[By: Kongsberg Maritime]
Peruvian fishing company TASA now owns the fishing industry’s first unmanned surface vessel (USV) for cost-effectively finding fish and monitoring ocean and marine resources. Kongsberg Maritime’s USV sounder will be equipped with state-of-the-art acoustic technology comprising two echo sounders, a low frequency sonar and a CTD sensor. After final sea trials in June in Norway, the vehicle will enter Peruvian waters in September this year and begin its mission to improve the efficiency of capture operations and enhance data acquisition capabilities to improve the management of available biomass.
The ship, named Guardian del Mar, has a length of 8 meters and the capacity to reach a speed of 12 knots. It does not require a crew on board and its operating costs will be around 0.6% compared to an average vessel in the industrial fishing fleet. With a navigation endurance of more than 400 hours, the USV fulfills its mission objectives autonomously under human supervision and will be progressively upgraded with developments on situational awareness and collision avoidance. During the initial phase of implementing this new technology into their day-to-day operations, TASA will gain valuable experience and training by overseeing the USV from a nearby mothership. The Sounder USV includes autonomous capabilities such as anti-grounding, automatic object detection, CTD casts and much more.
Guardian del Mar will join TASA’s fleet of 48 vessels to collect information on the status of marine resources such as mackerel, horse mackerel and anchovy, providing information on the location of shoals to make more efficient fishing operations. In this way, the fleet deployment process will be made more efficient and lead to reductions in fuel consumption and the carbon footprint derived from these trips. The USV will also be used between fishing seasons to acquire oceanographic and fisheries research data to develop a better understanding of the ocean.
Likewise, it will allow the collection of oceanographic information and fisheries information that will be made available to scientific institutes and analytical departments of TASA to better understand the development of the maritime sector related to fisheries. Data will also be made available to the Peruvian Navy to inform, identify and allow people to board in the event of an emergency.
Other technical features of the system include the use of sophisticated equipment such as Kongsberg’s Simrad SX90 fishfinder and ES80 echo sounder.
“We are proud to bring this technological innovation to Peru, as the first producer of fishmeal and fish oil. Although it aims to improve the efficiency of our operations, it will also allow us to further strengthen the approach to sustainability in the sector by being able to share valuable oceanographic data for scientific research and proper management. fishing in our country,” commented Gonzalo de Romaña, CEO of TASA.
Bjørn Jalving, Senior Vice President of Technology, Kongsberg Maritime, said, “KONGSBERG is proud to be part of Peru’s work for sustainable and efficient fishing. TASA has shown a forward-looking approach in integrating the Sounder USV into its operations. We look forward to close cooperation when the vehicle is put into service.”
As this will be the first marine drone in operation in Peru, staff from the General Directorate of Captaincies and Coastguards (DICAPI) visited the Kongsberg facility in Horten, Norway to see the USV in operation and implement the first regulatory framework for the regulation and use of unmanned vehicles, facilitating the entry of similar equipment into the Peruvian sea.
The products and services described in this press release are not endorsed by The Maritime Executive.