At the start of this project, there was only the project vessel equipped with Japanese machinery and gear. During this year this has grown to eight vessels fully equipped to fish using Japanese methods and a further 15/20 vessels which have Australian devised systems using entirely monofilament gear. The monofilament gear has the advantage of being cheap and light but is restrictive in number of hooks that can be set and the depth fished.
The gross value of exports in the first year of the project is of the order of $500,000, it is expected that this figure will grow to $2 million during the year. This is based on estimated current catcher capability.
Given the success of the project thus far and the high prices being realised, the catcher fleet is expected to grow rapidly and the figure of $2 million may prove conservative.