At last we get our turn! We use relatively short tows with quite small nets, as we want to minimise the stress response and damage to the fish as the get churned up in the cod-end. We also fish over sandy bottoms where there are not too many rocks to catch the (very expensive) nets – can’t afford to lose these!
It’s quite a tricky operation to shoot and retrieve heavy nets, and the metal otter boards used to keep the moth open while fishing, when they swing madly out of sync with the boats rolling. We had a few attempts before the captain cancelled the rest of the planned trawls, as waves reached 2-3m with winds of >30knots.
Quite rightly, as it’s pretty dangerous out there, but frustrating for us as we have to steam to base to keep to schedule rather than hang around for the weather to improve – meaning we’re starting off experiments with far fewer fish than desirable.