English fishing company Waterdance has been impressed enough with the performance of a pair of Sumwings that replaced beam trawler Margaret of Ladram’s regular gear that the intention is to phase this in for the rest of its beamers.
Margaret of Ladram’s skipper Adam Cowan-Dickie reported that the Sumwing gear returned a fuel saving of roughly 30%, or 60-70 litres per hour – reducing emissions as well as running costs.
Alongside the lower fuel bill, catch quality is up and the reduced seabed impact of the gear led to a 69% reduction in benthic material discards and to reduced wear and tear on the fishing gear.
Waterdance intends to work with Brixham Trawl Makers to improve the gear still further,
aiming to increase fishing efficiency and to maximise catch volumes compared to traditional beam trawl gear. According to the company, they are confident that further improvements can be achieved, building on the excellent results already demonstrated.
‘We will now be moving forward with 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,’ the company states.
‘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.’