Going demersal with FS
Fishering Service (FS) is best known for its pelagic trawl gear, but is now returning to its roots with demersal gear for a customer in the Russian Far East.
“We have been extremely busy with pelagic gear and that has been our main focus,” said the company’s Dmitriy Fedorov. “We produced demersal gear in the past, and as we knew that our customers were looking for this kind of gear, we decided to design bottom trawls that draw on our experience with pelagic trawls.”
The result is the Grenadier, a demersal trawl with the distinctive eight-panel belly design that has been one of FS’s trademarks over the years, providing a carefully shaped back end to the trawl with a good flow of water all the way back to the codend.
“This trawl has a belly section adapted from our pelagic gears, with low drag. The first trawl we supplied had to be adjusted as it was so light that the skipper couldn’t get it to sit to begin with.”
Once the Grenadier trawl had been rigged to a footrope that kept it steady on the seabed, FS has been supplying several customers in the Russian Far East with this design for fishing cod and halibut.
“These are large trawlers in the 4000 to 7000hp range, but we have also been supplying a similar design of demersal trawl with an eight panel belly to a local fisherman in Kaliningrad who works a 25 metre, 650hp trawler in the Baltic. He started fishing with it this summer and he has seen good results,” Dmitriy Fedorov said.
He commented that it is rarely easy to supply demersal gear to an area that’s not close to where it is produced, which is one of the reasons FS has preferred to concentrate on pelagic gear – as the market for this gear is in the north and in the Far East region of Russia, but the company has decided to take on this challenge, not least as it is preparing to build a new net loft next year.
Fishering Service has grown over the last few years and has outgrown its net loft in Kaliningrad where all of its gear is produced. The new net loft will be focused on pelagic trawl gear, while the present building will he used for demersal and other fishing gear.
As well as its home market, FS has been increasingly busy with its export activities, supplying pelagic trawl gear.
“We’re back in Iceland with four trawls supplied there this year, and we have supplied trawls to Chile for fishing squid and hoki,” he said.
“Two years ago we also took a close look at the bellies of our pelagic trawls. We knew the forenet sections and our codends were fishing well, but we felt it was time to upgrade the belly designs, so we spent a lot of time in the flume tank and redesigned the bellies, working on a lot of feedback from skippers,” he said.
“Now these are in widespread use and they are exceptionally light to tow, and always made in eight panels to provide a clean shape to the gear and a good flow of water.”
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