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Next-generation control system to enhance performance of commercial fishing trawlers

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SMART TRAWLING (Next-generation control system to enhance performance of commercial fishing trawlers)

Reporting period: 2018-08-01 to 2018-11-30

Controlling the movement of trawl nets is a challenge, since vessels do not have the tools that enable precise control. With current equipment, control depends on the vessel Captain’s skills, who needs to sail and simultaneously manually control the position, tension and velocity of the nets, thus incurring in non-optimal catches and increased fuel consumption.
At Naust Marine, we have designed Smart Trawling, a disruptive innovation within the vessel’s winch control equipment market for trawlers. It uses information from multiple data inputs in the vessel to automatically control the trawl nets increasing catching efficiency, and reducing towing time, fuel consumption, maintenance costs and ecological impact.
We identified the main areas for optimization, which include additional parameters to be measured, artificial intelligence improvements, component upgrades, HMI redesign, communication protocols with other components, software and hardware integration requirements and guidelines for QA and testing environment. We planned a detailed work plan and identified the major risks with mitigation and contingency plans. We identified the potential market for Smart Trawling and established a commercial plan, building a dissemination and communication plan to raise the awareness amongst every potential customer. We further defined the regulatory framework and confirmed our preliminary IP assessment. We have forecasted our overall costs related to the production, the commercialization of Smart Trawling and built the best revenue model. In a conservative scenario, we aim for a stable profit margin over the first 3.5 years of commercialization.
With Smart Trawling, fisheries will save up to 10.7% in fuel thanks to the vessel’s better management and more efficient catch that reduces the days at sea to get the targeted catch. Additionally, Smart Trawling can lead to saving of EUR 10,000 per year and vessel in steel wire.
We also expect a positive impact on the environment thanks to the reduction of lost gears and a better control of the fishing depth, avoiding bottom trawling where banned. Smart Trawling will also help reducing fishing vessels accidents by reducing capsizing accidents due to combined sea difficult conditions and inadequate strain of the cables of the fishing gear, which can lead to breaks and instability of the fishing vessel.