NauticExpo e-Magazine - #22 – Designed for FishingNauticExpo e-Magazine
June 11, 2018

Your Monthly Dose of Nautical and Maritime Innovation


Getting you to the Fish

Training for Sustainable Fishing

Blockchain—The New Buzz Phrase

The Online Boating and Maritime Exhibition

Designed for Fishing

Drones are coming, and their uses are numerous. Fishing is definitely one of them. Fishing drones can provide video overview of an area you want to fish in and carry your bait to wherever you need it. Amazing but maybe not so ethical; some countries have even banned their use. On the same topic but from a different angle, we talked to Kongsberg Digital who have created an integrated training simulator for sustainable fishing in order to prevent overfishing and improve safety.

In this issue, you’ll also read about blockchain, the new shipping buzz phrase, and the Posidonia maritime exhibition which recently took place in Athens. At this event, some leading shipowners saw the use of LNG as the future fuel for the shipping industry. Happy reading!


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Fishing drone (Courtesy of SwellPro)


Imagine fishing with a device that sends your eyes and your hook far out into the water. And positions the hook right in front of the fish you want. Efficient? Sure. Ethical? That depends on who you ask.   Ever heard of drone fishing? Well, if not, you will. Especially if you spend your time around the sea. Drones are...

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In addition to education in safe and efficient navigation and ship handling for fishing, practice on the simulator will help both new and veteran fishermen perform better.
Training for sustainable fishing (Courtesy of Conservation & Science)


Implementation of new Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW-F) requirements, fish-finding and catching equipment advances, as well as an increased focus on sustainable fisheries, have led to a break-through first contract to develop an integrated fishery training simulator.


Ordered by Lofoten Vocational School (LVS) in northern Norway from Kongsberg Digital and called ‘K-Sim Fishery,’ the simulator will enable navigation, fish-finding and catching training that’s designed to improve sustainability and safety. It will be based on Kongsberg’s existing K-Sim simulation technology and Simrad professional fishery equipment, which includes echosounders, sonars and trawl monitoring systems.

Speaking to NauticExpo e-magazine, Kongsberg Digital’s maritime simulation business development VP Terje Heierstad explained: “LVS will be the first to bring this new training approach to the fishing industry. That’s especially important for this fishing-oriented area of Norway, but also important for the fishery industry globally.

“The school will upgrade its existing Kongsberg Polaris ship-handling simulator to the latest K-Sim Navigation technology platform. Integrated with the K-Sim Fishery simulator module, it will fulfil the STCW-F requirements for training and fulfil [classification society] DNV-GL’s certification standards.” LVS will move to a new location in Leknes, Lofoten, and the opening of the new facility is planned for 2019. The simulator training will contribute to UN Sustainability Goals, especially number 14—to conserve and sustainably use oceans, seas and marine resources.

Kongsberg K-Sim Fishery will use Simrad sonar. (Courtesy of Kongsberg Digital)

LVS maritime manager Finn Axel Hartvigsen noted: “In addition to education in safe and efficient navigation and ship handling for fishing, practice on the simulator’s search and catch instrumentation will help both new and veteran fishermen perform better. The simulator will also enable increased competence and career progression for the crew who wish to further develop skills in navigation, and in new and different fishing methods to meet today’s higher standards of fish quality.”

Preventing Overfishing

Heierstad added: “K-Sim Fishery can also be delivered as a stand-alone system. It’s designed as a fishing vessel bridge—different vessel models and sizes are available—with all the necessary equipment for navigation and fish-catching. That includes winches for handling purse seine, trawl, and long-line fishing equipment.”

Simulator training will improve the safety of fishing as well as increase productivity and sustainable practices.

As he pointed out, there is an increased focus on sustainable fisheries and the simulator will promote that. “Students will learn how to read the sonar and echosounder to detect the correct species and how to select the right size of fish, as well as shoal sizes, in order to prevent overfishing. They will also learn to correctly utilize the vessel’s equipment, optimize working hours and fuel consumption, choose the best routes and vessel position, and carry out appropriate manoeuvres to control the fishing gear to ensure the quantity and quality of the catch.”

“The simulator allows students to familiarize themselves with, and operate, different types of fishing gear,” he continued, “while building an understanding that different fishing techniques require different approaches and that different fish species behave in different ways. Further, they will learn how to plan a fishing campaign, find, catch and safely and efficiently store fish, whilst monitoring vessel stability during the loading process.”

