Sensor success in West Africa

Sensor success in West Africa Marshal Krylov operates off west Africa and has an array of Scanmar sensors to monitor its trawl gear

As well as those around the world with a long background in making use of trawl technology from Scanmar, there are some newer big players who are also singing the praises of the Norwegian experts.

“We have been working with Scanmar equipment for less than six months,” said Dmitry Matveychev, skipper of the 104m, 1810gt factory vessel Marshal Krylov, operating in West African waters, including those of Morocco, Mauretania, Guinea-Bissau and Angola.

“In the beginning we were switching between several systems, but we decided to use only Scanmar, because using only one system on board saves us time,” he said, adding that the main reasons for choosing Scanmar was the stable signals from the sensors, especially when fishing near to the surface, as well as longer battery life of the sensors between recharging.

Operating a vessel of this size in alternating fisheries, and using alternating trawls, for mackerel, horse mackerel and sardines, high quality and accurate sensor reporting back to the bridge from the trawl is vital for success.

Marshal Krylov is fitted with a Scanmar ScanScreen bridge system with two screens displaying the vital data reported back from the Double Distance Door Sensors relaying information on distance, depth and pitch & roll angles.

Also of key importance are the Scanmar Trawl Eyes, Flow/Symmetry sensors providing trawl geometry data, and six catch sensors with standard catch reporting functions.

Scanmar has put a great deal of time and effort into presenting a system for fishermen that is not only accurate but also user friendly – as seen with the smart layout of the screen data, especially the catch sensor graphs are well placed and easy to read.

Door sensor information is also straightforward to understand, and users find it especially useful with the Pitch & Roll and Stability functions on the trawl doors, complemented by the addition of a sound alarm which indicates sudden unexpected changes in the trawl door parameters or if the doors have come into contact with anything on the seabed.

According to Scanmar’s communications manager Cormac Burke, a vital component for most skippers is the Trawl Eye sensor, which gives the skipper informative and easy to read data about trawling in real time mode, with the picture from Trawl Eye indicating the catch coming into the trawl and about the height, opening and clearance of the trawl at any given time.

“Above all else, the strongest feedback Scanmar has received from many skippers around the world is the cost saving element,” he said;

“The installation of Scanmar systems does away with ‘unknowns’ such as twisted trawls, closed mouth sections, badly angled trawl doors, etc. It ensures that such occurrences are reported to the bridge, steps to remedy the problem are taken, and hours of inefficient fishing, lost time and wasted fuel consumption, are avoided.”

He said that Scanmar’s commitment to R&D has certainly begun paying dividends for fishermen everywhere – particularly when it comes to the length of time between having to recharge sensor batteries, and the ‘exchangeable’ battery for the Trawl Eye.

“The exchangeable battery simplifies our life a lot, we don't even need to unmount the TrawlEye sensor from the trawl for recharging it,” confirmed skipper Dmitry Matveychev.

“The battery operational time is already impressive and many of the sensors have battery charge for weeks and months at a time, such as is with the Catch Sensor for example,” he commented, adding that he finds that the materials used for Scanmar sensors are robust and used to tough conditions.

“With all the experience that I have with working on different trawl monitoring systems in the past, I have to say that Scanmar has a high level of reliability, signal stability, presentation of key data and ease of maintenance.”

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