One man trawling in Oslofjorden
MS Luna is a single-boat trawler owned by Geir. He is on of few fishermen in Oslo, and goes out fishing two days a week, Wednesday’s and Thursday’s, leaving the shore 4.30 am. Every Friday he sells shrimps and fish at the pier in Oslo. The customers are queuing up from 7 am happy to get the seafood both more fresh and cheaper than in the supermarket.
I first met Geir in February while he was selling his catch at Rådhuskaia in Oslo. I learned about his routines and asked him if I could join him for one day’s fishing. He generously said yes, I just had to get up early in the morning. Well, at night actually…
I boarded MS Luna at Filtvet before dawn in the beginning of March, leaving the pier in dead calm sea mirroring the full moon. Geir had slept in the boat and offered a cup of black coffee as we were heading south. The strict rules say no trawling between 8pm and 5am. I was just 10 past 5 when Geir pulled out the fishing net and submerged it to 150 meters depth using winches.
During the 7 hours on slow speed, less than 2 knots, I learned a lot about trawling and the life on the sea as the net fills up below MS Luna and we refilled our cups. Trawl doors provide the horizontal spread of the net and floating devices creates the vertical spread. Geir knows nothing about the catch of the day until he empties the fishing trawl. As he does so, he is immediately sorting and slaughtering the fish and then cooking the shrimps. He also has to do the paperwork and report the weight of each species he catches.
Sometimes Geir pulls out the net twice, but he is satisfied this Thursday, and already 5pm we arrive Oslo, me heading home with the most freshly cooked shrimps I have ever tasted, and Geir meeting up with friends at the pier and then be prepared for next days sale.
Geir is originally from Lofoten in the north of Norway, an area known for fishing. 20 years ago he moved to Oslo and loves his outdoor job, combining the hours alone at the sea and then meeting customers who buy shrimps and fish directly from his boat. Lots of them are regular customers, and some of them call him if they are not buying anything the following Friday.