Adam Tanis, GO48
Adam Tanis, GO48: ‘Either you switch to pulse fishing or you stop fishing.´
Continuously rising fuel prices forced Adam Tanis and his sons to consider a switch to pulse bottom trawling. The GO48 is fitted with a Delmeco pulse bottom trawling system combined with an aquaplaning rig since April 2012. Tanis is very pleased with the operating profit of the pulse system. Fuel use has decreased by almost a half of what it used to be. The system has higher maintenance costs, but these are easily compensated by what is being saved on fuel and higher grossing. The fishing company of Adam Tanis and sons has two cutters, only one of which (the GO48) has so far been fitted with the pulse system. Tanis, like many other fishermen, has switched to ships with less capacity. Smaller ships are more profitable, considering the current prices for fuel and fish. This meant that the crew of the GO48 had to deal with an extra transitional challenge. Both a new ship and the pulse system. This was especially challenging for the captain. It is very important to stay focussed when pulse fishing. You have to think harder about how to fish efficiently than with traditional bottom trawling.
The Delmeco system provides the bridge with a lot of information about the performance of the rig at the sea-floor. Pulse field, performance of electrodes, water temperature, frequency and capacity are variables that are measured and can be adjusted by the fisherman (within certain margins) in order to achieve maximum grossing with the least possible damage to fish and bycatch. It takes a while before you get the hang of it. The pressure to achieve optimal success with the new investment was high. Up to now, the system has performed as expected. Tanis is very pleased with the control of the feeder cable winch. The crew of the GO48 has experimented with adjusting the winch. The GO48 can sail with a very low resistance with the winch in use. The aim of this is that the feeder cable is spared as much as possible. Tanis notes that the feeder cable has had no malfunctions up to now. The crew treats it with care and it looks as good as new. The same does not go for the electrodes. They are dragged along the sea-floor and are subject to wear. That is why the synthetic coupling pieces that are connected to the electrodes have already needed to be replaced. And replacement does not come cheap. Tanis indicates that these maintenance costs are easily earned back by the reduction in fuel use and better catches. However, he does feel that this part of the Delmeco system should be improved. The life span of electrodes should increase, or the costs of these electrodes should be reduced. He would like to see us experiment with other, more wear-resistant materials.
The bank has shown a helpful attitude towards financing the pulse system. Pulse fishing is so well-known now, that it is also known what the payoff time is. From a business point of view the switch to pulse fishing is a logical step. Brussels should legalise it soon because of its advantages to the economy and the environment. Tanis even thinks there is no future at all for traditional bottom trawling: ‘Either you switch to pulse fishing or you stop fishing.´