A Fishing net is an essential items of equipment, whether for commercial sea-going vessels or for the hobby fishermen. Keeping nets in good repair is vital if the expeditions are to be commercially viable. Trawlers may be at sea for weeks, or even months, at a time; the amateur fisherman will probably have the luxury of being able to bring damaged nets ashore for repair.
No matter how high the quality of the nets – and Cavanagh Nets prides itself on the excellence of all its products – and no matter how skilful the people using them, damage can and will occur. Running repairs on a commercial fishing boat needs to be undertaken quickly so that the damaged fishing net can be returned to service with as little delay as possible. A net lying on the deck is not catching fish.
Repairing damaged nets does not demand a high degree of skill if you’re given the correct equipment and have the ability to tie a sheet bend knot (one of the simpler knots in the repertoire of the fisherman). Cavanagh Net’s net mending and sewing needles, together with the appropriate mending twine, will always form part of the kit carried on board fishing vessels of any size. No matter what nets are carried, Cavanagh will have the correct needles and mending twine, so there need be no difficulty in sourcing these essential items. Shears or scissors, depending upon the grade of net, will also form part of the repair kit.
Professional fishermen who repair nets as part of the routine maintenance of equipment claim that hardened skin on the hands is another essential. Harsh salt-soaked netting is uncomfortable to handle, and gloves make it difficult to twist the mending twine into the loops through which the clever and practical needles are threaded. Fortunately, the mending twine itself, and the needles, are smooth enough to avoid the worst of scuffed skin and blisters.
For the amateur, who can work at home or in more pleasant social settings than the deck of a trawler, mending landing or keep nets can be an enjoyable and relaxing activity. With only a little practice the fisherman can demonstrate a dexterity that will arouse admiration far beyond the skill it merits, and the audience will be more easily convinced by what it sees than by ‘the one that got away’ stories.
Keeping nets in good repair is not only a matter of financial necessity for commercial fishing companies; public relations are becoming increasingly important in the fishing industry, and there is growing concern about the damage done to marine habitats and wildlife by discarded fishing equipment, particularly nets. Companies that can show they take care of their equipment, repairing rather than replacing, and taking a responsible attitude to the disposal of fishing nets when they are beyond further mending, will have an advantage. Some retail outlets are now naming the boats from which their catches are landed, an indication of the increase in public awareness of the industry, and a rise in the level of interest in its activities.