Pearler is 14.5m fibreglass Freeman Bay West Coaster. She has 825hp cat 3406E. She sleeps three people and has a full galley, shower toilet.

She is surveyed for Fishing, Passenger, Non-Passenger, Towing.

The Pearler is based out of Gisborne and is run in conjunction with Gisborne Fisheries, wetfishing and crayfishing. She is also commissioned for commercial work.

John Brand

John Brand


Born in Gisborne, raised in Mahia, John was educated at TeMahia School then went to Lindisfarne College in Hastings for 7 years.

After leaving school John fished with his father for a year the went to Nelson School of Fishing for a year. He had enough sea time, so obtained his Inshore Fishing Skippers Ticket, went back to Mahia and crewed for his father for 6 months, “the boat was way too small for us both”, so John very successfully ran his own crayboat for 5 years, saw the transition from paper to sounders to colour.

John was itching to discover Australia, so flew to Cairns and went prawning for a year, travelled south after that and joined a deep sea trawler in Portland, Victoria. This gave him the knowledge to apply for a job with A Raptis & Sons, fishing out of Adelaide for 2 years then they moved the operation to Hobart, Tasmania.

John obtained his Master Class 5 and was mate on the Noble Pearl, mainly catching Orange Roughy for 4 years, then went back to Adelaide and did a year fishing the Great Australian Bight for inshore species.

He returned to New Zealand and did a few trips catching Orange Roughy on the Two Fold Bay and tutored at the Tairawhiti Polytech teaching wire rope splicing, net mending, gill net making and craypot making.

John joined Welsh Farriers and fished for Hapuka, Ling and Bluenose for 3 years. He purchased a trawler and had a mixed wetfish and crayfish package that he caught for 5 years. He then sold his trawler and set up the King Fisher and went surface long lining for Tunas and Swordfish for 3 years, this was so successful that John went to Australia to purchase the Wairau. Refitted her in Edan and sailed her back to Gisborne. John fished her with great success for 9 years, travelled back to Australia and delivered a purpose built Westcoaster Tuna longliner and fished her for 3 years.

John joined Pearler in February 2015.

“I am now back crayfishing for ECF Ltd and loving the change from offshore to inshore”.

Ben Barker

Ben Barker

1st Mate

Ben joined us in January 2015 at the age of 21.

He was born in Palmerston North and went to Palmerston North Boys High. Ben has enjoyed several jobs before fishing. These include Scaffolding, windows and doors, rigging, quality controller for Iplex Pipelines.

He has attended courses for forklift driving, working at heights and has completed at welding short course.

In the future, Ben would like to have completed  class 2 driving, SRL with endorsements, hiab, diving and security tickets.

“I don’t think there is much better than coming home with a full, clean boat.”

The Pearler herself ready for action

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