For enquiries about Tristan da Cunha Fisheries email - tristandcANRD@gmail.com
|Shipping Schedule Update |
Ovenstones have made a significant change to the published 2010 shipping schedule arising from MV Edinburgh's short return January / February trip. This trip reverted to a short return passenger and cargo trip as a result of a dispute with the crew in Cape Town.
MV Edinburgh sailed on 1st March to begin its postponed extended fishing trip and is now due to return on 4th May. MV Edinburgh is scheduled to spend 48 days fishing from the outer islands of Inaccessible, Nightingale and Gough, catching the remainder of the quota for the 2010/11 season. The ship will return to Tristan da Cunha in late April to load the remainder of the quota, caught by island-based boats around the main Tristan da Cunha island before returning to Cape Town.
Update from Factory Manager Erik MacKenzie on 3rd November
Update from Erik MacKenzie on 7th September
The Factory is operating well and is producing tails, whole
raw frozen and whole cooked frozen to match consumer demand for the
various product forms. Ovenstones are currently also investigating the
possibility of producing cooked, half cut lobster for a new customer.
Initial trials have been set up and so far the product is of a high quality. With the various logistical nightmares
and distances involved in getting trial product out to the customer,
evaluated, accepted and ordered, it is clear to see there will always
be a significant lead time involved with new projects.
Erik is concerned about the state of the weakened West Breakwater following the August storm damage, and hopes the three visiting engineers on the Agulhas trip will provide ideas as to the next critical steps to strengthen Calshot Harbour.
Confidential Patrol to Prevent Poaching
Administrator David Morley reports below on a welcome visit from the Fisheries Patrol Vessel Argos Georgia designed to catch and deter any vessels who may consider illegal fishing operations in Tristan (and Ascension or St Helena) waters. We have deliberately not published any information on the visit until after the mission was complete and the vessel returned to the Falklands Islands.
Photograph from David Morley of FPV Argos Georgia off Tristan on 1st April 2010.
One of our most popular recent visitors was the Argos Georgia, from the Falklands. This Fisheries Patrol Vessel (FPV) patrolled the Economic Exclusive Zones (EEZs) of the Atlantic UK Overseas Territories of Ascension Island, St Helena and Tristan da Cunha from 20th February 2010 to 18th April 2010.
No licences had been issued to fish in the Tristan zone at the time of the patrol. Therefore any vessel fishing within any of the three EEZs would be considered to be engaged in Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) fishing. That’s poaching to you and me. The objectives of the patrol were to collect all direct and indirect fisheries intelligence within the EEZs, to offer a deterrent effect and liaise with interested parties on each UKOT. Fishery Officers (FO’s) from all three OTs joined the FPV for a period of the patrol.
The Argos Georgia entered the Tristan da Cunha EEZ on 31st March 2010
and departed on 8th April 2010. The Tristan EEZ covers a larger area,
217,200 Nm2, than the other two EEZs patrolled. This is due to the
inclusion of Gough Island to the south. The FPV paid particular
attention to the seamounts where our lobsters are found. No fishing
vessels were encountered while patrolling the Tristan da Cunha EEZ.
Progress towards gaining EU access for Tristan fish
Positive progress is being made towards the factory obtaining EU access, with sights set on having the plant fully EU compliant with the necessary Government legislation and bureaucratic infrastructure in place by the start of the 2010/11 fishing season.
The Tristan Fisheries Department has been nominated as the official Competent Authority to fulfill the role of carrying out the required health and quality checks on the factory and product. Selected staff from the Fisheries Department and the factory will attend formal HACCP and food hygiene training courses in Cape Town early in 2010.
Ovenstone views access to EU markets as an important step to diversifying Tristan’s traditional market base for whole frozen lobster, though initial supply volumes to Europe are expected to be limited due to the market preference for a specific size range of whole raw frozen lobster.
In partnership with the Tristan Fisheries Department, Ovenstone is in the process of pursuing a MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) eco-label for the Tristan rock lobster fishery. MSC approval of the fishery will verify that Tristan lobster is harvested in a responsible manner. The fishery underwent a MSC pre-assessment in 2008, and a tender process is currently underway to carry out a full MSC assessment of the fishery in 2010. Given the ever growing awareness of eco-labeled fish products across the globe, particularly Europe, it is appropriate that MSC approval of the Tristan lobster fishery runs in parallel with EU approval of the Tristan factory.
|Disappointing start to Tristan Fishing season continues |
The poor fishing continues, with only 10 fishing days in the first four months of the 2009 season from 1st July - 31st October, compared with 19 in 2009. The catch of 38.1 tonnes is only 20.6% of the 2009/10 quota of 185 tonnes, and it is feared the quota won't be achieved by break-up day planned for Friday 18th December.
Fishing Update from Erik MacKenzie
Edited from a report made on 12th October 2009
New Factory tested on first day of 2009/10 Fishing Season
The only glitch was that some of the part time processors got lost between cloakrooms and processing area, but that won't last long. Overnight freezing in the new blasts is exceptionally good. The new tank room has also turned out brilliantly well in terms of layout and finish - far better than anything Erik has seen in similar South African factories and will compete well with the abalone hatcheries.
David Morley's photograph
The Tristan quota is reserved for local power boats, that now go out on fishing days when calm weather allows the use of Calshot Harbour. These 9 boats normally carry two island fishermen. The opening of the new factory heralds the re-start of this shore-based operation, halted during the 2008/9 season whilst the new factory took shape. During this period MV Kelso acted as a factory ship with island fishermen based on board for stints normally of one week.
