Dutch fishing company Ekofish Group has contracted Damen Maaskant Shipyards Stellendam to build a new twin-rig fishing trawler. The design and on-board equipment of the new vessel will all be in line with Ekofish’s dedication to sustainable fishing methods.
Family-owned Ekofish Group has a history that goes back more than a century. The company’s working practices can be seen as a product of this rich fishing heritage and a truly sustainable way of thinking. An especially pertinent example of this was when Ekofish was the first European flatfish fishing company to receive MSC certification back in 2009.
Pushing for change
The design of the new vessel has been a collaboration between Ekofish, Damen Maaskant Shipyards Stellendam and Vripack naval architects. “We got together in March 2017 to design the various design parameters,” comments Ekofish’s Louwe de Boer. “We wanted something innovative; in that respect we are not scared of change.”
With its 32-metre length and 9.6-metre beam, the design of the new vessel reflects this multi-disciplinary approach. “This has been a very enthusiastic cooperation – combining Damen’s know-how with our own fishing experience,” says Mr De Boer.
For Vripack – a company more well-known for its yacht design portfolio – the new vessel represents their first twin-rigger fishing vessel design. “We were invited to look at the creation for the trawler with a fresh pair of eyes; approaching the project from a non-conventional angle from our position of a holistic design and naval architecture studio,” says Ierring Faber, Naval Architect at Vripack.
“In the next phase of the project, the valuable input from Maaskant Shipyards made the design develop into a feasible fish trawler while still doing justice to the innovative concept design that we started off with.”
Efficient power supply
Taking on the requirements of returning customer Ekofish, the team at Damen Maaskant Shipyards Stellendam aimed to optimise the efficiency of the vessel’s systems wherever possible. Using the design of the power plant as an example, Eric Moerkerk, Manager Operations at the yard, explains: “The vessel will have diesel-electric propulsion, using three generators lined up to a DC-Bus. This will reduce the peak load demands that are characteristic of the operational profile of fishing vessels.”
In addition, the power plant will be supplemented by a battery pack. “The batteries can be used for short-term tasks at sea, and also while in harbour – removing the need to use the main engines. They can be charged in various ways; during periods of engine overcapacity or even capturing the energy created when the winches are paying out. These techniques are ground-breaking for the fisheries industry.”
Construction of the hull, taking place in Poland, is due to commence in Q1 2018. Damen Maaskant Shipyards Stellendam will perform outfitting, aiming for completion in Q1 2019.