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History B512 Thyboron Web Small

History of fishing

at the Port of Thyboron

  • Fjord fishing
  • 1825 Agger Tange breached
  • 1848 Danish seine fishing invented
  • 1899 Railway to Thyboron VLTJ
  • Fight for a harbour
  • 1914 Port of Thyboron
  • Sea-going fishing
  • International fish sales
  • 1924 Outdoor fish auction
  • 1928 Fish auction in the red hall
  • 1950s & 1960s technological development for better safety
  • 1950 Trawling invented
  • 1954 Dawn of industrial fishing
  • 1956 T.A.F. fishmeal factory – TripleNine A/S
  • Radio communication in the 1960s
  • 1972 High-speed winch invented
  • Early 1980s – EU grants for comfort on board
  • 1983 Quotas introduced
  • 1990s – wide-spread scrapping
  • Transit fishing begins in the late 1980s
  • Fly-shooting invented in the late 1980s
  • 2000 MSC certification
  • 2002 Max. days at sea introduced
  • 2005 From collective to individual quotas
  • Optimised fishing with good working conditions
  • 2021 Brexit

From a dangerous to a safe profession

Fishing has developed in Thyboron throughout the history of the port. It has become a much safer industry with larger vessels. These offer good working conditions for the crew and have facilities to preserve the quality of the fish until they are landed ashore.

Industrial Fisheries Themis 3485 Web

Fishing begins

When Agger Tange was breached during a storm it was a disaster for the local population, who lived under harsh conditions and supplemented the agricultural harvest by catching freshwater fish in the Liim Fiord.

The saltwater destroyed the small-scale fiord fishery that characterised the Liim Fiord before the breach of Agger Tange. Fishing stopped altogether for several years.

It took many years before a new eco-balance was established and there were again fish in the Liim Fiord (now saltwater fish).

1848 – Fiord fishing slowly re-emerged, and had changed over completely to saltwater fishing.

Two perilous years – 1893 and 1897 – with many shipwrecks and fatalities among fishermen, helped speed up the development of Thyboron, where fishermen could sail in and shelter near the bridges behind the isthmus, rather than having to land fish directly on the North Sea beaches.

Seine fishing – a Danish invention

Danish seine fishing was invented by Jens Væver in Salling in 1848.

It was a groundbreaking invention that made Denmark a trendsetter in fishing for edible fish.

With the invention of Danish seine fishery and motorised cutters, fishing really moved out to the sea, increasing catch opportunities for fishermen.

The neighbouring countries around the North Sea had also begun sea-going fishing.

Need for a harbour

Without a harbour, the small cutters had to be dragged onto the beach when the fishermen were ashore. This was laborious, and the small cutters were a dangerous and life-threatening work environment.

The main reasons fishermen succeeded in getting a port beside the Thyboron Canal were their diligent persistence, the rapid development in fishing and the change to sea-going fishing, which seemed to be particularly rapid at Harboøre, due to the navigation conditions in Thyboron Canal.

The fishermen fought side-by-side to get a harbour established, and it was clearly due to their persistence that the Port of Thyboron was realised.

Economic strategy game

It wasn’t until the 1900s that other countries around the North Sea began to try their hand at sea-going fishing.

However, sea-going fishing required larger seagoing vessels – larger cutters than the small ones that could be pulled up onto the beach. The construction of harbours became essential, creating further pressure to establish west coast harbours in Denmark and the Port of Thyboron.

Building a harbour was a way to heighten the competition with cutters from the other countries that fished in the North Sea. In 1906, the revenue from Danish North Sea fishery was estimated at DKK 1-2 million. It was argued before the Danish government that with the construction of a harbour, this figure could be expanded to DKK 30 million.

The construction of the VLTJ railway from Lemvig, via Harboøre, to Thyboron, in 1899 also created direct contact between the Danish and international market and the fishermen.

Harbour makes huge difference

The Port of Thyboron was built in 1914 and helped to advance fishing. The port allowed fishermen to now use larger cutters.

Sea-going fishing using motorised cutters became the dominant form of fishing, and the fishing industry slowly evolved into a full-time profession.