Fishing around the outer islands of Nightingale, Inaccessible and Gough is carried out by the Ovenstones vessel MV Edinburgh. The ship is scheduled to carry out two extended fishing trips to catch the 2009/10 quota. The first is scheduled from 20th August until 12th November, the second from 21st November until 18th February. Dates are provisional and can be checked on the Shipping Page
June Fishing Trials ahead of New Season
Report on MV Kelso's role as a Tristan- based factory ship
Fifth MV Kelso Team complete their shift
Fifth and Final Fishing Team of the inaugural MV Kelso Tristan island fishing trip (using Tristan islanders while there is no land-based factory) came ashore ready for the ship's departure for Cape Town on Friday 29th August. The factory ship will deliver the first of the 2008/9 fishing season's crawfish to Cape Town and onward dispatch to international markets.
The fourth team came ashore on Thursday 21 August, and the fifth team went on board and consisted of:
Adrian Swain & Aron Swain
Christopher Swain & Larry Swain
Shaun Green & Kevin Glass
Martin Green & John Lavarello
Ricky Swain and Clive Glass stayed on for another week as the fourth week in an arrangement which included covering for Herbert Glass (Clive's father who is in Cape Town).
Fourth Kelso fishing team aboard
Cynthia Green reports that the third team of fishermen came ashore from the Kelso on Wednesday 13 August and the fourth team went on board:-
Patrick & Alfred Rogers
Neil & Wayne Swain
Ricky Swain & Clive Glass
Nicky Swain & Desmond Green
Eugene Repetto & Albert Green
The Kelso is due to sail from Tristan on 28 August, two weeks later than originally scheduled.
The second team of fishermen came ashore from the MV Kelso on Wednesday 6th August and the following went on board:
Raymond Green & Colin Hagan
Grant Green & Simon Glass
Richard Green & Thomas Swain
Gary Repetto & Cliff Swain
Barry's fishing partner is Andrew Green who is currently in Cape Town on medical treatment. Duncan Lavarello is fishing on behalf of Andrew (Duncan was on last week with his partner Mark Swain and stayed on for this week with Barry).
|And then there were ten |
Experienced fishermen Ken and Timothy Green were taken aboard the MV Kelso on 31st July together with the power boat 'Verkenner' to try to boost rather poor catches. This brings the island fishing personnel to 10, with two additional observers (see below).
All change on MV Kelso
Cynthia Green reports that the eight fishermen based on the first week of ship-based Tristan da Cunha crawfishing arrived home on Wednesday 30th July and have been replaced by eight more men who will fish for the second week.
The new four teams of two are :
Christopher Swain & Larry Swain
Shaun Green & Kevin Glass
Martin Green & John Lavarello
Duncan Lavarello & Mark Swain
They are expected to remain aboard MV Kelso until Wednesday 6th August, harbour landing conditions permitting.
New longline fishing vessel arrives
Head of Tristan Agriculture and Natural Resources Department James Glass reports
The Casablanca arrived at Tristan on 16th July and is licensed to fish for white fish up until mid-September. Norman Glass is on board as the Sea Fishery Officer/Observer.
|2008/9 Fishing Season Plans |
Updated 10th June with further information from Dorrien Venn of Ovenstone
Plans for the 2008/9 fishing season have become clearer as the provisional schedule for the fishing vessels MV Kelso and Edinburgh are announced. The schedule can be viewed on our Shipping Page which is updated regularly.
MV Kelso will carry out three extended trips of approximately 42, 48 and 29 days from July-November. Tristan power boats will operate from the MV Kelso with fish being delivered to the ship for processing and subsequent dispatch to Cape Town. This will mean that Tristan fishermen (the first woman apprentice also worked in 2007) will continue their employment, but locals will lose their income from processing at the Tristan factory.
Factory fishermen will be divided into 6-8 man teams and will fish from the Kelso on a weekly rotational basis. On board processing will be carried out by the vessel's crew. The permanent factory staff will be deployed in the factory rebuild process.
Operating from the Kelso, the island fishermen will have direct access to the lee of the island which means that fishing operations will be less affected by weather and harbour restrictions. It is anticipated that the full Tristan 2008/9 quota will be landed over a four month period.
Despite the immense logistical challenges presented with the factory rebuild, Ovenstone are intent on having the newly built factory operational by the start of the 2009/2010 fishing season.
Friends of the island will be aware that the next year is a crucial time for Tristan's fishing industry, and the island economy which it supports.
|Postscript on the 2007/8 Tristan Fishing Season from Dorrien Venn of Ovenstones |
The Tristan Factory boats landed a total 169 tonnes of lobster for the period 1 July 2007 to 13 February 2008. At the time of the fire, a Factory quota balance of 16 tonnes remained to be caught. This quota balance was landed by the MV Edinburgh in March, after the vessel was granted permission to fish the remaining quota balance at Tristan, with a proviso that the vessel fished outside of the factory vessels' traditional fishing grounds. A total 9.3 tonnes of frozen lobster was destroyed by the factory factory fire.
Fire Destroys Fish Processing Factory
A fire on 13th February 2008 totally destroyed Tristan da Cunha's Fish Processing Factory.
Due to the importance of this news,