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Contacts

Case:

10% larger catch

Polarhav

Veteran pair team Polarhav and Stjørnan were chosen to give the first full-scale Zenith prototype its baptism of fire on traditional Faroese pair trawling grounds, and the advantage of working with a pair team is that with alternate hauls using Stjørnan’s standard 720 mesh trawl and Polarhav towing the new 700 mesh Zenith test gear made to the skipper’s requirements with low-drag Fortis netting in the upper panels.

Saithe is the key species for the Faroese pair trawlers and it was clear that Vónin Zenith outperformed the standard gear over 11 trips of fishing, with Polarhav landing 548 tonnes of saithe compared to Stjørnan’s 473 tonnes.

The gear sensor data showed clear differences between the two trawls, as the conventional 720 mesh trawl was already known to have a headline that sits around 7-8 metres from the seabed, while the headline sounder showed that the Zenith gear, with its longer footrope and headline, stretched easily to a a ten metre headline height, also showing a slightly greater spread and sitting steadily on the seabed.

The Zenith rig catches well, Polarhav’s skipper confirmed, adding that it tows easily, is stable on the seabed across all the weather conditions they encountered during that first month of trials, and when there’s a strong mark of fish on the sounder, he can be confident that it’ll be reflected in the contents of the codend.

Skipper Says

The Zenith trawl catches saithe faster. The trawl has a good ground contact, is easier to tow and uses less wire. We have seen that the Zenith trawl is very stable in bad weather and has little tear and wear, says Jørmund Olsen skipper of Polarhav.

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