Task 2

TASK 2

TASK 2

Pilot project for improved fishing gears development and testing at sea

Task leader

Partners involved

The objective of this task is to set up pilot studies for the development of improved fishing trawls. The project will develop improved trawl nets and otterboards, carry out sea trials in different GSAs in the Mediterranean and Black Sea, test them and collect data in an operational environment. 

The project will focus exclusively on the following parts of the fishing gear: warps, bridles, otterboards or sledges in case of beam trawls, net design, material, webbing and rigging. Additional fishing gear components will be tested after discussion with DGMARE. 

Field work will be conducted to collect data on the detailed breakdown of energy consumption during fishing operations. This information will be done under different fishing conditions. To achieve this, adequate measuring equipment will be installed on board of various types of fishing vessels. 

The collection of data will include the measurement of energy consumption during vessel operations in different working conditions: sailing to and from the fishing ground, and fishing operations. 

Primary energy consumption may be obtained by adequate recording of engine parameters such as engine characteristics, time and regime of operation, fuel consumption, etc. Based on the fuel consumption profiles, derived from the literature and prior studies (by identified area, gear type and vessel length), the project partners will design, develop, build and test fishing gear systems that will ensure fuel consumption reduction between 20-40%, or the maximum achievable fuel efficiency. 

The methodological approach will follow that outlined in Sala et al. (2011; 2023) where for comparative trials of conventional vs the new gear, the gear performance is measured along with the main parameters (to verify catch profiles not increasing in respect to the conventional commercial gear). During all the hauls, the following measuring equipment will be used: 

  • gear monitoring system to measure the gear performance; e.g., door spread, horizontal and vertical net openings; 
  • electronic load cells to measure the warp loads; 
  • a fuel flow interface system, which combines a digital LCD engine hour meter, a tachometer, a fuel flowmeter and a fuel totalizer in a single instrument; 
  • and a GPS to determine the position and speed of the vessel. 

All the instruments, linked by RS232/485 serial ports to a personal computer, will automatically control the data acquisition and provide the correct functioning of the system in real time through an appropriately developed software. 

The impact of exploiting different fishing gear modifications and innovations will be provided in terms of fuel consumption and emissions, using collected data (e.g., gear drag and fuel consumption). Fuel performance data resulting from operational changes will be fed into the models used by the economics task group (Task 3), in order to make it possible to judge the balance between operational performance and initial investments of the selected fisheries. 

It is anticipated that initial investments are likely to increase in case of applying fuel saving concepts. To assess the potential profit of fuel saving innovations, a balance over a certain payback period (to be defined) will be provided. This will be worked out by the Task 3. This is to identify and manage potential technological improvements which could lead to increased catchability of the main commercial species. An ad hoc section of the reports will specifically address this point as it carries important implications for the management of fish stocks. 

With respect to the fishing gear technology aspects, the project is to examine the novel fishing gear designs and engineering topics for greater energy efficiency, such as: reduced gear drag in relation to towing speed and swept volume, lower contact and drag of components running over the sea bed, lower drags of Rapido trawl in the Mediterranean and beam trawls in the Black Sea by more hydro-dynamical shapes, kites instead of floats to open nets, use of thinner twines for netting, use of hydro-dynamically more efficient otterboards, gear design changes, single-boat vs. pair-boat pelagic trawling. 

Subtasks

Subtask 2a.

Western Mediterranean (GSA1-7), OTB

Subtask 2a.

Western Mediterranean (GSA1-7), OTB
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Subtask 2b.

Tyrrhenian (GSA9-10), OTB

Subtask 2b.

Tyrrhenian (GSA9-10), OTB
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Subtask 2c.

Central Mediterranean (GSA15-16), OTB

Subtask 2c.

Central Mediterranean (GSA15-16), OTB
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Subtask 2d.

Adriatic and Ionian (GSA17-19), OTB

Subtask 2d.

Adriatic and Ionian (GSA17-19), OTB
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Subtask 2e.

Adriatic and Ionian (GSA17-19), OTB

Subtask 2e.

Adriatic and Ionian (GSA17-19), OTB
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Subtask 2f.

Adriatic and Ionian (GSA17-19), TBB

Subtask 2f.

Adriatic and Ionian (GSA17-19), TBB
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Subtask 2g.

Eastern Mediterranean (GSA22-23), OTB

Subtask 2g.

Eastern Mediterranean (GSA22-23), OTB
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Subtask 2h.

Black Sea (GSA29), OTB

Subtask 2h.

Black Sea (GSA29), OTB
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Subtask 2i.

Black Sea (GSA29), OTM (*)

Subtask 2i.

Black Sea (GSA29), OTM (*)
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Subtask 2j.

Black Sea (GSA29), TBB

Subtask 2j.

Black Sea (GSA29), TBB
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Subtask leader: Emilio Notti (CNR). 

Partners involved: CNR, ABT, CIBM, COISPA, CONISMA, FRI, HCMR, IEO-CSIC, IO-BAS, IOF, NIMRD, SZN, UTH. 

