Introducing the Amanda of Ladram
One of the recent additions to the Waterdance fleet, Amanda of Ladram targets mainly hake in waters off the South-West of England using static fishing gear. This low-impact method is used to strategically place nets where fish are expected to be migrating, and the large mesh size ensures that juvenile fish pass through the netting and escape safely. Netting is used primarily to fish for hake, as well as for haddock and pollock, while at certain times when the tides are right, trammel nets are used to fish for turbot and monkfish. With trips kept to only a few days for maximum freshness, the delicate hake that comes across Amanda of Ladram’s gunwale is treated with care as it is boxed and iced on board, with each box lowered by hand down into the hold.
Built in 2000 for owners in Scotland as the Asteria, Amanda of Ladram was originally a trawler designed to catch langoustine. When the original owners decided to upgrade to a new vessel, it was seen as an ideal candidate to be refitted as a netting boat and was given an extensive refit. The trawling gear was removed and pounds for the nets were fitted at the stern, while the catch handling space on the main deck was fitted out for the gentle handling that whitefish demands.
Local suppliers in the South-West were chosen to convert Amanda of Ladram to its new role as a netting boat, with a new ice machine fitted, the wheelhouse remodelled and new auxiliary engines fitted, while the original 350 kilowatt main engine still has plenty of life left in it.
Amanda of Ladram measures 18.27 metres overall with a 7 metre beam and spends four or five days at a time at sea with a crew of six, some of whom have sailed with skipper John Walsh for twenty years. Although she has an Exeter registration, Amanda of Ladram operates from Newlyn, the closest point to fishing grounds off the South-West that are often a hundred miles of more offshore.
Amanda of Ladram’s skipper John Walsh is one of the most experienced netting skippers in the South-West and came to Waterdance when the company acquired the Padstow-based Charisma that he had been worked for more than twenty years following hake and other species of fish from waters south of Ireland to deep off the south-west approaches.
When the opportunity arose to invest in Amanda of Ladram, his long experience and skill in finding fish in these waters made him the best ideal candidate to take over this latest addition to the fleet, while handing over Charisma to a new crew.