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Örfirisey’s refit to reduce fuel costs

With freezer trawler Örfirisey due back to sea this week following en extensive refit, it is expected that the ship will be able to operate more economically. A major part of this is the third trawl winch, allowing two trawls to be towed side-by-side.

The aim is to improve efficiency, as experience has shown that this way of working can result in significant fuel cost reductions. According to skipper Trausti Egilsson, twin rig trawling has been done successfully on haddock and redfish, as well as on Greenland halibut.

‘Normally with twin rig trawl gear, catches can be expected to increase by 70% while fuel costs will go up by between 30 and 40%, so there is smaller amount of fuel expended for every kilo of fish that comes on board,’ he said, and commented that the opening between the trawl doors is much the same as with a single trawl.

‘The new fishing gear is a pair of T90 trawls from Hampidjan. These two have a smaller volume of netting than in a single large trawl and we hope that with the meshes opening better in this T90 trawl, there will be less resistance compared to a single large trawl, even with the addition of a third trawl warp and the clump between the trawls.’

He said that the idea is that the clump needs to weigh roughly 70% of the combined weight of the doors, so with 4 tonne trawl doors each side, the clump would have to be 5.60 tonnes.

‘The quota system has managed fishing and effort on particular species, but now we have to pay more attention than ever to fuel costs now that fuel prices have risen much in the last few years. I’m also hoping that twin rig trawls will give us more opportunities to target higher-value species more efficiently than we could with one trawl. Sometimes when fishing has been slow we have simply had to stop due to the fuel being too expensive,’ Trausti Egilsson said.

Towing blocks moved further forward

Among the other changes on board Örfirisey during the refit, a new rudder was fitted. The towing points for the trawl blocks had to be changed for twin rig trawling, with all three fitted to rails that allow them to be moved 1.20 metres further forward while towing.

According to skipper Trausti Egilsson, this makes a difference when taking a turn as using this allows the tension to be reduced, leading to additional fuel savings.

The ship’s wheelhouse was refitted and fitted out with new equipment including a Furuno multi-beam sonar and a Scanmar Scanbas system to gather data from all of the catch and trawl monitors.

The galley was also refitted and a new heading machine with the capacity to improve usage rates from Fiskvélar was added to the processing deck, along with a new Jackstone plate freezer