Kongsberg K-Sim bridge layout (Courtesy of Kongsberg Digital)

As for challenges during the simulator development program, Heierstad doesn’t see anything major. “We benefit from the co-operation and expertise within the Kongsberg Group. Both Kongsberg Digital’s simulator solutions and the fishing equipment from Simrad are based on established, advanced technology. We, therefore, have the in-house expertise in the different domains and by uniting them we have the opportunity to develop and offer a state-of-the-art fishery simulator.”

Improving Safety

Kongsberg’s development of such simulators includes the 2016-launched Fishmaster concept. As mentioned, simulator training has international relevance and Kongsberg plans a global rollout of the K-Sim Fishery. “Over 50 million people depend directly on fisheries and aquaculture for their livelihoods—and over a billion people in poorer countries are reliant on fish to sustain a balanced, healthy diet,” Heierstad concludes.

“Commercial fishermen often operate in extreme conditions, exposed to serious risks: simulator training will improve the safety of fishing as well as increase productivity and sustainable practices for the future.”

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When you think about the number of transactions and middle people in shipping, you can see why Blockchain is such appealing technology.
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If ‘Big Data’ was the 2017 shipping buzz phrase, it’s evolved into ‘Blockchain’ in 2018. But just as the maritime industry wrestled with the Big Data concept, so too with Blockchain in terms of what it can and can’t do, and whether, and how, it should be used.   The Blockchain debate took a decisive step forward with...

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  • GPS-enhanced EGNOS tested in the port of Sydney (Courtesy of Equinox)

    Characters such as Hollywood’s crazy Captain Ron who scare fellow sea goers with careless docking and other dangerous manoeuvres could be a thing of the past as technologies such as enhanced GPS and sensors adhering to SAE autonomous classification progress.


    Those of us who have docked large motorboats know the stress of doing tight manoeuvres in busy marinas. For captains of cruise ships, this can be even more costly, involving the hire of tug boats and longshoremen. This is why in Australia’s main port of Sydney its scientific body, the CSIRO, is trialling enhanced GPS known as EGNOS and using one of the regular cruise ships as a test environment.

    This system increases GPS accuracy down from 10 m to 10 cm which meets the International Maritime Organization standards. The European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) is a satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS) developed by the European Space Agency on behalf of the European Commission. It supplements the GPS, GLONASS, and newer Galileo satellites by enhancing their position data using land-based transmitters; similar to how mobile phones triangulate from localized stations.

    The EGNOS 52 Super Series Regatta in Portugal used enhanced GPS technology to give more precision to race yachts. (Courtesy of EGNOS)

    EGNOS-enabled GPS can enhance key functions such as collision avoidance radar (ARPA), Automatic Identification Systems (AIS), Long Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT) as well as various other marine systems. This technology has already been used in the recreational yacht racing circuit, during a round of the prestigious TP52 SuperSeries, renamed the EGNOS 52 Super Series Regatta in Portugal in 2016. It allowed navigators to precisely position their yachts at key points on the course such as the start line and the optimum lay line.


    An experimental workboat from Sea Machines has already spent last summer operating in the busy Boston Harbour using its array of sensors and self-navigating software. Those sensors include radar, enhanced GPS and an automatic identification system (AIS) that uses real-time data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to identify ships and their course.

    Autonomy in Recreational Boating

    Sea Machines just won a contract with the world’s largest shipping company, Maersk. “It’s a perfect domain for autonomy,” said Michael Johnson, CEO of Sea Machines. “Cargo shipping moves 90 percent of the world’s trade—that’s something not a lot of people know.”

    Johnson also sees the huge potential for autonomy in recreational boating, a massive market estimated at 30 million vessels with a large percentage possibly benefiting from this technology. Just like the fast-paced container ship business, money is a major motivation in the recreational area given that human error accounts for the majority of insurance claims.

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    Launch of the Merwestroom (Courtesy of EST-Floattech)

    A unique lithium-ion nickel manganese cobalt oxide (NMC) marine battery system that has a fully passive protection system and is intrinsically safe has been designed by Dutch specialist EST-Floattech. It has been DNV-GL approved for energy storage systems.


