The jury: “ECOFIVE marks a change for the fishing industry”




The factory trawler ECOFIVE will provide a far lower environmental footprint, higher fishing quality and a safer working environment. ECOFIVE was announced as the winner of the Innovation Award at the opening ceremony of Nor-Fishing on 23 August.

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A very fuel-efficient propulsion system and a revolutionary solution for taking fish on board are two of the innovations.

All the catch is taken care of

“We take care of the complete value chain. Everything we catch must be taken care of and everything must be of such a quality that it is suitable for human consumption. From the receiving tanks, the fish are sent alive to the factory, where, after stunning, bleeding and cooling, they are collected in buffer tanks according to species and size. Each species and size will be further processed, ending up as different products: fillet, head, skin and oil. Everything is used”, explains Roaldsnes.

Westcon Yards in Ølen, Norway, has started the construction work and the fishing vessel is expected to be delivered at the beginning of 2024.

Revolutionary catch handling

Over the years, