News of commercial fishing, factory production and harbour works at Tristan da Cunha.

Report from Factory Manager Erik MacKenzie, 17th March 2016

Photos from Barry Davies

Weather has continued to count against us with only 25 fishing days possible so far since the start of the season on 1st July 2015. year. The very good news is that we have landed nearly 500 kg per day more on average than by the same time last year. This makes the scarcity of fishing days all the more frustrating because the results are so positive.

Production is being maintained at a level of 50% tails and 50% being processed further into Raw, Cooked and Sashimi. The present harbour repairs have unfortunately meant that on two occasions we were unable to pump seawater to the factory so had to tail all lobster landed on those days at the cost of more valuable production. We seem to have this in hand now so hopefully on the next fishing days we will be able to keep lobster back for purging and production.

Sunrise over Big Point with MV Edinburgh engaged in fishing in the distance.

The harbour work is coming along very well and wave action has already been reduced in the harbour as expected. An impressive amount of work is being performed by the 11 strong team from Sea and Shore who are working flat out 7 days a week to try and complete what is a very big task.

Octopus landings this year are surprisingly high and currently about 46% higher than last year. There is no obvious reason for this, but with octopus competing with lobster for bait in the traps we hope this is not the start of a trend.

We currently have about 37 tonnes still to land so the Edinburgh might be required to land an additional portion of the quota during her next trip out from Cape Town departing at the end of March. Hopefully I can report the quota fully landed when the season closes at the end of April.

Dredging in Calshot Harbour - see the 2016 Harbour News page for more about the harbour works.