Spots off of New Zealand…

What a great photo of the spots of tuna off of The New Zealand coast back in the 70s. Im told this was off the east coast of the North Island . Amazing how close to the Islands the Tuna was . Thank you to Mr. Carey for the picture. share your pictures with me at sdtunaboats@cox.net or on Twitter @sdtunaboats

One Reply to “Spots off of New Zealand…”

  1. Because of the close proximity to the coast, the vessels, particularly the Kiwi boats used land based fixed wing spotter planes. Graeme Bell, Red Barker and John Reid were renown with finding fish and pretty damn accurate how big the school was and what the % of it was, skipjack, jack mackerel, English mackerel etc.
    Often the choppers would stay on top of the wheelhouse deck while these guys went looking far afield. An added bonus was using the planes to buzz the towlines to stop the fish from escaping. Ask any fishermen about that and how close they got to the sea and to the crows nest as the dived and rolled in the turns. Awesome spectacle! Planes, speedboats, hammers, bombs and ‘ugly bombs’ (crew jumping in between the purse wires)…the fish didn’t have a chance.
    However it was not beer and roses. The US seiners were so much faster than the smaller Kiwi boats, the biggest of them holding around 300 tons (not short tons) . They also had better radios and despite every effort t o outfox the ‘opposition, the kiwis would eventually loose the race to the spot. John and Red even resorted to dropping notes wrapped around stones onto the decks with the coordinates of the schools and there started a game of cat and mouse. Great times. Great memories

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