Cutters grow in size

The fishing boats slowly got bigger, growing from 4 tonnes to 8 tonnes in the ensuing years. This allowed fishermen to sail further out to sea and catch more fish. However, these were still short trips.

The first engines
The engines used on the motorised cutters at that time were 2 cylinder glow engines, with their characteristic chug-chug sound. They had high fuel consumption due to their heavy weight of 5-7 tonnes, and were not eco-friendly. However, the engines represented a huge advance at this point in history, and made sea-going fishing possible.

Danish seine fishing

The most important fishing from Thyboron was Danish seine fishing, for plaice, haddock and cod, but tuna fishing also gained ground from 1926-1960.

Danish seine fishing could only be done in daylight hours. It was therefore limited how much fishing could be done during the many dark days of the winter season.

Sale of live fish

Up until World War II, trips to sea were short. The fish were kept alive aboard the cutters in ponds, and livewells at the harbour, and sold alive at the fish auction. The quality was excellent, but volumes were small.

Increasing population

By 1940, the population of Thyboron had risen to 1208, twice the figure for 1930.
The fishing fleet had grown to 98 vessels, 87 of which were over 15 gross tonnes, and several were around 30 gross tonnes.

Impact of World War II

During World War II, the value of the catches increased. Although fuel was rationed and it was very difficult to obtain ropes and other gear, the turnover at the fish auction quadrupled from 1940 to 1944.

Some fishermen lay a good financial base during these years, but were criticised by the resistance movement for selling fish to the occupying forces.

The war was a dangerous time for fishermen, who were sometimes shelled or captured by the warring nations at sea. 198 fishermen perished during the war, from mine explosions and sinkings.

In the last days of the war, several fishermen headed west to Britain for fear of being destroyed by the Germans in retaliation during the capitulation.

Many Thyboron fishermen fished from Scotland during the war. The Scots treated the Thyboron fishermen well, and there remains a special bond between Scotland and Thyboron to this day. There are still friendships between the oldest fishermen in both countries, and the Scots continue to have major repairs done to their fishing vessels and new vessels built in Thyboron.

Fishermen had to be very aware of all the debris in the North Sea from both world wars, to avoid snags while Danish seine fishing that would cause them to lose their catch.

The two world wars have left countless mines at the bottom of the North Sea, which are still a danger to fishermen to this day.

Electronic tools

The 1950s and 60s saw groundbreaking new inventions in fishing. The age of electronic tools had begun.

The catch at Thyboron had increased 12½ times in since 1935, and the number of resident cutters had risen from 35 in 1930 to 163 in 1959.

Danish seine fishing sets limits
Seine fishing can only be done during daylight hours. In winter, it was therefore more difficult and very uncertain to make a living from fishing, given there was only time for three runs in a day before it got dark. A Danish seine run took about 2.5-3 hours, and there was no guarantee of catching anything in any given run.

In the summer, they fished all through the long days, to ensure they had income for the dark months. The fishermen only got three hours’ sleep then, while it was dark. The vessels stood at anchor at night, with their engines off if the swell was not too big.

No catch guarantee
There has never been a catch guarantee for fishermen. They could fish for more than a month without catching anything. This uncertainty could make it difficult to cover payment for fuel, wages for the crew and cutter maintenance. But perhaps this uncertainty also helped make the profession all the more satisfying during the boom times.

Trawling changes the nature of the fishing
The trawler was invented, allowing fishermen to fish in the dark. The new invention came to make a huge difference.

The trawling technique was widely used in winter to supplement Danish seine, which was still used in the summer.

The invention of the trawler gave fishermen good conditions for more stable income throughout the various seasons and improved their working conditions.

Better working conditions on trawlers
The invention of the trawler significantly improved working conditions for fishermen. From the outset, trawlers were equipped with wire winches that hauled the trawl in to the vessel, and a net roller that raised the net out of the water. With this new fishing technique, fishermen were spared the labour of hauling the heavy net out of the water by hand. From the 1950s until the 1980s, fisherman had much better working conditions with the trawl technique than with Danish seine.

Trawl doors were invented together with the new fishing technique, and are made by Thyborøn Trawldoor today and sold worldwide.

