News of commercial and domestic fishing in the waters of the Tristan da Cunha archipelago during the 2014-2015 fishing season.

For enquiries about Tristan da Cunha Fisheries email -

Erik's harbour fish nets a bumper squid haul
Photos and report from factory manager Erik MacKenzie

Erik did a spot of line fishing from Calshot Harbour and afterwards on the beach west of the harbour after work on 26th March 2015. As a result he caught 76 squid, some by line from the harbour and others left stranded by retreating waves on the beach. It is only the second time that Erik has managed to catch squid with fishing gear - normally they are only found washed up in the morning - mainly by Roy Rogers who often combs the local beaches. The largest squid was just over 3 kg, and really good eating, but those found washed up dead are never eaten.

Erik also mentions that MV Edinburgh's Captain Clarence also reported a massive squid floating near the rookery with birds standing on it and eating it. He was unable to recover it as the water was too shallow to go in with the ship.

Squid form the staple diet of many seabirds, with indigestible beaks being found in the pellets of albatrosses and petrels. They are not regarded as an inshore species, so this fishing expedition may be of interest to marine biologists and we will seek identification of the Cephalopoda species.

Fishing Update
From Factory Manager Erik MacKenzie

MV Edinburgh returned to Tristan on 3rd April and will catch the remainder of the Tristan da Cunha and outer island fish quota before returning to Cape Town later in April. So the 2014/15 fishing season, which started on 1st July 2014, continues longer than normal.

Silver Explorer's Silver Catch
Erik MacKenzie has sent these photos taken by the
Hotel Director aboard the cruise ship Silver Explorer
of a giant bluefish caught from the vessel
off Nightingale Island on 23rd March 2015.

Fishing Update
From Factory Manager Erik Mackenzie on 2nd February 2015
The 2014/15 fishing season is still not going well as there were only two fishing days in January on Tristan with a total of 4.2 tonnes landed. February has started off well with the boats out today and the weather is looking good. We are all hoping that we manage to catch up soon to the sort of landings we are used to. With a significant portion of the quota not yet landed we expect the
MV Edinburgh to come in and assist once she lands her quota at the other three islands (Gough, Inaccessible and Nightingale).

Factory Manager Erik Mackenzie
invited the school to
visit the factory on
Monday 8th December
to view some giant Tristan Lobster
that had been caught off Gough Island
recently by MV Edinburgh's crew
and brought live in tanks ready for processing

Marie Repetto's photo left
shows the live fish in one of the factory tanks -

for more photos of the pupils handing the fish see
the School News Page.

November Fishing Report from Erik Mackenzie

At the end of November, 5 months into the season, we have only landed 31% of the Tristan quota of 50 tonnes.
The weather has played a big part in these disappointing results and we have only had 17 fishing days so far this season. November is usually our peak month, but we had only 4 days and caught 11.3 tonnes. We are all hoping that it is a late season and that both the weather and landings improve soon.

The Sashimi product seems to be most popular, but a full range of products has been shipped ( whole raw, whole cooked, tails and
Sashimi) and we will work through all the feedback to see what we can realistically provide on an ongoing basis. It is very satisfying to see results at last from the hard work put in by a lot of people on Island and in Cape Town with very valued input from Ian Goulding consulting for us in Europe to enable exports to the EU to be made at last.

Tristan Lobster served in the UK
for the first time at Whitehall Reception

A moment of very considerable achievement for Tristan
occurred at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
on Wednesday 3rd December 2014
when Tristan lobster was served
for the very first time in the UK and the EU.

See the 2014 JMC Page for more photos and a full report

High Speed Fisheries Patrol

Director of Fisheries James Glass
has sent these brilliant photos
of a Tristan Fisheries Department
trip to Nightingale Island waters to
carry out surveys on 19th September 2014.

October Fishing Report from Factory Manager Erik Mackenzie

It is not great news unfortunately as we are about 30 tonnes behind where we were last year at this time with 38.6 tonnes landed
to date this season. The weather has been a big factor with so far 5 fewer fishing days than last year and lower daily landings as well. It seems that the season could be slightly skewed with a lot of fish being seen that are still in berry and no significant presence of females yet. I am hopeful that as soon as the numbers of females increase we will see a corresponding increase in daily landings - as long as we start getting suitable weather.

The smaller landings have been good for factory production however, as we are able to keep a higher proportion of live lobster for purging and further processing into whole raw, whole cooked and Sashimi. The water has also been cold and we are now using five of the live floating platforms on a daily basis between the boats so the lobster are alive and strong on arrival at the factory.

Hopefully November will improve and I can give a more upbeat report at the end of this month.

Tristan Lobster gains access to EU Markets :
First consignment of fish will arrive by the end of October 2014

See full story and photos on the separate

Tristan EU Lobster Exports Page

Tristan's Director of Fisheries James Glass
was awarded a MSc in September 2014

See the James Glass MSc page for further
information about James's achievement

New Fishing Season gets underway and Total Allowable Catches (TAC) for the 2014/15 fishing season set.
Report from Tristan's Head of Fisheries James Glass

The 2014/15 seasons TAC's as recommended by the Fisheries Department was approved by the Island Council on 30th July and was as follows:

Gough - 100 tonnes (up 5 tonnes from last year)
Inaccessible - 73 tonnes (up 3 tonnes from last year)
Nightingale - 65 tonnes (no change from last year)
Tristan - 161 tonnes - (down 4 tonnes from last year)

The fishing season which started on the 1st July produced two fishing days in July, landing 2.3 and 2.5 tonnes respectively, despite some minor problems with boats. The Fishery Patrol boat Wave Dancer and Conservation RIB also took advantage of the good weather and visited the outer islands of Inaccessible and Nightingale on 18th July.

Whilst the Wave Dancer was out on regular patrol the crew checked on the lobster pueruli *collectors at both Inaccessible and Nightingale, and stopped for an hour and a half
to try for a fish, and ended up landing 89 bluefish,
which is a record in such a short space of time.
The Conservation RIB checked on the research hut at Inaccessible and also did a spot of fishing and caught a few fish

* pueruli are late larval-stage lobsters (singular puerulus) which are monitored at collecting stations around the islands as a measure to ensure a sustainable fishery.

Plenty Fish!

Record Catch of 89 Blue Fish
caught in 90 minutes from a single boat

Photo from James Glass
shows the Wave Dancer coxswain & crew
at the Tristan cleaning site
Left to right: , Andrew Green, Warren Glass, Rodney Green, Drew Campbell (PWD Director), Joe Green
and Tristan Glass who came to help his uncle Rodney
to clean his fish, as his Dad didn't need any help cleaning.

First Day of 2014-15 Fishing Season
Photos from Marie Repetto

Two views looking over Calshot Harbour on 18th July 2014 as boats go out for the first catches of the new season.
The season officially begins on 1st July but 18th was the first day with safe conditions for vessels to use the harbour.