Hampidjan’s new design Gloria pelagic trawls have been successfully catching mackerel. The latest version is the 1760-4 Wide and this was used by four pelagic vessels last year. It didn’t take long for the news to spread and this summer three more pelagic vessels have been using this trawl, plus there has been no shortage of enquiries about it from overseas customers who also fish North Atlantic mackerel.
According to Haraldur Árnason, sales and marketing director of Hampidjan’s fishing gear division, those first boats using the new trawl are Ingunn (now renamed Ísleifur), Beitir, Sigurdur and Vilhelm Thorsteinsson. This year Venus, Börkur and Polar Amaroq have joined the band.
‘The main advantages are that this trawl can be rigged for more spread than is usual, as much as 4:1, which provides a 45-50 metre vertical opening against a 200 to 210 metre horizontal spread. The gear shape can easily be changed by adjusting weights and sweeplines, such as to rig the gear for herring when the vertical opening is a more important factor than the spread,’ he said, and commented that the belly has also been redesigned, lengthened and widened to allow it to carry a larger volume.
Proven on herring
‘This is a proven advantage, especially when towing through large herring marks as there has to be enough space inside the gear to hold the volume of fish that enters the gear. The new trawl has very clearly demonstrated what it can do and several pelagic vessels used it last year with great success on herring.’
According to Haraldur Árnason, the possibility of the wide opening has resulted in cleaner mackerel catches, with less by-catch.
‘Of course circumstances change all the time, but the thinking is that by rigging the trawl with a low vertical opening and a wide spread between the wing ends, it’s possible to take a slice of the layer of mackerel that lies high in the water. The forerunner of the 1760-4 Wide was the Gloria 1600, which had proportions of 3:1. It’s also interesting to note that although the new trawl is wider, there’s no increase in towing resistance and it’s much the same as that of the 1600 trawl, and that’s a design that has performed well this year, as it has in previous seasons, and it’s in use on board a great many pelagic vessels.’
a key factor in the new trawl’s development has been the trawl simulator that Hampidjan has developed in co-operation with the University of Iceland. This focuses on achieving the best possible flow of water through the gear, which also maximises the effectiveness of the Helix self-spreading ropes.
‘We could see this clearly how well the Helix ropes function in the flume tank in Hirtshals when we compared the old PE/PA rope with the latest Helix version. The Helix rope gives the trawl a 33% greater circumference as it pulls the gear open all the way back into the belly. It also affects the rest of the gear, resulting in much less movement in the meshes, which in turns means less resistance.’
He said that although Hampidjan has produced the new trawl, it can be seen as a co-operative effort involving many partners.
‘As we have seen so often in the past in developing a new design, there’s a mix of Hampidjan’s expertise with the experience of operators and skippers who are involved in this fishery. Their ideas and requirements are central to developing better and more efficient gear and this often becomes a winning combination,’ Haraldur Árnason said.