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Dieren en planten

Water en land

Mens en Milieu

Pelagic trawling   Stern trawling   
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Stern trawling

Dutch herring and steamed mackerel are caught using stern trawlers: large fishing vessels that can stay at sea for months is necessary. In 2009, the Dutch fleet had 14 large trawlers. This fleet consists of a total crew of more than 500 employees. They fish in the North Sea and the English Channel for herring, scad and mackerel. Longer voyages go as far as West Africa, the Falkland Islands and Iceland. The catch is processed on board, where installations for processing and deep freezing are available. The holds are designed to preserve the frozen or refrigerated catch.

  • Fishing on a mega scale

    A few figures to give an impression of how extensive this form of fishing is: the largest European deep-freeze trawler, which happens to sail under the Dutch flag, is 144 meters long and has a engine capacity of 12,000 hp; the ship can freeze 7000 tons of fish, which takes around a month to catch. This catch lies in the order of a half percent of the total fish yield in the North Sea in a year.

  • Buffer reservoir saves dolphins

    One problem with stern trawling was the unintentional catch of dolphins. A study performed by RIVO-DLO (now IMARES) and the Dolphinarium in Hardewijk showed that the fishermen themselves tempted the dolphins by throwing undesired bycatch overboard while fishing. The dolphins were attracted to this 'free food'. The answer to the problem is a buffer container. This container temporarily stores the bycatch which is only thrown overboard when the nets have been hauled in.

  • Migration to other fishing grounds

    The fish quota determine how much of each fish species each country is allowed to catch. The amount of fish that a trawler now catches is so great and the fish quota in the EC waters so low that the fishing fleet regularly deviates to other regions. Since 1988, the fleet fishes a lot in the waters by Morocco and Mauritania and in the vicinity of the Falkland Islands. They even fish along the eastern coast of the United States and sometimes in the southern Pacific Ocean.