Albius is fishing with E-Line for toothfish in the Antarctic Sea

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

Feedback from M/S Vonar after four months of fishing with Mustad Autoline E-Line system

We have a close cooperation with Mustad Autoline that goes way back in time and we were never in doubt about our choice of equipment and supplier. When Mustad introduced the new electrically powered E-Line system, we were ready, says Bjartmar Finnøy.

The installation of the new autoline equipment was carried out as expected with necessary supervision from the Mustad team. We felt taken good care of. The Mustad service team were actually praised for being professional by the electrical company working here in connection with the installation 🙂

It’s reassuring for us as a customer that Mustad Autoline has a very capable service team and that they are on hand when the need arises.

Bjartmar Finnøy from Harøy outside Ålesund is co-owner of Finnøy Fiskeredskap and skipper on board the boat MS Vonar. They are fishing with nets and autoline for cod, haddock and pollock in addition to a number of other fish species such as halibut, ling and tusk. Hans Jakob Johansen is chief engineer on board the vessel.

The commissioning and test trip went well, and we have now been in operation for almost four months and three, close to four trips at sea. Not a stop or an interruption in fishing.

Our only comment is the construction of the hook cleaner, which is to be improved. We have discussed this together with the Mustad R&D department at Gjøvik and a change of construction is underway for testing.

The first immediate difference between the hydraulically driven autoline system and the electric system is the smooth hauling and the noise level on board. The difference is huge. The smooth and stable hauling means that we lose less fish off the hooks.

We have not calculated fuel savings and the effect of the improved hauling process yet, but we estimate a reduction of fuel consumption of 50 ton a year, and in addition catch a bit more fish in less fishing days.

From an environmental point of view, it’s obvious that we use less oil and reduce the risk of oil spills. The reduced noise level improves the working environment on board. It is simply cleaner and easier to handle, says Hans, the chief engineer on board.

There’s no doubt that electrically powered systems are the future. I assume that all new-buildings henceforth will choose to go for this solution.

We are most satisfied with the equipment and the follow-up and service offered by Mustad Autoline concludes Bjartmar.

Greetings from Bjartmar Finnøy and Hans Jakob Johansen