Fisheries in the Northern seas
The foundation of our business is the seafood in the North Atlantic and the Arctic Ocean. Our factories are supplied by our own fishing vessels, as well as by local fishermen, on a daily basis.
Royal Greenland is deeply rooted in fisheries throughout the Northern seas, with both our own vessels and collaboration with an extensive network of independent fishermen.
Royal Greenland operates more than 40 local landing factories in Western Greenland, Quebec and Newfoundland, where the distance from fishing grounds to factory is short. The fishermen can deliver their fresh catches directly to the factory, where Royal Greenland takes responsibility for the raw material.
In Greenland, dinghies are used both for private transportation and as fishing boats. Tradition and the latest technology are combined in the efforts to minimise manual workload while ensuring fish of the highest quality.
The fishing methods used inshore include line and hook, gill-net, trap catch and pound nets, which all have a low impact on the surrounding environment, and low fuel consumption.
Fishing in the open sea is undertaken by seagoing factory trawlers. On these vessels, the fresh fish or shellfish is hauled on board, sorted, processed and frozen within a few hours, providing seafood of extremely fresh quality.
Royal Greenland uses bottom trawling, where two rollers hold the trawl down, so that there is minimum damage to the seabed. Royal Greenland does not use beam trawls, as these have much more impact on the seabed.
The trawlers operate in all weather conditions, and the annual planning is continuously subject to change, should the winter sea ice come earlier than expected, or a storm head in our direction. But besides the weather conditions, the fishing quotas and the abundance of fish define the sailing routes. From long experience we know when and where to harvest seafood of the finest quality, in the right season.
Life onboard a factory trawler
To reach distant fishing grounds far from land, the seagoing vessels are at sea for several weeks at a time, until the cargo is full. While at sea, the vessel is constantly fishing, and two full crews operate shifts around the clock. Each shift is normally eight hours at a time.
The full crew numbers around 25 people and consists of:
- The Captain: Ship manager, planning the sailing route and fishing, operating the trawl
- Chief Officer: Support to captain, sailing the ship, navigating
- Chief Engineer: Responsible for operating and maintaining the machine and all electronics
- Two to three operators: Operation and maintenance
- Eight to ten fishermen on the deck: Operating the trawl on deck
- Factory Manager: Supervising and planning the production
- Ten to 14 Factory Workers: Operating production
- Chef: Catering and practical work
Fishing is planned for two years at a time, so the crew know their schedule a long time in advance. They normally embark for around eight weeks at a time, followed by eight weeks off.