August 17th, 2018 by Paul
Nominated to the Innovation Award: Stø Technology
The founders of Stø Technology refer to their catch management system as disruptive technology. «The Bumblebee» can change the entire operating pattern of the trawler industry.
– This will make the trawler industry think completely new in terms of vessel and process optimization, new operations, market development and business models, says Arne O. Flø, Managing Director.
The core of the system is the autonomous underwater vehicle “Humla” (“The Bumblebee”).
The new and patented technology enables transferring the catch from the trawl without interrupting trawling. The project has been given the TRAWL 2.0 work title, and is one of the nominees for the Nor-Fishing Foundation’s Innovation Award 2018.
The founders behind Stø Technology from Hareid are Pål Arne Roaldsnes, Jan Børge Vik and Arne O. Flø, who have a long and solid experience in the maritime industry, fisheries and product development.
From “flower to flower”
“Humla” is a Towed Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (TAUV) that is towed after the trawler via a probe cable.
– “Bumblebee” flies from flower to flower and collects his nectar!
In this way, CEO Arne O. Flø in Stø Technology illustrates how the underwater vehicle moves safely and unobstructed between the ship and the trawl on clearly defined missions – from trawl bag to trawl bag.
– When the trawl is filled with an appropriate amount of fish, “Humla” will use the position data, sonar and an adapter to connect to the trawl bag and load the fish into a transport bag on “Humla”. Subsequently, the submarine vehicle returns to the ship and transfers the catch through a reception arrangement below the waterline on the trawler, to a water-filled room on board. During the entire operation with “Humla”, the trawler continues to fish without interruption, says Arne O. Flø.
Handles fish at the individual level
– With our system, the trawlers will be able to handle the fish more at the individual level. We aim to address the quality challenges that the trawler industry is struggling with, he says.
He tells us that the innovation aims to eliminate the three main sources of quality loss in trawling: Fatigue and clamping damage due to many hours in the trawl, and clamping and scratching damage to the fish when the trawl is pulled up. The solution also removes the problems associated with waiting time on board.
Smooth flow of raw material
When “Humla” does not collect the catch, it can also be used for fish finding and trawl monitoring. In sum, “Humla” contributes to the trawler achieving a continuous and far more even raw material supply than with today’s technology.
– With this technology, the trawler will be able to get the catch on board more frequently than before and with optimal animal welfare – so that the fish can be processed practically without bottlenecks, damage, loss of quality, or loss of value, says Arne O. Flø.
He believes that fishing will be 15 to 20 percent more effective with this methodology, with a significant reduction of today’s wear and tear on the equipment. In addition, one could achieve a significantly reduced occupational risk for the crew on board the trawler.
– We believe that the equipment and mindset with the use of “Humla” will change trawler design in the future. It could also affect how future trawler decks will look like. Improved flow in production makes it possible to achieve savings in terms of released capacity and space, reduced factory size, engine power, and costs, increased freezing capacity, and more flexible factory solutions.
– From the fish goes into the trawl bag until it is on the store shelves, we will be sure that it has gone through the most efficient, environmentally friendly and ethical treatment the fish can get, and that we have made the choices that make the best use of raw material and value creation, concludes Arne O. Flø, general manager at Stø Technology.
Innovation Norway has contributed commercialization support to Stø Technology.