A BURRA fishing family last week completed their first trip with a new trawler Beryl, which replaces their old vessel Opportune (LK 209) with the name change still being processed.
Opportune has been sold to other Shetland partners of Avrella Fishing Company and will be re-named Avrella in due course.
Skipper Ross Christie and his father Jim own the 28m long vessel which was bought from Whitehills, near Macduff, and was shot blasted, repainted and had her three Caterpillar engines overhauled and hydraulic pipework renewed at Peterhead before she was taken north.
Ross’s brother Alwyn is mate on the vessel, which was built in 1998 at Astilleros Armon in Spain as Harvest Moon.
The Christies’ cousin George Jamieson is engineer and Tom Robertson is the second skipper. Also in the crew are two men from Ghana and two from the Philippines plus local trainees Jimi Kerwin and Fraser Smith.
Three other overseas fishermen are normally in the crew, but are presently stranded owing to travel restrictions.
Opportune was at sea with 10 crew on her first trip, but will normally operate with seven.
She landed 340 boxes of fish from 10 hauls at Scalloway on Thursday morning after fishing at Flugga.
The vessel means a change of method for the crew, with Opportune twin-rig trawling for high value species like megrim and monkfish, Ross Christie says is a result of the cod quota being slashed this year.
He said: “She is a fine boat, as was the old one. We are trying to catch something that we can keep. They slashed the cod quota at Christmas and we are knee deep in green (cod) now.”
Alwyn Christie said that the new Opportune was a “fine big boat. She has a bit of comfort and plenty of room.”
The old Opportune, was refitted three years ago by Macduff Shipyards before joining the local fleet. She is understood to have been fitted for fishing seine net as well as demersal trawling.
Become a supporter of Shetland News
Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.
Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.
Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has over 390 supporters who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.
Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -
- Bring you the headlines as they happen;
- Stay editorially independent;
- Give a voice to the community;
- Grow site traffic further;
- Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.
If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.
Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.Support Shetland News