News of commercial and domestic fishing in the waters of the Tristan da Cunha archipelago during the 2013-2014 fishing season.

For enquiries about Tristan da Cunha Fisheries, email -

Fishing Update from Factory Manager Eric MacKenzie on 13th April 2014

At present we have just over 11 tonnes to go to finish the Tristan quota for this season. This includes the fish caught on the first 2 days of April. We are currently waiting for the Baltic Trader to depart before hopefully finishing the quota before end of April. Any fish left in the water after that will probably be mopped up by the Edinburgh when she comes down next month. Average landings have shown a pleasing increase over last season and we are hoping that by using 12 boats for the full season next year we will be able to finish the quota earlier if the weather plays along. To date we have only fished 42 days which is not a lot when you consider the season has been open already a full 9 months!

Prize Queen's Day Catch

Photo from Nicky Swain showing five fine specimens of Cape Mackerel or Yellowtail known elsewhere as Giant Yellowtail Seriola lalani caught during the 2014 Queen's Day fishing competition held on 7th March 2013

Left to Right: Aron Swain, Nicky Swain,Warren Glass,
Donny Green, Patrick Green and Dean Repetto

Dean's Yellowtail (far right) won 2nd prize as it measured 120cm but it was pipped by Steve Swain who caught a fish 120.9cm long

See separate Queen's Day page for details

2014 Trips on 'Seaspray'

Report and Photos from Drew Campbell

Tristan PWD Director went out on 'Seaspray' with Darren, Randall and Julian Repetto

Photos show:

Above Left: Randall aboard Seaspray leaving Calshot Harbour looking towards Big Point

Above Right: Darren and Julian on the 'bridge'

Left: Drew with a Giant Yellowtail (Cape Mackerel, Seriola lalandi) caught by him aboard the Seaspray, on Saturday 22nd February 2014. The fish weighed in at about 32kg and was 1.4m in length.

Tristan Rock Lobster begins its journey to international markets

Photos from Dawn Repetto show MV Edinburgh anchored offshore on 17th February (left) and the scene in Calshot Harbour (right) as Tristan Rock Lobster, caught by island fishermen and processed in the Tristan factory are transferred to one of the powerboats ready to be taken out to MV Edinburgh to be exported aboard the ship to Cape Town and on to international markets.

Fishing Update from Factory Manager Erik MacKenzie on 8th February 2014

Landings to the end of January are quite disappointing as we have only had four fishing days between December and January so the advantage we had built up by end November is now all but gone. 28 days fishing between 1 July and 31 January is just not good enough and we are going to have to look at the possibility of using the Edinburgh again to catch the last of this year's quota. We still have a balance of 45 tonnes in the water and with January landings being quite low we have to look at alternatives.

Competition Winners

The winners of the competition to name the two new Tristan powerboats have been announced by Erik MacKenzie are:

Albatross Bay from Asturias (Tordy) Repetto and Atlantic Sunrise from Drew Campbell

Erik will present the prizes soon and we hope to have a photo of this ceremony on the site before long. See also the details of the competition and photos of the new powerboats below.

Extreme Fishing Tristan-Style

These extreme fishermen are George Swain and Dean Repetto, who have scrambled onto a ledge of Little Sandy Gulch, at a place when, in flood, it will cascade down the cliffs, just after Jenny's Watron. Beyond is Hottentot Point.
Photo by Marc Escudier who was far too scared to go as close to the edge as they were!

Catfish (Octopus) caught at Runaway Beach by Robin Repetto seen here with daughter Jade

Photograph by Dawn Repetto on 27th December 2013

New Powerboats in Action

Photos and Report from Marie Repetto

Photos from Marie Repetto on 26th November 2013 show:

Left: the two new Powerboats (larger vessels in the middle of the picture) that arrived from Cape Town earlier in the month;

Right: The catch being unloaded from one of the new Powerboats trialled that day and crewed by Darren Repetto and Grant Green.

We delayed the publication of these photographs hoping to announce the winners of the competition to name the boats. We now expect this to be confirmed when Factory Manager Erik MacKenzie returns from Cape Town aboard MV Edinburgh later in January 2014, but didn't want to delay further.

Competition to name two new fishing boats

MV Edinburgh will bring two new fishing boats in November and Factory manager Erik MacKenzie invites website visitors to enter a competition to choose new names.

Other Tristan Boat Names:

Fishing Boats: Seal Bay, Nightingale, Kingfisher, Bornholm, Verkenner, Boissevain, Kingbird, Saldanha Bay, Shearwater, Island Pride

Other inshore vessels: Seaspray, Don B, Sandypoint Express, Atlantic Dawn, Atlantic Wave, Atlantic Spray and Wave Dancer

Winners will each receive a set of four TdC coffee mugs and the result will be announced here in December (with a mug shot?)

Fishing Report from Factory Manager Erik MacKenzie on 8th November

October ended up being a very good month after a nice start. Over 8 days we landed just over 40 tonnes of lobster - great to see so many 5 tonne days after a rather poor start to the season. The fish - as usual for this time of year - were in very good condition with cold water and cool weather conditions contributing to good live recovery.

The lobster started biting well just after we had loaded our first production of the season onto Baltic Trader so we had plenty of space available in the cold store. We have so far packed a good mix of Sashimi, whole raw and cooked frozen as well as tails with a limited amount of lobster heads which is a fairly new line for us, but proving popular. We hope to increase the number of heads during the season as tail production increases.

November has not treated us well so far as we are still waiting for the weather to give us a break, but hope that catches will be good when we eventually get out to the grounds. Two new fishing boats are on the Edinburgh and we hope to get them off this weekend. As soon as we have done sea trials, put the gear on board and got them licensed we will add them to the fleet.

Fishing Report from Factory Manager Erik MacKenzie on 8th October

The new season has unfortunately not seen many fishing days so far. The weather has been poor and only 10 days have been fished so far between 1st July - 30th September. Things started off very slowly, but the tallies have been improving slightly as the season progresses. There has been 26.6 tonnes landed so far which is less than we were hoping for, but is not all that unusual for this time of year.

The quality of the lobster to date has been excellent and we are managing to keep a high percentage of our catch live for keeping in the holding tanks until they are purged and ready for further processing into Sashimi, raw frozen or cooked product.

We now have half the fleet towing around the small rubber boats to hold their catch in the water until collection by the ferry. This is proving to be very successful so far and we are seeing very encouraging results which we hope to maintain when the weather warms up later in the year and when we start struggling to keep the lobster in peak condition.

First Day of the 2013/14 Fishing Season on 1st July 2013

Photos from Marie Repetto taken as the first fishing boats leave Calshot Harbour just after 8am on a beautiful winter morning heralded by a lovely sunrise (top left)

We hope to report on a successful fishing season, so crucial to the Tristan economy. Commercial fishing for Tristan Crawfish, Crayfish or Rock Lobster starts on 1st July with power boats going out on suitable days from Calshot Harbour to fish around the main island, with processing in the factory.

MV Edinburgh arrives in August to begin the first of two extended trips around the outer islands of Inaccessible, Nightingale and Gough Island. Hopefully this year the island fishermen will catch the entire Tristan quota.