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Track the Newlyn fishing fleet at sea.

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Newlyn Fish Market - boats due to land.

Sunday, 3 November 2019

Were those French trawlers fishing or dodging inside 12 miles?


It isn't just the small boats that were forced back to port for bad weather, all but a handful of the Newlyn fleet including the biggest stern trawler in the south west were also in port...


at the same time, and an indication of just how strong the winds were in the early hours of Saturday morning, there were two large mid-water trawlers using the Isles of Scilly to provide some lee...



including the 56m Wiron 6, so to describe the French boats concerned as 'super trawlers' is a slight exaggeration - all but one were between 21-24m - the only (large) stern trawler in Newlyn is 21m - in comparison, the beam the trawl fleets from Brixham and Newlyn range from 21m to 38m...


late yesterday around fifteen of Breton trawlers were along a line roughly six miles off the coast east of Falmouth...


the VesselTracker AIS trace for each boat shows that most tracked up and down on a NE/SW course during the previous 24 hours - which is what you might expect them to do if they were dodging for weather and not fishing...


this is the AIS track for one of these boats over a 24 period from a few days earlier - when it was fishing - it shows clear variations in speed...


as this trace shows for the 21m Mor Breiz today - the spikes indicate a rise and then fall in speed as you might expect each time the trawler hauls and then shoots her net away - each haul around 4 hours apart...



 both this trace



and this one were taken during a 24 hour period yesterday while the boats were around the 6 mile limit and do not show similar regular spikes - which is what you would expect if they were just dodging up and down and not fishing...



while this trace...



and this are also taken from boats when they were fishing - clearly showing the regular spikes associated with process of hauling and shooting their trawls...



this AIS track for the Mor Breiz for the last 12 months shows just how far from and where she fishes from her home port of Le Havre...



and this is the AIS trace for the Newlyn based 21m Crystal Sea, the largest stern trawler in the south west taken over the same period of time.