The potential of jig fishing as an energy efficient method for catching whitefish around Shetland

Paul Macdonald, Chevonne Laurenson, Susan Marrs

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    Jig fishing, or automated handlining, was last attempted commercially in
    Shetland in the early 1990s. However, although the initiative was considered
    to be a success, the metier has not gained precedence over otter trawling.
    The recent difficulties encountered by the whitefish sector combined with
    advances in jigging machine technology indicated that an evaluation of this
    approach should be revisited. Jig fishing has significant economic benefits as
    little fuel is consumed in comparison to trawling. This reduces vessel running
    costs which, with current fuel prices, can also increase profit margins
    significantly. The aim of this study, carried out over a 15 month period, was to
    evaluate the commercial viability of jig fishing for whitefish around the
    Shetland Isles. Five hundred and sixty eight boxes of fish valued at £29,000
    were caught and landed during 119 days fishing. The principal species in the
    catch were saithe (Pollachius virens) and pollack (Pollachius pollachius),
    while small quantities of cod (Gadus morhua), ling (Molva molva) and tusk
    (Brosme brosme) were also caught. Fuel costs while jig fishing were
    significantly lower than when otter trawling. Potential income combined with
    reduced running costs indicate that this metier has considerable potential to
    be successfully implemented by inshore fishermen.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2007
    EventICES Annual Science Conference 2007 - Helsinki, Finland
    Duration: 17 Sept 200721 Sept 2007


    ConferenceICES Annual Science Conference 2007


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