Effective rationalisation of energy consumption can only be achieved if waste factors are identified in advance. Following the procedures defined in Sala et al. (2022), energy audits will be implemented to establish baselines in the area/gear combinations specified in Table 1. DecarbonyT partners will perform energy audit surveys to: i) collect data and information in order to carry out an energy analysis of the harvesting operations; ii) process data collected and preparation of the audit reports; iii) identify areas of possible intervention. The energy audit surveys will be carried out on a sample of ten fishing vessels in each area/gear combination stratified by vessel length and engine power. Vessels monitored and evaluated in the pilot studies (Task 2) will be included.

FRAMEWORK CONTRACT – EASME/EMFF/2020/OP/0021 14 / 60 

in the samples of the ten vessels / area-gear combinations so that they will be used as a validation exercise of the Energy audit approach. 

A standard layout for the information collection will be discussed and settled during the first coordination meeting (Orientation meeting, see §Task 0. Project management and scientific coordination and Table 4). 

Collect information on innovations that are targeting drag force reduction and fishing gear modifications (e.g., alternative designs of door, trawl net, ground gear). The review will explore those suggested modifications that are suitable to the fishing fleet in terms of innovation uptake. This should include the compilation and critical review of best practices in towed fishing gear operations. 

To compile, through reviews on existing technical literature and data, on fuel consumption, information useful to determine which are the most energy efficient techniques and vessel characteristics in terms of catch per unit of primary energy. 

Where available, information should be broken down by major fishery and by different metiers and vessel sizes. This information should, where possible, indicate how energy consumption is distributed among the different operations, including steaming, searching, catching, handling, and storing on board. The result would take the form of a catalogue of fishing gear and vessel characteristics and a quantification of their performance in terms of energy efficiency. 

Subtask leader: Tommaso Russo (CONISMA). 

Partners involved: CONISMA, CIBM, CNR, FRI, HCMR, IEO-CSIC, IOF. 

This specific objective will be pursued primarily through the integrated analysis of Fisheries Dependent Information (FDI) data and Annual Economic Report (AER) on the EU Fishing Fleet. Combining the AER information with the FDI data it would be possible to estimate the fuel use intensity at gear level (STECF, 2023). Basically, spatial and temporal patterns of fishing effort and related catches and landings will be combined, at the level of individual fleet segments, with fuel consumption to carry out a top-down reconstruction of the spatial pattern of the FUI (litres of fuel per ton of landed fish) and EUI (litres of fuel per unit of effort). 

According to the exercise carried out in the Annual Economic Report 2023 (AER), fuel intensity (i.e. the quantity of fuel consumed per quantity of fish landed) and fuel efficiency (i.e. the ratio between fuel costs and revenue, expressed as a percentage) will be estimated from DCF-FDI and AER for all possible fleet segments among those identified in the proposal, based on available information. 

In parallel, an application that models the fuel consumption of individual vessels (including steaming and fishing phases) to obtain a bottom-up estimation of the fuel consumption and carbon emission at the scale of fleet segment will be developed. This bottom-up modelling approach will be implemented through the set-up and the application of a fully functional R-based procedure that, starting from: 

remote tracking device data (e.g., VMS, AIS), and; 

a set of parameters, such as those published in Sala et al. (2022) (see Figures 7 and 8) 

will return the estimated carbon footprint of each fishing vessel, according to its spatial behaviour and fishing strategy (i.e., the combination of steaming towards fishing grounds and fishing activity). A specific data call will be established and launched to Member States by DGMARE with the support of the Consortium to collect VMS data of vessels operating with the fishing gears and in the areas listed in Table 1. An alternative/integrative source of information will be represented by AIS data provided from public platforms such as Global Fishing Watch. 

This procedure will represent a tool to project the performance of fleets by gear and area in terms of carbon footprint which would be used to inform stakeholders about the potential effects of the implementation of the new gears. 

Subtask leader: Anna Nora Tassetti (CNR). 

Partners involved: CIBM, CNR, CONISMA, HCMR, IEO-CSIC, IOF. 

This Subtask aims to identify new baselines of fuel consumption from vessels employing experimental gears. Energy consumption data from individual vessels obtained in the pilot project for improved fishing gears development and testing at sea (Task 2) and energy audits implemented in Subtask 1a will be analysed to determine baselines of fuel consumption by gear/area combination (including steaming and fishing phases) to update where possible, the results described by Sala et al. (2022). 

In addition, the procedure developed in Subtask 1b will be applied using as input parameters the new baselines of fuel consumption. In this way, a new estimation of the overall carbon footprint by fleet/gear and area will be obtained. 

Finally, a comparison of the overall fuel consumption and carbon emissions, obtained from previous and new baselines, will be performed. This comparison will provide valuable information about the performance of new gears in terms of carbon emissions while informing about the effectiveness of gear modifications in the reduction of fishing fuel footprint. 

In addition, the objectives of this Subtask will be also achieved through the application of the approaches described in Subtask 1b. In this way, the baselines of fuel consumption by gear/area will be obtained using the set of parameters published in Sala et al. (2022) or, when possible, the additional values collected in the energy audits of Subtask 1a.