FISHING TECHNIQUES


 

Dieppe is a port of national interest with its fleet of  eighty fishing boats.

-         forty boats are specialized in coastal fishing and are not at sea for more than twenty-four hours.

-         Thirty-nine trawlers practise deep-sea fishing among which twenty-four are fitted out to fish scallops from October to May.

These boats are from eighteen to twenty-five meters long and are at sea for three or five days . Five men work on board and they fish in the Eastern channel as well as in the Western Channel and the North sea.

-         Last but not least, Dieppe has a deep-freezing boat, for industrial fishing on which twenty up to twenty-seven men work in three watches .

 

5 principales techniques for fishing:

The long lines also called main lines bear small lines ending with a hook . The lines can be from ten to one hundred kilometres long and allow the catching of conger eels, skates, sharks, sea bass, and spotted dog fishes , all of remarkable size and quality.

 

There are two types of nets:

-         the gillnet in which the fish is caught by the gills .This type of net is mostly used for catching herring and mackerel .

-         The trammel is made of three  sets of different meshes . The fish get entangled between sets of meshes when they want to escape from the net.

All the types of nets can be lain on the sea-bottom or right under the surface of the water according to the tides and the species being fished . ( flat fish or pelagic fish)

 

The fish pots:

There are different types of fish pots : there are some which are adapted to a sandy sea –bottom others that are used on rocky bottoms. They also vary according to the species : crabs, lobsters, shrimps or cuttlefish.

 

The dredges:

Here the dredges are used to catch scallops. These dredges are in fact heavy rakes ending with a large pocket that are dragged on sandy or gravel sea bottoms . Only adult scallops which are eleven centimetres wide can be caught.

 

The Trawl net:

The trawl net is a huge pocket-like net . The meshes are getting smaller towards the end of the net to make the catching efficient.

There are two types of trawl nets:

-         The bottom trawl for species living on the sea bottom such as the flat fish , the gurnard…

-         The pelagic trawl net, to catch species living between the surface and the sea bottom, such as the cod, haddock, sea perch and whiting…

Nowadays the size of the meshes is strictly controlled for each species.
Four thousand tons of fish are unloaded every year, which makes Dieppe the eighteenth French fishing port.

The main species unloaded are: scallops, mackerels, cods, dog-fish, whiting, sole and cuttlefish.

 

The fishing  field and regulation measures

 

To each job on the sea correspond two jobs on land .

The coastal zones down to three hundred metres provide ninety per cent of the European captures .

 

The quantity of halieutic fish caught in France is constantly rising from eighty-three million tons in 1990, it is now of one hundred million tons. In the mean time, the number of fishing boats as well as the resource are decreasing, which means that more fish are captured and that some species are threatened.

 

This over exploitation imposes the strict regulation of the capture rate and quotas per country, zone and species.

 

It is scientifically admitted that a species is threatened when the  number of fish per zone and per age group is inferior to its natural mortality plus the mortality due to fishing.

 

Three types of studies are carried out on a stock:

 

-         The quantity, diversity and the size of the fish which are unloaded ;

-         A scientific boats follows fish shoals thanks to its sonar and echo-sounder; and the study of some samples makes it possible to determine the number of males and females, the age and the size of the fish in the stock.

-         The reproduction of a species is studied in a laboratory so as to know what is in a protected environment the ratio between the number of eggs lain and the number of adults and the age of sexual maturity.

From the sea to the consumer’s plate:

 

Once caught , the fish can be unloaded under three different forms: frozen , fresh or transformed.

 

 With industrial fishing on a  deep-freezing factory-boat, the fish are sorted out,  washed , cut into fillets and packaged in the cold hold at  minus thirty degrees centigrade . The frozen fish are sold directly to a transforming plant where they are used for ready-made dishes or coated with breadcrumbs.

 

 With coastal fishing, the fish are sorted out on board per species and per size, packaged in boxes containing ice and they are unloaded at the auction where they are sold to fishmongers every day at 6.30.About twenty fish wholesalers buy , prepare and sell fish to  restaurants, fishmongers and supermarkets.

 

 Apart from fresh or deep-frozen , the fish can be transformed for traditional conservation or transformed into more valuable products, such as surimi for example.

 4  Traditional  conservation techniques:

The fish can be preserved in  dry salt or in brine.

It can also be smoked in high chimneys by the combustion of chestnut or beech tree shavings.

This northern tradition is mostly used for salmon, herring  and mackerel .These techniques have been known and used since Ancient times .

 

  Sardines, tuna, mackerels and scallops are preserved in tins with white wine or olive oil and spices.

 

  For the past ten years, a new technique has been developed : ready-made dishes are cooked to meet the consumers’ demands in taste, nutritional value and fashion: vacuum-cooked  products , products with seaweeds, stuffed fish or terrines.

  


 


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