Discharging systems for industrial fish
Thyboron was the first Danish port to have an discharging system for industrial fish in the 1950s.

Many foreign cutters unloaded in Thyboron due to the speed advantages of using the discharging systems.

Navigation equipment
Direction finders were invented in the 1950s, and fishermen began using English, Norwegian and Scottish signals to work out their position at sea through triangulation.

The nautical mile counters on vessels were mechanical, and thus fluctuated greatly depending on whether the fishermen sailed with the current, against the wind, etc. With the invention of navigation equipment, fishermen could know their precise location at sea.

Radio masts
In the mid-1960s, masts were installed for communication with other cutters. Each port had a specific frequency fishermen could transmit using.

It made a huge difference to the fishermen and their families that radio masts were set up for communication with other cutters. Being able to communicate with the other cutters while at sea strengthened the bonds between fishermen.

During that period, family members ashore could hear a brief whistle sound indicating that all was well at sea. This was very reassuring in the small fishermen’s homes, where wives and children waited nervously for the men to return safely from sea.

Receivers were not strictly permitted in fishermen’s homes, but it made a huge difference to family members ashore to pick up a brief whistle sound indicating that all was well with the head of the household at sea.

Radios was used up until the 1990s, when satellites made it possible to use the internet at sea.

Depth finders – early sonar equipment
Depth finders were introduced in the 1960s and became a revolution. Previously, fishermen knew where to find the good fishing grounds from their own and others’ experience. With the invention of the depth finder it became easier and more efficient – saving time and fuel – to find the good fishing grounds and catch fish.

Dawn of industrial fishing

In addition to creating new opportunities in fishing for human consumption, the new trawl technique marked the start of a new fishing segment – industrial fishery, where other fish species are fished for feed production.

The first industrial fish were landed at Thyboron in around 1954-55.

Industrial fishing grew and became a good supplement for the Port of Thyboron during periods when fishing for human consumption experienced hard times.

Industrial fishing vessels catch species such as sand eel, Norway pout, sprat and blue whiting, which are processed into fishmeal and fish oil used for feed production.

Industrial fishing is still going strong at the Port of Thyboron. The ships are also referred to as pelagic vessels, that fish for shoal fish. In addition to catching fish for feed production, pelagic vessels can be re-rigged to catch herring, tuna and mackerel, depending on the season.

In 1959 there were 163 resident cutters over 5 tonnes in the Port of Thyboron. The catch had increased 12½ times compared to 1935.

Edible fish quality at that time

Edible fish were cleaned after being caught and stored on the cutter in a large pile of ice, until there were enough fish on board to sail ashore and land them for the fish auction. The quality of the fish was not the first priority. The costs of fuel and crew wages had to be covered, and the value of the fish was not high. The quantity of fish was therefore the key factor.

In the 1960s and 70s there were special storage shelves on board for the valuable cod fish, so that their quality could be preserved until returning ashore. If there were many ‘shelf cod’ in the catch, the vessel returned home immediately, because fresh cod was in high demand and had to quickly reach the fish auction to preserve its value.

New inventions improve working conditions for fishermen

In the 1970s, the first cutters were equipped with wheelhouses and had a ‘tray’ installed as a roof over the deck, to protect the catch and the fishermen.
However, it was still cold in winter. Heating was not installed on board the wooden cutters until some time later.

Speed winch
A new watershed invention was introduced in 1972, when mechanical rollers for Danish seine ropes were invented. The rollers were invented locally by Chresten Vrist, in Harbøre, and produced in Ramme. They were given the name ‘speed winch’.

The first rope roller prototype was made in 1972, and things happened fast after that. Just four years later, all Danish seine cutters in Thyboron had rope rollers installed, and the technology was being used for fishing around the world. The rollers gave fishing a huge safety boost, and significantly improved working conditions on board the cutters.

Prior to that, the mile-long ropes would lie in coils on the deck, and the wet rope had to be hauled out of the water by hand. Moving these around on the deck was heavy work, and there was a danger of getting a foot caught in the rope and being dragged overboard. Countless fishermen had perished throughout history by being pulled overboard by the long ropes.

