Polish crabber Helot is fishing in the North Sea, landing catches to a processor in Lemvig

With ever-increasing fishing on their home grounds in the Baltic, several Polish vessels have had to seek opportunities further from home, including crabbing vessel Helot and its crew from Gdynia.

According to skipper Boris Smilyanets, they made their first trip and landed three tonnes of crab in Hvide Sande for their first trip in the North Sea, and now plan to work south of Horns Rev and west of Helgoland. The crabs are landed to the Nordisk krabbe Kompagni in Lemvig.

The 36 metre Helot carries 2000 crab pots and the 72-year old skipper has more than 30 years of experience. He reports that this fishery has all but vanished in the Baltic, where they have to compete with netting and trawl boats.

Boris Smilyanets sails with a crew of seven, fishing usually for two or three days at a time. He said that there have been no problems with Danish or Dutch trawlers who also fish these areas, where there have been gear conflicts in the past.

He commented that he is happy with the facilities in the ports of Hvide Sande and Thyborøn, as well as Esbjerg, which he said is absolutely in a class all in its own with conditions, technical capacity, and berthing and landing facilities.