Seek­ing new tech­nol­ogy

Mayor wit­nesses lat­est in­no­va­tions for fish­ing tech­nol­ogy in Ice­land

Northern Pen - - FRONT PAGE - BY KYLE GREENHAM MARY’S HAR­BOUR, NL

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

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