Australian vessel sees 10% catch increase

FV Striker FV Striker

Shark Bay Seafoods of South Fremantle, Australia has recently installed a Notus Trawlmaster on its deep-water triple rig trawler, and the captain and fleet manager have reported an immediate payback for the system.

Shark Bay Seafoods operates a fleet of trawlers targeting scampi (deep water), prawns and fish. The company installed a Notus Trawlmaster on its triple rig scampi vessel to wirelessly monitor the spread on each net, door angle and warp/bridal lengths. As the vessel was not dry-docking for some time, a towed hydrophone in a paravane was provided.

The FV Striker targets scampi in 400-500m depths off Australia and shoots approximately 650fa of warp. The bottom is typically muddy and a triple trawl configuration is used. It fishes two trawl warps using splits that go to two outside doors and two inside skids (or sleds). A typical sensor configuration is used with one sensor in each door and two sensors in each skid.

Simon Little, Shark Bay Seafoods’ fleet manager, kept a close eye on his return from investing in Notus. He says, “Scampi catch has increased 10% due to the Notus sensors and fuel is down 8-9% per trip.” Captain Stormy and Mr Little mainly attribute these results to constantly being able to monitor the gear during the entire tow.

A major issue in the fishery is mudding up. The footgear goes into the mud and the trawls eventually become blocked. Mr Little says that with Notus equipment “you can react straight away.” As soon as the gear starts to mud up, extra throttle is supplied which brings the trawls back to optimal fishing. The speed of the vessel is constantly adjusted to ensure the gear is going correctly. “You start at 2.9 and then you might go down to 2.5 and up to 3.3, all during the same tow”, Mr Little says.

The FV Striker also uses Notus on its quad rig prawn trawling in Western Australia.

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