Welcome to Fishing and Aquaculture Week!

Photo: Karstensens Skibsvaerft

For someone who first went fishing commercially 55 years ago on an, even then, ancient wooden pearling lugger, the new ships you will see here over the coming week make me incredibly envious. Modern, efficient, comfortable, strong and safe, they are a far cry from what I experienced during my first year university holidays chasing lobsters from Western Australia’s Dongara.

Looking at their galleys, for example, made me think of cooking on a single burner camping Primus stove on deck. Although we went ashore for dinner in the evenings, most of our other food consisted of “cackers” (undersized lobsters) on horrible white bread with tomato sauce. After three months of lobster, two meals a day, you soon become very tired of them. Even the greatest lobster connoisseur would!

There was no toilet or shower. You did it over the side and swam to wash. Then there was the accommodation. None of luxury you will see here, terrible old damp bunks and the boat swarmed with cockroaches and the occasional rat. No AC, no running water, no nothing, really. The boat was lucky to make eight knots downwind. As to safety, it was amazing the old tub ever passed survey.

Trawling • Longlining • Seining • Potting • Aquaculture • Mariculture

Nevertheless, we were happy, fit and making money. Not bad for a 19-year-old student! And the local Geraldton radio station played the Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations” for us every morning as we set out to pull our pots.

My next experience was two years later on a then-large, ultra-modern, steel tropical prawn trawler we delivered from the shipyard on the south coast of Queensland to begin fishing in the sultry Gulf of Carpentaria. Fortunately we were very well air-conditioned and brilliantly fed. We even had a cook on board! That trip, I learnt a lot and met some amazing people, but made no money.

And that, after all, is what fishing and aquaculture are all about – making money. These very type and geographically diverse and impressive new vessels that Baird Maritime will present this week are all about that fundamental reality. All have been built for very experienced owners. They will perform their roles efficiently, safely, economically, comfortably, quickly and, very importantly, in an environmentally friendly and very profitable manner.

Vessel Reviews:

News and Gear:

Recent Important Features:

FEATURE | Predicting future fish productivity by better understanding the role of habitat in the life of a fish

– “Scientists often do not account for the in-between time as a fish is transitioning from one stage of development to the next, nor do they consider the cumulative impacts across life stages.”

FEATURE | US, Russia team up on Bering Sea fisheries management project

– “Collaborating between countries has clearly improved the effectiveness of surveys providing information on fluctuations in fish availability.”

Remember to come back every day to see the latest news, opinion and vessel reviews!

Call for content!

Any news or views about the global commercial fishing and aquaculture industries? Send it through to [email protected] ASAP (between now and October 8), so we can add it to this current edition of Fishing and Aquaculture Week!

We are after:

  • Vessels – Orders, new deliveries, under construction
  • Gear – Latest innovations and technology in the fishing/aquaculture sectors
  • Interviews – Owners, operators, processors, co-ops, distributors etc.
  • Reminiscences – Do you have any exciting, amusing or downright dangerous anecdotes from your time in the fishing world? (example here)
  • Other – Any other relevant news

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Neil Baird

Co-founder and former Editor-in-Chief of Baird Maritime and Work Boat World magazine, Neil has travelled the length and breadth of this planet in over 40 years in the business. He knows the global work boat industry better than anyone.