Following the invention of the rope rollers, the ropes could be wound up and pulled out of the water using hydraulics. This had previously been very labour-intensive and strenuous work, and it was difficult to find crew members. Working conditions began to be transformed from this time on. It was a huge advance to be free of the mile-long ropes that used to be stacked up on the deck.

Lack of space on board
However, the 24-metre maximum allowed length of vessels still resulted in a very compact layout on the new vessels, and less than optimal working conditions for the crew. There was neither heating nor sanitation on board.

The first environmental improvements

From Hundested to Gartner
To reduce fuel consumption, the first cutters began to have new engines installed. The old glow engines with their characteristic chug-chug – 2 cylinder, 110 HP, Hundested engines, which weighed 5-7 tonnes – were replaced with new 8 cylinder, 172 HP, Gartner diesel engines weighing just 100 kg. This weight reduction had a significant impact on fuel consumption and hence on fishing costs.

The reduced engine weight and the use of depth finders to efficiently locate fish at sea were crucial technical improvements that helped reduce fuel consumption in fishing, and thus better protect the environment.

The introduction of plastic fish boxes in the 1970s, which are reused repeatedly, was another optimisation that reduced packaging waste.

EU comfort subsidy

In the early 1980s, EU (EC) subsidies were granted to allow fishermen to refit old cutters with a wheelhouse and toilet, and an aluminium ‘tray’ roof to shelter the fishermen and catch, and to upgrade semi-diesel engines to more fuel-efficient and less-polluting diesel engines.

Large volumes of edible fish

In the early 1980s, large volumes of fish for human consumption were landed at the fish auction in Thyboron. On a good trip, a fishing vessel could return with 200-300 tonnes of fish for human consumption, and had to announce its arrival and catch at the fish auction, to ensure there would be enough receiving capacity. The message was sent well in advance, the day before, to Lyngby Radio, which could receive from the sea.

Work comfort

Net rollers for Danish seine fishing
In the 1980s, Danish seine fishermen were also spared the heavy work of lifting the net and fish into the cutter by hand, following the invention of net rollers for Danish seine nets. This meant a major improvement in working conditions, and Danish seine fishery now had the same good working conditions as trawling.

Navigation tools
Fishermen had a tradition of working together, and with the 1980s’ modern new navigation tools, they were able to find each other at sea in fog. For example, fishermen helped each other by sailing provisions out to vessels at sea that had run out of food.

Mobile phones
The invention of mobile phones that could function at sea came to make a world of difference for fishermen and their families at home. Fishermen could now finally call home and talk with their families during the many days they were at sea.

Sanitation and heating on board
In addition to wheelhouses, the cutters now also had toilets and central heating installed. These were long awaited and improved working conditions dramatically. The ‘bucket’ was now superfluous, and life was much more comfortable during the many days fishermen were at sea, summer and winter, in all kinds of weather.

Fishery under pressure from quotas

In the late 1980s, the EC (EU) quota regulations for the conservation of fish stocks were introduced, marking the start of fishing quotas.

Initially, the total EC quotas were so high that Danish fishermen still enjoyed relatively free fishing, but from 1987, the permitted catch quantity was markedly reduced year by year.
Fishing for human consumption had a crisis in 1988, when turnover at the fish auction was 16.2% less than in 1987.

The crisis arose because the many EC restrictions on fishing made it impossible to fish steadily throughout the year. Fishermen were particularly impacted by the quotas on cod, as cod represented by far the greatest value. New adjustments were needed to allow the fishing industry to carry on.

By the late 1980s, many fishermen were close to bankruptcy. The fishermen felt that their livelihood was threatened by the EC fishing quotas. The quotas were collective, so the pressure from the EC led to greater solidarity among fishermen. But it was a tough time for fishery, leading to hardship for many.

Transit fishing begins

During this time, many fishermen took advantage of the opportunity to swap plaice quotas for cod quotas with Dutch and German fishermen, to mitigate the worst effects.

This marked the start of Dutch transit fishing in Thyboron, which is still seen in the Port of Thyboron during the summer season to this day.