    Called Green Orca and created as a result of EST-Floattech’s “Safe by Design” philosophy, the system has also been chosen by the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management’s Rijswaterstaat division to power its recently-launched, 40 m-long hybrid multi-purpose vessel, Merwestroom, built by Netherlands-based Bijlsma Wartena.

    The first of three such vessels, it will patrol the Wadden Sea, marking shipping lanes, conducting measurements and monitoring fisheries among other duties. Describing the vessel as “a completely new challenge for us,” Bijlsma Wartena director Tjeerd Wiebe Bijlsma stated that Merwestroom is “Packed with sustainable technology, from water-based paint to solar collectors. The generators’ cooling water is also used for heating the crew space. And thanks to the battery pack, the vessel is also capable of carrying out daily work exclusively on the battery.”

    Green Orca Battery system (EST-Floattech)

    One of the dangers of using multiple lithium-ion battery cells is that a fire in one cell can trigger a runaway reaction across the rest. “It’s very important to have a solid, reliable safety system,” Paul van Wijk, EST-Floattech’s commercial director, told NauticExpo e-magazine. “Mostly, our competitors rely on active safety systems, such as fire extinguishers and water cooling. Most of the time that’s enough, but we went a step further and asked ourselves: ‘What if something went wrong aboard a vessel that caused a defect in those external safety systems?’

    “For the last line of defense you need a system that does not rely on any electronic device or external system. It needs to be intrinsically safe. With Green Orca, any problem stays in one battery module—there’s no propagation to other modules.”

    “We are the first with this kind of passive safety system and to have DNV-GL type approval for it,” he said. Green Orca has also been approved by the Norwegian Maritime Authority at the highest level, passing the Type 1 Propagation Test. “That’s also very important given Norway’s at the forefront of using maritime battery systems.”

    Energy Transition

    EST-Floattech chose li-ion NMC batteries, “because of their high energy density and the all-round performance of the cell specifications,” Van Wijk added. “Given the limited space aboard ships, both are important.”

    Depending on the availability of shore-side charging infrastructures and the nature of the vessel they’re fitted to—eg: hybrid systems available to charge the batteries—Green Orca cells can be swapped in and out via containers.



    In April, EST‐Floattech received a major boost when Rotterdam Port Fund (RPF) announced it was investing in the company. RPF is an initiative of the Rotterdam Port Authority, NIBC Bank, Innovation Quarter, Koninklijke Doeksen, and Rotterdam entrepreneurs Peter Goedvolk and Luc Braams.

    “For the last line of defense you need a system that does not rely on any electronic device or external system.”

    “RPF’s participation offers us access to an excellent harbor-related network,” EST-Floattech director Trond Skaufel stated. “Our energy storage systems can not only be used in ships, but also in port cranes and lorries. The environmental benefits are vital. At the moment, we are looking at ways to store and re-use energy generated from operating cranes.” RPF’s Bastiaan van der Knaap commented: “Battery systems will provide a major contribution to energy transition in the maritime sector. We are convinced that EST-Floattech is ideally positioned to play a key role in that transition.”

    Finally, DNV-GL is also taking maritime battery safety concerns a step further. It’s launched a joint development project (JDP) designed to advance understanding in using li-ion batteries. “A dozen partners from the entire value chain have joined us in the initiative,” Geir Dugstad, DNV-GL ship classification and technical director, told NauticExpo e-magazine, “including flag states; research institutions; battery and propulsion suppliers; fire detection and extinguishing system providers; ship owners; ship operators; and shipyards.”


    Monica Hutchings

    Monica Hutchings is a Canadian writer and translator who has worked on everything from technical descriptions to academic journals. She is also our in-house English translator.

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    Øyvind Bordal

    Øyvind Bordal is a norwegian writer and sailor, based in Denmark and Caribbean.


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    Kevin Green

    Kevin Green is a Sydney-based yachting journalist who contributes to international boating publications.


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    Celia Sampol

    Celia Sampol has been a journalist for more than 15 years. She worked in Brussels and Washington for national medias (Agence France Presse, Liberation, Europolitics). She’s the editor-in-chief of NauticExpo e-magazine and MedicalExpo e-magazine.

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    Tony Slinn

    Formerly editor-in-chief of IHS Maritime, Tony Slinn is an independent maritime journalist.

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