Hampidjan subsidiary busy in Ireland
Among the guests at the recent IceFish exhibition in Kópavogur were Marin Howley, chairman of the board of Irish fishing gear supplier Swan Net Gundry Ltd, based in Killybegs, and managing director Evelyn Cassidy. The company has its headquarters in Killybegs and was created from a merger of long-established companies Swan Net and Gundry’s. It has been a Hampidjan subsidiary since 1999.
According to Evelyn Cassidy, the company currently has around 60 staff and a 4000 square metre facility.
The managing directors within the Hampidjan Group meet at least once every year to compare notes. So this year the opportunity was taken to hold the meeting alongside the Icelandic Fisheries Exhibition, which also made it possible to meet other managers and customers who were at the event.
Largest gear supplier
Martin Howley said that Swan Net Gundry is Ireland’s leading fishing gear supplier, with a variety of different product lines.
‘We mainly produce pelagic trawl gear, as well as bottom trawls that are made in our net loft at Castletownbere in the south-west of Ireland,’ Martin Howley said, commenting that the company also has branches in Shetland, at Fraserburgh in Scotland, Rossaveal and Skibbereen in Ireland and Gloucester in the USA.
Sales of fishing gear to pelagic operators have been healthy internationally, including to the eastern USA, as well as to Namibia and South Africa. Swan Net Gundry has also supplied gear to customers in Denmark, Norway, Newfoundland, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Guatemala and Argentina.
Fine pelagic fleet
Ireland has one of the most sophisticated and modern pelagic fleets anywhere in western Europe. There are currently 26 large Irish pelagic vessels, or which twenty operate from Killybegs. The majority of these vessels come to Swan Net Gundry for their gear and the company also supplies most of the Shetland fleet’s gear. Next year will see three new pelagic vessels joining the Irish register, replacing older tonnage, making it clear that Swan Net Gundry will not be short of work in the immediate future.
Good access to materials
Like other companies within the Hampidjan Group, Swan Net Gundry sources its raw materials from the Hampidjan Baltic factory in Lithuania and its trawl doors from Thyborøn in Denmark.
‘Our experience of the gear that comes from Lithuania is excellent. Although we keep a good stock in Ireland, sometimes a boost is needed and it doesn’t take long to produce what we need and ship it to Ireland. Lithuania is part of the EU, so transport times are short and shipping costs are reasonable,’ Martin Howley said.