seafish The preliminary results of the trial have been positive with the Sumwing still operating well on the Margaret of Ladram. We’re looking forward to seeing the final results published by Seafish and seeing how they can support the wider beam trawl industry. The Sumwing is a major innovation in beam trawl gear that has been designed to fly just off the seabed, reducing drag and therefore fuel use; this is particularly relevant for Waterdance as 12 of our vessels are beam-trawlers. The Sumwing was designed and developed in Holland, it has an 84% reduction in seabed contact from the beam and showed a 9% reduction in fuel use when first tested, the UK trial is hoping to achieve an even greater reduction. The WFPO are now testing the Sumwing on south-western beam trawlers, working with Seafish gear technology experts who designed the trial and are performing the data analysis. The primary aim of this Sumwing trial, was to ensure the technology can feasibly be used on UK beam trawl vessels and to analyse any reductions in fuel consumption. The Sumwing changes the traditional cylindrical beam of the beam trawl into a wing, similar to an aeroplane. The wing shape creates lift and lifts the wing off the seabed; it is designed to be towed or ‘flown’ just above the seabed.  Additionally, seabed contact is reduced by only having one skid in the middle, instead of the standard two wheels or skids on either end of the beam. This has a number of potential benefits including the reduction of drag which will lead to decreased fuel consumption and costs. This trial was designed to test the efficiency of the Sumwing on South-west beam trawler as they’d previously only been tested on Dutch and Belgian vessels. There are many differences between these vessels and their UK equivalents including: use of varying mesh sizes and lengths of nets, different amounts of tickler chains, varied towing speeds, operation on disparate substrates and mixed species caught. Therefore, it is important to assess the potential fuel savings and other benefits for UK trawlers. The preliminary results of the trial have been positive with the Sumwing still operating well on the Margaret of Ladram. We’re looking forward to seeing the final results published by Seafish and seeing how they can support the wider beam trawl industry. Source Link

Seafish has published their report on Sumwing beam trawl trials which was carried out in conjunction with the WFPO

Seafish has published their report on Sumwing beam trawl trials which was carried out in conjunction with the Western Fish Producers Organisation (WFPO).

At the request of the WFPO, Seafish were asked to provide technical support during a sea trial of an innovative Sumwing beam trawl.

Beam trawl vessels in Holland and Belgium have used the Sumwing successfully with reported cuts in fuel consumption by as much as 30%. This report details the work undertaken as part of a short sea trial carried out over the course of three days on the MFV Margaret of Ladram (E198). A 30m beam trawl vessel fishing from the port of Brixham on the south coast of Devon.

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Although the Dutch and Belgium beam trawl vessels have used the Sumwing successfully, the technology had never been trialled on a UK fishing vessel operating on fishing grounds traditionally worked by the UK beam trawl fleet. The report explains the methodology undertaken during the sea trial and the technical characteristic of the Sumwing beam trawl gear.

Utilising the vessel’s electronic fuel and tension meters, data was collected of the litres per hour of fuel used, and the load when towing both the Sumwing and the traditional beam trawl. An assessment of the potential fuel saving is included in this report. Details of catch composition and discards were collected including an assessment of fish quality. Results from the trial showed a 42% saving in fuel, and on average since the trial, the skipper has reported a 30% fuel saving. Impact of the trawls on the seabed has been reduced substantially, resulting in a reduction of benthic discards by 69%. The reduction in seabed impact has improved the quality of the fish retained in the trawl and reduced wear and tear on the gear, doubling its lifespan.

Reacting to the results of the trial, the Western Fish Producer’s Organisation said:

“We’re pleased to say the results of the Sumwing Trial on our beam trawler, Margaret of Ladram, showed an extremely promising 42% saving in fuel consumption. Adam Cowan-Dickie (skipper of the Margaret) has noted that since the trial, when fishing normally, he’s noticed a continued saving of 30% or around 60-70 litres per hour. This also has the environmental benefit of reduced CO2 emissions.

“The trial also showed a substantial reduction in seabed impact due to the shape of the new gear, with a reduction of benthic material discards of 69%. The figures are thought to represent the decreased footprint of the new trawl gear on the seabed, which has improved the quality of the fish caught as well as reducing the wear and tear of the gear, increasing its longevity.

“Looking to the future, Waterdance intend to continue their work with Brixham Trawl Makers to further improve this new gear. This will be primarily be done with a view to bettering the fishing efficiency of the Sumwing and to maximise its catch volume relative to traditional beams. Waterdance are confident that this work will lead to further improvements in the gear whilst maintaining the great results seen in this trial.

“Waterdance will now be moving forward with the aspiration of further modifications of the gear (for example, to work with closed beam trawl gear) so that it can be rolled out across the fleet and into the wider fishing industry. This would have significant, industry-wide benefits due to the reduction in CO2 emissions which is vital for the future of the industry.

“This aspiration includes positioning fish as an environmentally-conscious option for the public and the overall reduction of the environmental impact of food production.”

The full report can be read by clicking here.

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Seafish publishes report on Sumwing beam trawl trials with WFPO

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