Aalskere K-373

Aalskere K-373

Latest fishfinding tech

Aalskere’s wheelhouse has an uncluttered layout a single E Vejvad Hansen skipper’s chair at the centre of Aalskere’s wheelhouse, facing a bank of 55-inch 4K monitors, supplemented by an overhead row of seven Neovo X24 monitors, plus six 19-inch screens at the aft wheelhouse trawl console.

There are ten monitors altogether integrated into the Woodsons Quad view system, controlled using a trackball with a cursor that moves seamlessly from one screen to the next. Any number of fishing, steaming and in harbour pre-set modes can be set, with addition of day/dusk/night brilliance control pre-sets across all screens, with access through either a fixed touch screen display or iPad.

Aalskere’s fishfinding capacity starts with a 150kHz Seapix 3D multibeam sonar providing high resolution 2D and 3D seafloor mapping with images of detected fish marks overlaid in real time on the chart.

The skipper's control position faces three main screens

Marks and seafloor mapping images are displayed across three videowall screens providing 3D and 2D mapping with ground hardness, echosounder view with triple beam and bottom lock, and fish classification tools with a choice of four 120° beam sonar swaths.

This is a combination of high resolution echo sounder and seafloor mapping that allows real-time identification of marks in relation to their 3D environment and the trawl gear.

Woodsons of Aberdeen supplied Aalskere's electronics

There’s also a A WAASP F3i multibeam sonar and this160kHz multibeam unit provides seabed mapping and real-time ground hardness, building up an accurate 3D representation of the seabed, and this is supplemented by a 38Khz Kaijo KSE310 split beam fish-sizing echo sounder. Its fifteen separate beams provide an accurate fish size estimate, and this model of Kaijo sounder performed well on the previous Aalskere.

Plotters are twin FishingWin V9 2D/3D systems alongside a TimeZero V4 system, all interfaced to give a combination of AIS/ARPA, wind, tidal and chart overlays.

The aft wheelhouse control position overlooking the trawl deck

A Scanmar array is used to monitor the trawl gear, with a Trawleye mounted on the headline to relay headline height and footrope clearance, and a flow sensor relays symmetry and water flow data. This is interfaced to the Scantrol auto trawl, which adjusts the warps to keep the gear at optimum configuration.

There are six catch sensors, plus a set of SS4 extended double distance door sensors providing door status and spread.

The wheelhouse is laid out with a desk on the starboard side for the E-Catch computer, and there are steering consoles are arranged at the forward corners of the wheelhouse. The Woodsons package also includes a suite of 24 CCTV cameras, including an underwater camera monitoring the propeller, nozzle and rudder.

Quick catch handling

The catch handling layout on board Aalskere is designed for dealing with whitefish catches quickly and efficiently, as well as being able to switch to handling squid during the early summer Rockall season. This is all about getting squid into ice fast to maximise quality, and allows catches of squid to by-pass the washers to be transferred direct to the fishroom in baskets.

BOAtech fitted out Aalskere's catch handling deck

For this layout, Iain Harcus went to Danish company BOAtech, which designed, built and installed the catch handling system alongside in Thyborøn.

The crew gut fish on a sorting conveyor, where two sets of Marel scales help them to grade fish by weight during the process into pre-determined ranges. Selected fish pass through a pair of rotating washers with drums subdivided into compartments.

Rotary washers ensure thorough washing before catches are passed to the fishroom

As the drums turn through 120° at pre-set intervals, the contents are thoroughly washed before the next one-third rotation lifts them clear to pass across drainage racks and from there to the chutes leading to the fishroom hoppers, each of which has a clear perspex front.

Aalskere has a couple of KM Fish Machinery gutting machines at the centre of the catch-handling layout, with a quickfire capability which is expected to come into its own during the spring haddock fishery. These gutting machines each feed smaller rotary washers that deliver fish to the selected fishroom hoppers.

Aalskere's fishroom has a pair of Marel weighing systems

Each box is weighed using either of the two sets of Marel scales, with each box labelled with all the relevant information and the data transferred to the wheelhouse computer

When fishing for squid, catches go into baskets, with a gravity-activated lift used to take full baskets gently down to the fishroom.

Hanstholm company Nordkøl supplied Aalskere’s fishroom chiller system, and also the pair of Buus icemakers on the main deck feeding the ice lockers in the fishroom that can hold up to ten tonnes of ice. In addition to flake ice capacity, there is also an Optimar slurry ice system capable of producing 24 tonnes of ice per day with output held in a 3-tonne tank in the fishroom. Depending on the catch, fish are ice in boxes on top of a layer of flake ice, with slurry ice on top.