Wide-spread scrapping

Wooden cutters were widely scrapped during the 1990s. The Port of Thyboron went from 190 to 40 vessels in just 7 years.

A harsh time
Fishermen risked losing everything. They were deeply frustrated by the fact that there were plenty of fish to catch at times, but the quota size and rationing did not permit this. Countless fishermen were on the verge of bankruptcy in the early 90s, due to quota restrictions and low fish prices resulting from rising fish imports. The scrapping subsidy offered an opportunity for many fishermen to get out of fishing without losing everything.

In 1991 Thyboron had a resident fishing fleet of 190 vessels, including Denmark’s largest Danish seine fleet of 100 vessels.

1994 -
There were 70 Danish seine vessels left in Thyboron.

1997 -
There were 40 vessels in Thyboron.

Industrial fishing survived

Industrial fishing performed best in the late 1980s due to good prices, and even advanced in 1988 due to favourable conditions in global commodity prices.

When the harvest of other feedstuffs such as soy in Latin America failed, the price of fishmeal was high, and the industry was therefore not hit as hard financially by the new quota restrictions.

Fly-shooting invented

Fly-shooting was developed in the 1980s. The technique refines the Danish seine fishing technique. It was now possible to fish over a larger area in one run, as the new technique allows forward movement while the net is out.

The fly-shooting fishing method is still used in summer to catch fish for human consumption for the fish auction, in combination with trawling in the winter.

Fishing adapts

The wooden cutters were replaced by steel vessels to reduce maintenance.

In earlier times, you were a successful fisherman if you were at sea all the time. In the coming years it became more important to fish strategically.

The 1990s became a period of advances in quality. Several measures to valorise catches were made by fishermen, the fish auction and the fishmeal factory.

Fishing back on course
In 1997, all the remaining vessels in Thyboron were profitable.

This led to newbuildings and renewal of the fleet. Working conditions and safety aboard the vessels increased as the worst ones were scrapped and new ones were added.

Stable internet at sea

Satellites brought stable Internet to the sea, which today allows webcams and conversations with family members.

With stable Internet, fishermen are now able to run their business while at sea.

Fish prices and quotas can be regularly checked. The skipper can stay informed of the latest news, and communicate with other fishermen about fishing grounds and gear and other vessels while on the job.

Fisherman course

In 1992, the fishing school started as part of Thyboron Friefterskole. The profession had an increasing focus on safety, and safety and basic courses in fishing were offered initially.

In 1993, this developed into a full vocational training programme for fishermen. The profession had developed over many years and the many different skills that were now required created the need for a study programme.

Based on the initiative in Thyboron, the Danish Fishermen’s Association, the Danish Sea Fishing Association, the SID trade union and the Danish Maritime Authority agreed in 1995 to establish a study programme for fishermen, called the ‘blue certificate’, and the fishing school was transformed into a self-governing institution and split off from Fiskeriefterskolen.

The fishing school is still going strong and has a steadily increasing enrolment each year.

Students learn everything about safety at sea, fishing techniques, and maintaining engines, pumps, and rudders. At sea, you have to be able to deal with the unexpected, so the study programme is versatile and is experiencing great success.

The programme runs for two years and is half theory and half practical experience. There is a guaranteed paid apprenticeship during the programme.

Fishing requires so many skills today that you have to have completed the programme in order to become a fisherman. Previously, fisherman received training from their father.

Agile entrepreneurs

Like countless other entrepreneurs in Denmark, fishermen have a passion for their profession, and risk both home and pension to invest in efficient and reliable vessels and purchase fishing quotas, in order to build a solid business.

Max number of days at sea
In 2002, restrictions were imposed on the maximum number of days spent at sea, which further reduced the fishing fleet.

In 2002, the remaining fishing for human consumption vessels landed fish for the same value – not seen since the mid-1980s, but new reduced cod quotas and new restrictions on the number of days at sea caused fishermen renewed economic hardship. Danish seine fishermen were particularly impacted by the restriction on the days at sea.

Industrial fishery
A poor sand eel season in 2002 hit industrial fishing hard. Many first-generation steel ships used for industrial fishing were scrapped at the time.

