688. That is the number of days that the captain of the FV Nordic Prince, Arvid Olai Mjønes, spent on board the vessel without returning home. On the final leg of the voyage, the Norwegian captain spoke to MercoPress on board the vessel in the port of Montevideo and shared his experience during the Patagonian Toothfish fishing season in the Ross Sea during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The FV Nordic Prince, owned by Argos Froyanes, a leading company in sustainable longline fishing in the South Atlantic - it is certified by the Marine Stewardship Council - is a state of the art vessel built in 2018. Arvid, who has worked in the industry since the age of 17, works on the vessel with an experienced 10-nationalities-crew of 27 people that he considers a kind of a family with which he works in an environment where the climate can be very harsh like in the Ross Sea or in the waters off South Georgia during the fishing season, which starts on April.
Since the global pandemic began in 2020, Arvid has become very active on social media, using his Facebook profile as a logbook where he shares pictures and anecdotes from his work. In this way, it makes the issue of distance from home much easier, he said in the interview. Otherwise, the captain cannot imagine how he would have coped for so long without talking to his family or friends.