North Atlantic Fishing company’s Frank Bonefaas is a pelagic freezer-trawler. Pelagic comes from the Greek word ‘pelagos’ meaning ocean. We focus on catching sustainable small pelagic fish such as herring, mackerel, horse mackerel and blue whiting which swim in shoals (schools of fish) near the water surface and often migrate over long distances in the ocean.
These shoals are located by the ship with the help of echo-sounding equipment. From the echogram it is possible to estimate the depth and the size of the shoal and even the individual species. The net is then towed behind the ship just below the water surface or a little further down the water column but never reaches the seabed.
Pelagic fish stocks are very large, schooling and migratory in nature. North Atlantic Fishing Company fishes for these species in a seasonal manner in order to catch the best quality fish for our consumers. Due to the large and sustainable size of the stocks available, the allowable catch quotas can also be large as well. In addition, these stocks are typically fished far away from the coast in often difficult weather conditions.
Although the world market for the pelagic fish species undergoes fierce price competition, pelagic fish species are typically at the bottom of the price range. Taking economies of scales as an example, in order to provide affordable, inexpensive, sustainable pelagic fish to the world market, they must be fished in large quantities in as few fishing journeys as possible. As such, pelagic fish has a significantly lower carbon footprint compared to other animal protein such as beef, pork, poultry and farmed fish.