TWILLINGATE, N.L. – By noon on July 30 the wharf outside Notre Dame Seafoods plant in Twillingate had piled up with long liners, delivery trucks and forklifts.
Since Sunday, July 29, the capelin fishery around the shores of Notre Dame Bay has proved to be a successful year for harvesters in the area.
It’s a complete 180 from last year’s capelin fishery, which was met with scarce signs and unachieved quotas.
For fisherman Nelson Rideout, his 35,000 pound daily quota was achieved with one shot of the fishing gear into the water early Monday morning, June 30.
The showings were even stronger than Sunday’s, and Rideout says it’s looking to be a particularly exceptional year with the amount of capelin they’ve seen.
“Two miles off land from Twillingate, it’s all capelin 50-60 fathoms deep,” he said. “That’s a lot, probably more than ever been heard of for some time now.
“It’s a whole different fishery from last year — the best it’s been in years.”
Dave Toope with Ocean Choice Seafoods agrees. He says the capelin have come back in full swing this summer.
Walking around to various vessels parked at the wharf, Toope is hoping to leave Twillingate today with a quarter of a million pounds of capelin in tow.
Despite the strong showings, because of how weak the fishery was last year many harvesters, like Rideout, received a 35 per cent reduction in their quota.
Andy Anstey with his long linger boat Oscar A. says the capelin have also been strong in quality this year. He says his catch that Monday was around 80 per cent female — which goes for a good price on the Japanese market.
“There are several companies but the Japanese will pay the highest for [female capelin],” said Anstey. “They’re all pretty good quality this year.”
Taking off around 4:30 that Monday morning, Anstey and his crew shot their gear around 7 a.m. and got their 35,000 lb. daily quota with that single shot.