Periodic Reporting for period 1 - EKKO (NEW GENERATION OF EFFICIENT TRAWL DOORS AND HARMLESS SEAFLOOR FISHING)
Reporting period: 2017-08-01 to 2017-11-30
Trawl doors are large rectangular steel structures used to keep trawls open during trawl fishing. Traditionally, they are heavy and form huge towing resistances that account for 25-30% of fuel used during catching. Large vessels must carry multiple pairs of trawl doors to enable different types of trawl fishing increasing the on-board weight and down-time between catches. Furthermore, trawl fishing has a bad reputation for damaging the sea bed with conventional bottom trawl doors digging up to 15cm into the sea floor resulting in pressure to amend fishing practices. The object of our project was to further evaluate the technical, commercial and financial viability of our multi-functional, no-seabed contact trawl doors. EKKO doors have the potential to reduce harm to seabed ecology, reduce fuel consumption and costs during trawl fishing, reduce the carbon footprint of the EU fishing fleet and change the multi-door model associated with current trawl fishing methods. At the conclusion we have sufficient market, technical and commercial knowledge to continue the development of EKKO. To reach market, we require additional funding to develop the product and our primary option for this funding would be through Phase 2 H2020 SME funding.
Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far
We have performed a detailed market analysis, verifying the commercial potential, the regulatory requirements and validating the possible routes to market for EKKO Trawl Doors. We have identified stakeholders and additional partners and have undertaken a Freedom-To-Operate analysis. On the technical side we have completed further development on trawl door design and materials assessment and have completed additional flume tank tests and fishing trials. On the economic side we have developed a detailed business plan including revenues and costs analysis, a commercialization plan and risk assessment.
Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)
The shape of EKKO trawl doors means they spread and open the trawls more easily reducing fuel consumption during fishing by 10%, equivalent to €140M every year. Correspondingly, they have the potential to reduce the carbon footprint of EU trawl fishing by 5 Mega Tonnes per year. EKKO addresses the limitations of existing trawl doors as they were designed from the beginning with the idea that they do not touch the seabed protecting precious seabed ecology.