Dutch flatfish fishing company Ekofish Group contracted Damen Maaskant Shipyards Stellendam to build a new twin-rig fishing trawler.

Construction of the hull, taking place in Poland, is due to start in the first quarter of 2018. Damen Maaskant Shipyards Stellendam will perform outfitting, aiming for completion in the first quarter of 2019.

The vessel has been designed by Ekofish, Damen Maaskant Shipyards Stellendam and Vripack naval architects.

The design and on-board equipment of the new vessel will be in line with Ekofish’s dedication to sustainable fishing methods, Damen said.

The aim was to develop an "innovative" vessel, said Ekofish’s Louwe de Boer, adding “in that respect we are not scared of change.”

With its 32-meter length and 9.6-meter beam, the design of the new vessel reflects this multi-disciplinary approach.

“This has been a very enthusiastic cooperation – combining Damen’s know-how with our own fishing experience,” said De Boer.

It is the first twin-rigger fishing vessel design for Vripack.

Trawling for efficiency

Taking on the requirements of Ekofish, the team at Damen Maaskant Shipyards Stellendam aimed to optimize the efficiency of the vessel’s systems wherever possible.

Using the design of the power plant as an example, Eric Moerkerk, manager operations at the yard, said the vessel will have diesel-electric propulsion, using three generators lined up to a DC-Bus.

"This will reduce the peak load demands that are characteristic of the operational profile of fishing vessels," he said.

In addition, the power plant will be supplemented by a battery pack. “The batteries can be used for short-term tasks at sea, and also while in harbor -- removing the need to use the main engines. They can be charged in various ways; during periods of engine overcapacity or even capturing the energy created when the winches are paying out. These techniques are ground-breaking for the fisheries industry.”