In the early 2000s, worn-out industrial fishing vessels which the owners could not afford to renovate were sold. This became a way for some industrial fishermen to get out of fishing honourably.

Solidarity tested

From collective quotas to individually tradable vessel quota shares
Following the imposition of the maximum number of days at sea, the Fishermen’s Association proposed that quotas should be individually tradable, so that fishermen could plan their fishing further into the future, in order to better exploit their investments in vessels.

From 2005, it was decided that fishermen would be able to transfer or lease quotas to other fishermen.

The industrial fishermen who were doing well financially bought quotas from decommissioned vessels. This led to a further reduction in the fleet, with many small vessels being replaced with fewer, larger vessels.

Solidarity tested
The individually tradable quotas undermined the solidarity among fishermen. It became a harsh time, with intense battles for fish quotas, that led to further scrapping of the vessels whose quotas had been sold off.

Value rather than quantity

The quantity of fish caught was decreasing under the restrictions. It became paramount that the value of fish was high. Much work was done on quality improvements, and preserving the quality of the fish from sea to table.

Quality advancing activities
At the turn of the millennium, the Port of Thyboron had a fleet of very skilled fishermen and good fish quality. Fishermen from Thyboron experimented with packing fish at sea to preserve the quality. Initiatives were also taken on land to improve the quality. This led to the establishment of the consumption fishing centre at the Port of Thyboron, with an unbroken cold chain and strong logistics.

MSC certification

MSC certification for sustainable fishery was launched, and became widespread in Thyboron in the ensuing years.

The MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) certification aims to conserve the seas and protect fish resources, so that fishery can continue to exist and supply healthy food.

The MSC ecolabel and associated fishery certification programme contribute to the health of the world’s oceans by recognising and rewarding sustainable fishing principles, and influencing the decisions consumers make when buying fish products.

Today, almost all fishing in Thyboron is MSC certified.

Environmental improvements

In 2002, new environmental requirements for engine changes were introduced
Having a new engine with a NOx certificate and a better NOx filter became a requirement. This was a further measure to improve the environment.

In 2008, the value of industrial fish began to increase (from DKK 0.60 to 2.00 per kg), and investments were made in new energy-efficient vessels. With the increasing costs in the profession, it became crucial to be able to catch more fish per litre of fuel. To achieve this goal, it was necessary to invest in new vessels, and they were better for the environment.

Optimisation and efficiency improvements

Consolidation into fewer vessels allowed for further streamlining in terms of reduced operating costs, improved work and quality processes and long-term planning of investments in new fishing vessels and special fishing gear.

Crew working conditions on board were also given high priority at this time.

Higher value saves fishing

Industrial fishing in the 2010s
The value of industrial fish rose from DKK 0.60 to DKK 2.00 per kg in the early 2010s. Industrial fishing again became a profitable business.

However, industrial fishermen were hit hard in 2012 by a failed sand eel season that had ended before it got underway. This showed that fishing would continue to be an uncertain profession.

In 2013, there were a total of 99 resident vessels in Thyboron.

2017 – a good year for sand eel
Sand eel fishery ended well in 2017, and the TripleNine A/S fishmeal factory had difficulty keeping up during the summer. The fishermen were queued up in the harbour in May, waiting frantically for their turn to unload.

The Port of Thyboron and TripleNine quickly sought new solutions, to avoid such queues in the future. As vessels got bigger, peak loads could also be expected to increase. A project was therefore initiated to establish new quayside unloading facilities at TripleNine. Construction began already in 2018 and was completed in autumn 2020.

In 2021-22, industrial fishing was hit by a lack of sand eel quotas. The sector is entering a new period of upheaval, where quotas are being sold abroad and neighbouring countries such as Norway and Iceland are surging ahead.

Fishing today

The sector has been consolidated, like many others, including industrial companies and agriculture. A large number of cutters have been merged into few, in an often international fishing sector.

Today’s fishing vessels are highly efficient and working conditions on board have improved considerably, in terms of safety, working positions and heavy lifting.

Vessels are now incredibly efficient at catching fish. But the fish still need to be caught, and have the habit of moving around. There is still uncertainty and no catch guarantee in the sector.

