Seeking new technology
Mayor witnesses latest innovations for fishing technology in Iceland
Returning from the Iceland Fisheries Exhibition, Alton Rumbolt is hoping the most up-to-date fishery technology will come to Newfoundland and Labrador.
The Mary’s Harbour mayor attended the exhibition during a six-day trip with other harvesters, plant processors, and Fish, Food and Allied Workers union members.
The province’s harvesters toured the area with their minds set on an expanding cod fishery and an increasing demand for better quality fish.
Rumbolt says of all the different technology he witnessed there, the auto-jigger stands out as particularly vital.
“Right now, you’re looking for quality and building up good markets,” Rumbolt said. “With this new technology in Newfoundland and Labrador, it’s going to be a good thing for the future of our fishery.”
Auto-jiggers can place several lines into the water on one machine. Computer systems on the auto-jiggers control how far off the ocean floor the hooks will be. The fisher can plug in a weight limit for the jigger and the lines will reel back to the ocean surface once the amount of fish caught meets that weight. When the ocean floor rises or falls, the jig lines adjust their distance.
The jiggers are even equipped with an automatic baiter that baits the hooks as they go down.
Through this innovation, all the work once done manually and requiring many hands on deck will be feasible with just one or two crewmembers.
Rumbolt says this is particularly beneficial to harvesters in Newfoundland and Labrador.
“A lot of people have gotten out of the fishery here, from Muskrat Falls, getting on the oil rigs or moving away,” said Rumbolt. “Smaller crews are common now, and this will generate the same amount of work that a larger crew would. Two people in a crew could handle this easily.”
Rumbolt says this technology can also decrease the use of netting, which will have environmentally friendly consequences. As well, leaving nets overnight often depletes the quality of the fish caught inside, and with auto-jiggers the use of