The Albius just returned from sea after testing the newly installed 100% electric fishing equipment in normal operations. “It is an innovative system, and the Albius is the first antarctic longliner equipped with this electric autoline system. The hydraulic version generates a lot of noise. This new equipment is silent and much more confortable for the crew. The 100% electric operation also provides a high level of flexibility. The electric control system allows a more stabel hauling process and lowers the risk of breaking the line. Our autoline fishing operations are now optimized”, explains Pascal Wallaert, Head of the Antarctic Pole at SAPMER.

The longliners Ile Bourbon, Albius, Mascareignes 3 and Cap Horn all belonging to SAPMER, operating not far from the 40th Rugissants and 50th Hurlants catching toothfis, have been equipped with automated line fishing equipment since their launch. It is only natural that SAPMER’s operational team approached Mustad in 2021 to collaborate on the new electric version of the fishing gear installed and tested on the Albius.

Sapmer plans to renew its longline fleet in the coming years. “We want to ensure the best possible design for our future toothfish longliners. The integration of an electric autoline system is part of this plan, – for the comfort and safety of the crew of course, but also to fight against depredation and to optimize the fishing process independant of fishing ground and weather conditions. adds Pascal Wallaert.

Very satisfying tests

The Albius is the first longliner of its kind to be equiped with an electric autoline system for fishing toothfish. The expectations were hign on both the SAPMER team and the Mustad Autoline team. “All precautions were taken before the vessel left for its first trip fishing for toothfish. «Our vessels are out fishing between 60 and 80 days in a row, all alone and far from the shore. We can’t afford to be negligent about the quality of the fishing equipment” explains Patrick Perron, Captain of the Albius. “The results of this test were beyond our expectations,” he adds. The equipment performed well and met with the expectations of the crew, the captain and the management. Conclution; good for hearing health and safety, synchronized and smooth operations when fishing, more sensitive reaction to the vessel’s movements results in more accurate tension control and tighter lines when hauling. This lower the risk of losing fish and of breaking the line.

Press release from SAPMER published 02.06.23