Trawl gear technology courses

Seafish Gear Technologists run training courses for fishermen, often funded through the European Fisheries Fund in trawl gear technology and selectivity at the Sintef Flume Tank in Hirtshals.

The courses will be over two days of intensive gear work in the flume tank and one day studying some of the measures that are being trialled and used in the Danish nephrops fishery. The initial part of the courses introduces participants to the flume tank, its possibilities and explains thoroughly to the fishermen what actually happens to their gear as they make everyday alterations to their own gear.  The course will go through a standard gear syllabus that is relevant to all trawling and covers the principles of trawl gear.  All types of trawling will be covered.

Time will also be spent demonstrating and experimenting with model gear similar to that used by the participating fishermen. An integral part of the project is to get a scale model constructed of a Nephrops trawl that is in common use by local fishermen in the Irish Sea nephrops fishery.

The course is suitable for skippers and crew from all sizes of vessel who are interested in expanding their knowledge and understanding of their trawl gear and learning more about the various devices that are in common use for discard reduction and how they would relate to the Irish Sea nephrops fishery. It is better to have the participants on any one course all to be from similar sized vessels and / or using similar gear. Ideally one member of each group would 'volunteer' to be course leader /organiser who can keep the group up to date with travel arrangements etc.

Travel and accommodation arrangements

The routine for the courses will be for all participants to organise their own travel to the chosen departure airport in the UK.

The flights to and from Denmark are organised and funded by Seafish through the project. The airport and flights used are decided on by Seafish, taking into account the cost, suitability of flight times and convenience for participants.

The nearest airport to Hirtshals is Aalborg but at present there are no direct flights from UK. All flights involve a change at Copenhagen or Amsterdam for an ongoing flight to Aalborg. Transfers from Aalborg airport to Hirtshals is by minibus from a local taxi company. 

The drivers will meet participants as they leave the airport departures gate for the ongoing 35 minute journey to Hirtshals.

Accommodation is arranged at Motel Nordsoen, a small family run hotel that is adjacent to the North Sea Centre where the Flume Tank is located. The motel rooms are 2 single beds and an en-suite wet room style bathroom. Towels are provided in the bedrooms but there are no toiletries and for that reason participants are advised to take their own.

Breakfast is provided in the Motel dining room, and consists of a typical Danish breakfast with a self-service buffet.

Lunch is available from the North Sea Centre dining room.

Course participants are asked to respect other residents in the accommodation by keeping the noise down. Remember you may not have to return to the accommodation at a later date but other UK fishermen and Seafish staff do have to.  The nearest shop is about 1000m from the hotel and flume tank.

Participants are to arrange their own evening meals in Hirtshals. There are a variety of places to eat in town, a 10 -15 minute walk from the accommodation.

The currency in Denmark is Danish Krone (Dkk).

Prices in the bars and eating establishments in Hirtshals are slightly dearer than UK prices. If the flights have a change over in Amsterdam, (Schipol) it should be noted that the currency used in Amsterdam is Euros.

Denmark is 1 hour ahead of UK time.

Course timetable

The typical course timetable would be for participants to fly out on a Sunday afternoon / evening arriving in Hirtshals late evening. (Please note if your arrival at Hirtshals is for after 2200 there are no facilities open to buy food etc. You may want to have something to eat before leaving Schipol or Copenhagen airports).

Timings are as follows:  Monday morning - breakfast in the motel at 07.30 and a short walk to the Flume tank ready to start at 08.15. Lunch in the North Sea Centre will be at around 12.00, then back to the flume tank for the afternoon session. The days training will finish at 16.00 - 17.00 when participants are free to go back to the motel or walk down to the local town centre to get their evening meal. There is a large harbour close to the town centre that is worth a visit with vessels of all sizes. The second day will be a similar routine.

The return flights will either that evening and or at 06.20 the next morning. Final flight times will be decided on nearer the times of the courses.

These are the basic details of the training courses if you require more information or an application form please contact Mike Montgomerie at Seafish on 01472 252 327 or 07984 565 386 by email at or your local Producers Organisation office.