. The last picture shows the whale swimming away from the fishing vessel.