Ocean FAD Articles > Shake Down

Maiden voyage on f/v "Katheryn Ann"
1 Oct 2009

The board of directors heard a report made by John Harder on the 1st research voyage done on this date.

It was noted that John Harder took on a major job to obtain a vessel and crew in so little time. It was also noted that even though this vessel lacked accommodations for extra crew such as a scientist and or a Nationa Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) observer, there was no need for a scientist to collect data at this point and all registered  US commercial fishing vessels  are required to keep a daily log of fishing activities and submit them to the NMFS. NMFS already knows such information as collected on this survey voyage. OFAD is only making observations public.

09/01/09  F/v "Katheryn Ann" departed Eureka, CA with 4 men on board. Captain/educator/observer John Harder, 1 man co-captain/engineer, and 2 unexperienced (green) crew members.

09/02 Day spent rigging fishing poles, securing vessel for sea conditions, and familiarizing crew with fishing gear. 0 fish taken.

09/03 Good sign of big fish some 60 miles west of Newport OR. Average weight per fish 18 lb . This would indicate a 4-5 year old fish. As crew were not experienced in catching such a quantity of fish, or such a large size of fish, we decided to move farther North.

331 Albacore Tuna fish were taken, 4 fish were notably scratched by drift nets. Unfortunately we were not able to inspect all the fish closely, as the fishing came unexpected.

09/04 at position 45.20n x 125.30w, vessel experienced fair fishing conditions. Fish size slightly smaller then the day before. This was a second grade of fish. Crew were learning sustainable methods of fishing, and responding well.

227 Albacore Tuna taken, 2 Tuna noticeably scratched by drift nets. Average weight 16 lb. This would indicate 3-4 year old fish

09/05 Vessel stayed in the same area.

172 Tuna were caught, 3 Tuna had distinct gill net marks on them.

09/06 Vessel moved North to position 46.00n x 126.00w. Experienced rough weather conditions. Fish size has dropped during the course of the day. Fish taken in evening averaged 13 lbs.

111 Albacore were taken, 0 Tuna noticed having drift net markings.

09/07 Vessel experienced fair fishing conditions. Weather was calm, fish feeding on bait in the area. Fish jumping & birds feeding as well. Average fish size 13 lbs. This would indicate 2-3 year old fish. Ideal size for sustainable Troll fishing method.

453 Albacore Tuna were taken, 0 fish were noticed with drift net markings.

09/08 Vessel observed good fishing. Another class of fish was noticed migrating threw the same area. A 10 lb Tuna was taken and indicating the 1-2 year old fish was present. This year class is not desired  by a sustainable Tuna Troller because of a low market value & not to endanger, disrupt, next years stalks of Tuna. 

271 Albacore Tuna taken, 0 fish noticed with drift net marks.

09/09 Vessel moved slightly South to 45.40n x 125.40w. Average size increased to 13 lb. Schools of fish reported as not biting lures (jigs).

158 Albacore taken, 0 indication of drift net markings.

09/10 Vessel in same area. Noticed fishing slowing. Albacore Tuna schools shown on sounder, but not biting fishing lures. This indicates that Tuna do not feed all the time and therefor is impossible to deplete the species using such a method as Troll fishing. Vessel will move on to the North West to relocate. At this point in observing drift net marked Albacore Tuna, only the 16 lb, 3-4 year old class of fish show indications of drift net markings. The 13 lb, 2-3 year old fish, shows no sign of drift net markings.

75 Albacore Tuna landed on board, 0 Tuna marked by drift nets.

09/11 Vessel traveling at ideal speed of 6 knots (5 miles per hour) Northwest to 46.20n x 126.20w.

107 Albacore taken, 0 Tuna noticed with net marks. Average weight 13 lbs.

09/12 Vessel still traveling Northwest at 46.30n x 126.30w. Sea conditions getting rough.

115 Albacore Tuna landed, 0 Tuna showing drift net markings.

09/13 Vessel heading Northwest past 47.14n x 127.00w. Weather conditions getting better.

112 Albacore taken onboard averaging 13 lbs per fish, 0 fish noted with drift net markings.

09/14 Vessel, now moving due North at 47.30n x 127.00w, has noticed size of Albacore Tuna getting a larger. A solid 13 lb average is noted.

426 Albacore were taken as none were noted to be marked by drift nets.

09/15 Vessel, now at 48.00n x 127.46w, around 80 miles off the coast of WA state, notified Canada of entering Canadian waters for Albacore Tuna fishing.

112 Albacore Tuna kept this day with 0 Tuna marked by drift nets.

09/16-23 f/v "Katheryn Ann" remained in the area of 48.30n x 128.30w averaging 300+ Albacore Tuna landed per day. Average size of Tuna 13 lbs.

There was no indication of drift net marked fish during this time.

09/24 Vessel noticed a larger grade of fish migrating into the area. Reports of 18-20 lb (4-5 year old) Tuna turned up.

250 Albacore Tuna landed, 1 heavily drift net marked Tuna noted (18 lbs)

09/29 Vessel remained in the same area experienced good fishing.

205 Albacore Tuna taken on board, only 1 Tuna heavily marked by drift net. 

09/30 Vessel encountered good fishing to fill fish hold, finishing fishing trip. Vessel tryed to clear out of Canadian waters, but no contact was made. New heading of Southeast was set for Westport, WA. for delivery.

466 Albacore Tuna were taken, 2 badly scratched Tuna (average size 15 lbs.) observed to be from drift nets.

10/01/09 f/v "Katheryn Ann" entered port of Westport, WA and unloaded 88,000 thousand pounds (44 ton) of Albacore Tuna. Fishing log was sent to NMFS.

In conclusion, sustainable fishing schooling was a success thus far. Fair fish stocks were reported inside both US EEZ & Canada EEZ. It is noted that 16-18 lb (3-4 year old Tuna) have been targeted by drift nets in the near past. As only 1% of the fish caught had drift net markings, it is a indication that IUU high seas drift nets still target Albacore Tuna and pose a threat to sustainable tuna fisheries and ocean resources. Report was made.

Making ready for voyage # 2 underway.


John Harder