Large sums are invested in the fishing industry today. The daily operating costs and the value of the catch on a modern fishing vessel are on par with the economic parameters for an installation vessel in the offshore industry. Like the offshore industry, fishery therefore cannot tolerate any downtime, which places high demands on the maritime services sector.

Fishing for human consumption today
Thyboron primarily sees three types of fishing for human consumption. A few fishermen who do short trips of just 2-3 days, others who sail out for 3-6 days on medium-sized vessels, and a last group who sail far away to catch fish, to Norwegian or British waters, and are at sea for 8-10 days at a time. The latter group is less vulnerable when the fish move around in the North Sea, but is vulnerable to Brexit deals.

Fishing for human consumption vessels have good working conditions at the Port of Thyboron. There is plenty of room for unloading on Konsumkaj, ample space in the fish auction hall for handling fish and an efficient box washing facility, from where fish boxes are brought out to the quay for the fishermen. There is easy access to services and consumables in the port. The international fish auction is well known throughout Europe, and ensures fishermen receive a good price for their catch.

Fish quality is high
The edible fish sold at the fish auction in the consumption fishing centre and the industrial fish processed for feed production are both of very high quality at Thyboron.
Quality assurance, full traceability and an unbroken cold chain are logistics elements that have been in place for the past 20 years. Consumers are guaranteed quality, and fish from the North Sea are sought after.

The many quality assurance measures have ensured that the fish have high value. The volumes of fish today are less than, for example, in the 1980s, but revenue has been maintained and has increased at times, because the value of fish is high.

Environment in focus
Vessels are becoming increasingly eco-friendly, and the first hybrid vessels are being constructed for fishing for human consumption, industrial fishing, cargo and offshore.

The new quayside discharging system at the TripleNine A/S fishmeal factory is designed to ensure that wastewater can no longer be discharged, untreated, into the harbour.

Fishermen are involved in environmental partnerships and collect floating plastic at sea. The waste is sailed into port, and the Port of Thyboron is working to ensure it can be more extensively recycled.
Fuel economy is matched to the catch to ensure profitable business operation.

Sustainable fishing has been fully adopted with the MSC certification.

The TripleNine A/S fishmeal factory has partnered with Lemvig Spildevand in a joint environmental project to reduce water consumption during production. TripleNine A/S expects to be able to reduce water consumption by 50-70 per cent and CO2 emissions by 955 tonnes, and save DKK 600,000-1,000,000 annually.

Working conditions and safety on board have been significantly improved. In the 1980s, it was difficult to find crew for the cutters. Now there can be 85 people doing the fisherman study programme in Thyboron each year. This difference is clearly due to the improved working conditions.

It is no longer only the sons of fishermen who train to become fishermen. Today, the fishing school has students from all over Denmark and a variety of backgrounds. They all have three things in common, an interest in doing a trade and a thirst for excitement and the outdoors.

Fishermen are now typically at sea for 150 days a year, and therefore have time for family life. At the Port of Thyboron, you can see crews of fishing vessels fully fitted out with safety equipment, such as helmets, gloves, wetwear and safety shoes.

Today’s onboard facilities provide comfort for relaxing during breaks. It is still a challenge to be away from home for extended periods, but there is a high degree of comfort and significantly more time for family today.

A fishing skipper wears four caps today instead of one – HR, director, fisherman and financial manager.
- Bent Bro
We must protect people’s livelihoods and preserve the marine environment for the future.
Negative reports of mismanagement and overfishing usually dominate the media, but there are many fishermen who fish sustainably, implement good management practices and minimise their environmental impact.
In the 1950s, and right up until the 1980s, you were a successful fisherman if you were at sea all the time.
Young fishermen quickly developed muscular upper arms from the heavy work. A special technique exploiting the movement of the fishing boat on the swell was necessary in order to pull the heavy net holding the fish aboard with their bare hands.
- John Hvass
It was so hard witnessing the fates of the fishermen as a young accountant just starting out in 1987, as I handled their accounting tasks, that I had to take a shower and change clothes when I got home from work, to put it out of my mind. We must never go through that again.
- Chartered accountant