If the coronavirus pandemic of 2020 taught anything to the fishing industry, it was a lesson on the fragility of national and global markets, and the vitality of the local. With many institutions and restaurants shuttered, large-scale supply chains backed up and signaled an apparent decline in demand. But people hadn’t lost their appetite for fish. They just had to find a new avenue of distribution.
Enter the smaller boats landing smaller quantities of high-quality fish. The fish that meet local demand through home delivery, community supported fisheries, or nontraditional markets are usually caught with hooks. And those hook systems — whether jigging machines, bandit reels, or autolongline — are improving all the time.
The jigging machines that many fishermen use come from Nordic countries, for example, Beltronic of Lunde, Sweden. “We sell about 60 percent of our machines to Norway and the rest around the world, including Canada and the United States,” says Thomas Neuendorf who runs the company with his brother.