Lost trawl gear returned from Svalbard


A lost section of a trawl has been returned and put back to use – more than a year after it came fast in the Barents Sea

Owned by UK Fisheries, factory trawler Kirkella had been towing its gear at the end of February 2002 when the trawl came fast on a wreck around 200 nautical miles south-west of Bear Island. Attempts to free the gear were unsuccessful, and even trying to retrieve the trawl by towing a creep resulted in the hook also getting caught up in the wreck.

Back in the same waters in the next trip, attempts were made again to get the trawl back, and this time they were partially successful, managing to retrieve part of the trawl. They were disappointed to lose part of the gear, and had no choice but to write the trawl section off as irretrievably lost. So it was a surprise when the governor of Svalbard – 500 nautical miles to the north – got in touch to report that the missing trawl section had drifted ashore there.

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