Danish Seine Trawlers

Danish Seine TrawlingThere are 11 Danish Seine trawlers operating out of Lakes Entrance and these boats can fish up to 100kms out into Bass Strait, as far as Point Hicks to the east and Port Welshpool to the west. The fish are caught by means of a winged net fastened in the middle of 2 kms of heavy rope. The net is dragged along the bottom of the ocean and the wings of the net force the fish into a long funnel-shaped bag called the ‘cod end’. The main catch is flathead and school whiting.

In most other ports, the predominant types of trawlers are Board trawlers, but this is not the case in Lakes Entrance, where Danish Seiners tend to be more popular due to their lower overhead costs. The nature of the local sea bed and the establishment of the school whiting export market has also enhanced the operation of Danish Seine trawlers.

Otter Board Trawling

Otter Board Trawl 5 Board trawlers currently operate out of the port. The method of fishing is different to Danish Seining, however basically the same type of fish are caught, the one main exception being school whiting which is almost exclusively caught by Danish Seiners.

Board trawlers also tend to concentrate their fishing operations in deep waters and accordingly catch more morwong, ling, blue grenadier and other deep sea species than do Danish Seiners. The net is towed by 2 wire ropes and, fixed between these ropes and the net, are paravanes (commonly known as boards or doors). Unlike the Danish Seine net which closes and stops fishing after about 2 minutes of towing, the board trawl net remains open and may be towed for any length of time, although it is rare for tows to exceed 4 hours.

Board boats can stay out at sea for 5 – 7 days, whilst Danish Seiners, commonly called ‘day trawlers’, usually fish for a maximum of 3 days.

Mesh Net Boats

Gillnet fishingTen currently fish for shark using mesh nets made from monofilament nylon. Fish are caught after swimming head first into the net and the nylon catches them behind their gills. They cannot go forward due to the mesh being too small, nor backwards due to the restriction of the net behind their gills. The nets are very selective in that large sharks bounce off and small sharks swim through. Boats are usually out at sea from 5 – 7 days. The principle types of shark caught are gummy and saw.

Lake Boats

Lake Fishing Inland lake fishing (which has been a limited licence fishery for some time) is carried out extensively in the Gippsland Lakes, mainly by small owner/operated boats. These boats use mesh nets to catch bream, mullet, skipjack, flathead, luderick and a variety of other species.

Cray fishing

Crayfish trapping Caught in the summer months. Large cane pots are baited and lowered to the bottom in rocky areas. The crayfish crawl down the funnel in the top of the pots after the boat and are unable to escape. Crays which are caught are kept alive on board the vessel in tanks until unloading. Depending on the catch rate and weather, these boats may remain at sea anything from 2 to 14 days.

Scallop Fishing

Scallop fishing There are approximately 15 to 20 local scallop boats operating out of Lakes Entrance, but in the season, up to 80 boats arrive from other ports to take part in the harvest. Scallops are caught by means of a metal dredge varying in width from 2 to 4 metres long. The tows normally extend to 20 minutes duration and then the dredge is brought on board the boat into a specially designed tipper from which the scallops spill onto a sorting tray. They are then checked for size for eventual consignment to processing factories.

Purse Seining

Purse Seine fishingThis type of fishing is used to catch salmon, anchovies and pilchards and, as the name implies, the net is like an old fashioned purse with draw-strings. There is currently only one purse seiner operating out of Lakes Entrance.

Contact Off The Wharf

Bullock Island, Lakes Entrance
PO BOX 1125, Victoria, Australia, 3909.

Phone: +61 3 5155 1688 

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General Enquires

Bullock Island, Lakes Entrance
PO BOX 1125, Victoria, Australia, 3909. Need Sales?

Phone: +61 3 5155 1688
Fax: +61 3 5155 2859

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Contact the Gear Store

20 Carpenter St Lakes Entrance
PO BOX 1125, Victoria,
Australia, 3909.

Phone: (03) 5155 4344
Fax: (03) 5155 5036 

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