Hampiðjan’s annual flume tank trip to Hirtshals in Denmark took place at the end of November. This is where skippers, mates, fleet managers, fishing gear technologists and experts have an opportunity to familiarise themselves with the latest in fishing gear development from Hampiðjan and its partner companies. Participation was highly positive and this time there was an international group from Iceland, the Faroes, Denmark, Norway, Ireland and New Zealand.
The tank is specially designed for testing fishing gear and for many years has been of vital importance for gear producers and fishermen from around the world. The tank makes it possible to watch scale models of fishing gear during simulated tows and to see how these react at different towing speeds.
During this trip Hampiðjan presented the latest demersal and pelagic trawl gears, and also demonstrated the effectiveness of Helix ropes compared to standard ropes. The self-spreading technology that the Helix ropes utilise keep trawl gears open and this is used in practically all of the pelagic trawls produced by the company.
The difference between the DynIce Data headline sounder cable and steel-core cable was demonstrated, showing how the lightweight DynIce Data cable rises during a tow, while the steel cable sinks. DynIce Data provides headline lift, while the steel cable pulls it down, and in some cases can spook fish away from the trawl opening if it drops too low. The difference between the two cables became clear to everyone as the two were streamed in the tank.
Hampiðjan’s partner companies also presented innovations. Thyborøn Trawldoor showed its latest generation of controllable doors. These are adjusted from the wheelhouse, making it possible to control the doors more precisely during a tow, with adjustments to the towing depth and alterations to the angle of attack. The design of the Thyborøn is subject to patent, and these doors are more robust than other controllable doors on the market.
Simberg showed the echo sounders, trawl sensors and sonars from Simrad. The greater range and the clearer resolution at shorter ranges of the latest version of the Simrad ST-90 sonar attracted attention.
Oliveira presented its new trawl warp, as the company’s wires are becoming steadily more popular in northern waters and their use is increasing.
One of the most interesting presentations was by the Danish Technical University and concerned the use of artificial intelligence in fishing, particularly related to the use of cameras and imaging analysis of catches. DTU has developed technology to analyse fish entering a trawl, and this is simpler and more easily handled equipment than in the past. The videos presented showed clearly the opportunities offered by this technology, coupled to the new DynIce Optical Data fibre-optic cable that has been developed specifically to cope with the high volume of data that catch analysis will require in the near future.
As well as the lectures at the tank, the trip took in a visit to the Karstensen shipyard in Skagen. Following a presentation, visitors were taken around three pelagic vessels currently under construction – Hákon, owned by Icelandic company Gjögur, Faroese company Varðin’s Finnur Friði, and the Swedish-flagged Ginneton which operates from Skagen.
Hampiðjan’s flume tank trips have always been popular, as these are an ideal opportunity to see innovations in fishing technology, as well as to strike up new acquaintanceships, learn from the experience of others and the relationships that are invaluable at sea. Although the visit to the tank is subject to a packed timetable, there’s always time to chat at the end of the day, and the evenings were organised with gatherings at several locations in Hirtshals.
After three days in Hirtshals, the next destination was Copenhagen where many of the group spent the Friday evening enjoying the Danish Christmas spirit, courtesy of Hampiðjan. Many of the attendees also took the opportunity to spend the weekend there with the partners who joined the party on the Friday evening.
Hampiðjan’s tank trips take place every year and the next is scheduled for 26-29th November, so it’s worth noting the date now in your diary.