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 had a brief but pleasant visit with Peter Mullen, owner of the 165 foot midwater trawler-seiner Western Venture and the 109 foot Osprey.
The boats fish for herring and mackerel, often on Georges Bank, and market their catch locally and in Boston for bait and overseas (Mediterranean countries and Africa) for human consumption.
Photos ©Kathy Chapman 2014
Photo © Marty Luster 2014
Was very impressed how the captain was able to back this ship into the Marina, I have a hard enough time backing into a space on Main Street. Here is some information on this huge ship, by the late Peter Prybot, February 7, 2007 from the Gloucester Daily Times.
At an impressive 164-by-40-by-14 feet, the Western Venture is a European design combination of mid-water trawler/purse. The vessel’s refrigerated seawater tanks can hold over a million pounds of fish at a temperature of 32 degrees. Its twin 1,500 horse power diesels give it the power to fish just about any depth, and its main trawl winches, which each hold over seven tons of 11/4-inch diameter towing wire and can lift a dead weight of 90,000 pounds apiece, can haul up big catches from the depths.
Here is Charlie in the yard at Rose’s Marine where he was working on his dive boat.
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Rest In Peace Charlie. Prayers go out to your family.
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This Video Show How Large Amounts Of Herring That Gets Pumped Aboard The Western Venture Find Their Way Into The Different Sections Of The Massive Boats Fish Holds.
The Herring gets pumped aboard and then travels down these shutes and diverted into whichever hold they want it to go with the removable slats.
Here are the shackles and pins that connect the Western Venture’s groundlines to its net. YOu think this equipment has done some work?
Here you can see the green groundlines ready to be attached to the brown net.
Here’s a picture left from the other day when the Western Venture was loading it’s net from the Swan Net Boom Truck.
What is interesting about it is how high it sits out of the water so that the opening in the stern of the boat is perfectly lined up with the level of the pier so the net slides right into the stern of the boat and onto it’s net reel in a straight shot. Do you see those two rectangular openings in the stern of the boat that look like garage door openings? Just inside there is where the net reels are located.
As the net reel reels the net on, the crew guide it back and forth so it will be loaded evenly onto the spool. A net this large you wouldn’t want all bunched up in the middle.
Here you see the men guiding the net off of the boom truck. They are making sure it is spread properly so once it gets loaded onto the net reel on the boat, it will set off from the boat properly and not all messed up when it hits the water fishing. On evenly distributed=off evenly distributed.
I wonder how much the nets weigh? I mean the nets these boats tow are enormous, filling up this big truck. My guess is wet they would weigh 18,000 pounds and dry 15,000 pounds.
My guess is based on the size of that truck bed. It looks like it could carry 8 vats, and each vat holds roughly 1500 pounds.
Using a portable boom truck equipped with a power block, the huge herring nets are loaded onto the midwater trawler the Western venture at The State Fish Pier in Gloucester.
Watch as the massive net gets offloaded from the Swan Net’s boom truck and onto the net reel aboard the Western Venture. Swan Net has a facility to mend and create fishing nets up at the Blackburn Industrial Park, over a mile from the waters edge. They can work on these huge nets inside of buildings with controlled environments instead of taking up valuable real estate on the waterfront. They can do this because of the boom truck that can load and offload these nets for more efficient handling.