The Fish on Fridays series is a collaboration between Gloucester photographers Kathy Chapman and Marty Luster. Look for various aspects of Gloucester’s centuries-old fishing industry highlighted here on Fridays.
Kathy and Marty were back at the State Fish Pier this week to take a look at three of the boats that comprise the Gloucester herring fleet.
Western Sea Fishing Co. owns three midwater trawlers — the Challenger and Endeavour, each 149 feet, which trawl as a pair, and the Voyager, 140 feet. The three vessels land their catch with Cape Seafoods, which processes the herring.
The video shows the pair trawlers Challenger and Endeavour leaving Jodrey State Fish Pier going to Georges Bank. It will take 10-16 hours to get there and they will return in 2-4 days, depending on how long it takes to find the herring. They also fish for mackerel in the winter.
There is a NOAA observer/fish counter on the trips (pictured) who counts the number of haddock that will inevitably end up in their nets.
Because of quota restrictions the trawler Voyager is for sale, going price (an approx.) a cool 5 mil. She is a solo trawler able to fish by herself, unlike the other two which drag a net between them.
Photos © Kathy Chapman 2013
Video © Marty Luster 2013
The Maine Herring Boat Sunlight which Hails out of Gloucester Docking at night.
They came in about 8:30pm to unload a Bad Net.
The Herring Boat Voyager Loads it’s Nets and Heads out to Sea.
No one around while the city sleeps.
This is a pretty tough shot to get with such low light and from the distance it was taken. I’, pretty happy with it. To see it full size click the picture and select “all sizes”
Just like the net reels on the Mid Water Trawlers, the blocks they use on these boats are ginormous compared to anything we use on the shore side docks. This block is probably rated for 20 times the weight or more (I totally pulled that number out of my ass) than the blocks we use on our hoists.
This attachment goes on the end of a large in diameter hose. It gets lowered into the water over the side of the boat to suck the herring out of the net and into the hold of the boat where the fish is refrigerated in cold water to keep it fresh and the best possible product it can be for packing.
See all those pipes that feed into the side of the net reel?
They are hydraulics which power the net reel to turn and stop. It’s amazing to me how much pressure they must be under to move such heavy equipment. I’m surprised they don’t burst all the time under that kind of pressure.
Taking this picture in the early morning before there is anyone around doesn’t allow me to get a human in the frame to give you the idea of the scale of just how big the net reels on the Mid Water Trawlers are.
These bad boys are ginormous.
There is a whole lot of steel up high on this boat. To me it would seem top heavy, but honestly I’m no boat designer and I’m sure it’s safe as the boat has been around a while.
See where the wire passes through the white rectangular piece at the top of the winch? That white rectangular piece glides back and forth on that black bar as the wire gets loaded onto the spool so that it gets loaded evenly and doesn’t bunch up in the middle.
These massive winches are what pull the nets aboard and set them out.
Here is another pic from The Glamour UK photoshoot from the past summer which ended up in the pages of the recent edition of the magazine.