Centre for the fishery of edible fish
The port's geographical location close to some of Europe's best fishing spots combined with the ferry connections to Norway, the Faroe Islands and Iceland, and motorway E39 provides the port with unique opportunities when it comes to handling and selling fish in the cross field between the catch area and the markets.
With a value of the landed fish of between 500-700 million Danish kroner a year, the Port of Hirtshals is among Denmark's largest fishing ports. The fishing activities at the port is centred around the fishery of edible fish, and the port frames significant activities within both the pelagic fishery and the demersal fishery.
The port has the facilities for landing, handling and sale of both pelagic and demersal fish. At the Port of Hirtshals herring and mackerel are landed for processing in Northern Jutland, just as species like haddock, plaice, cod and monkfish etc. are landed for sale at Fiskeauktion Nord Hirtshals. Additionally, there is a supply of fish from Norway, which is transport by refrigerated vans on the ferries.
The Port of Hirtshals has a water depth of 10.5 meters at the quays in East Basin 2, which makes it possible for freezing trawlers to land frozen shellfish and fish directly to the BIP centre and cold stores.
The Port of Hirtshals is the point of origin for fishery in the North Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea, Skagerrak, the Kattegat, and the port is thereby also home to a fishing fleet consisting of very different vessels. The port has landing facilities and berths for all types of fishing vessels:
- Small fishing vessels
- Danish seiner
- Pelagic seine and trawl vessels
- Factory vessels
The pelagic fishery
The pelagic fishery of mackerel and herring has always been an important part of the fishery from the Port of Hirtshals, and today the main part of the Danish pelagic fleet is registered in Hirtshals.
The Danish pelagic fishing fleet is made up by Denmark's seven largest fishing vessels and the fleet land fish to the herring and mackerel industries in Denmark and Northern Europe.
Both herring and mackerel are landed at Port of Hirtshals - about 95 percent of the mackerel landed in Denmark is landed at the Port of Hirtshals. Mackerel and herring landed in Hirtshals are transported in specially designed lorries to processing companies in Northern Jutland.
The demersal fishery
The demersal fishery also known as the fishery after edible fish represent the core of the fishery at the Port of Hirtshals today. Some of Europe's best fishing spots are located close to Hirtshals, and the activities at the port have always been influenced by the fishery. Because of this, Hirtshals hold a strong field of competences within the fishery today, and the fishery has a strong roots in Hirtshals.
Today, Fiskeauktion Nord Hirtshals is the turntable for the demersal fishery. The fresh fish is sold at the daily fish auction at Fiskeauktion Nord Hirtshals. The fish is landed primarily at night, which means that there is only a few hours between landing and auction.
At the Port of Hirtshals, the western part of the port is where the demersal fishing vessels are located. The vessels are grouped after size and construction in order to minimise the risk of damages on the vessels. The location of the vessels is described in the port's berth plan.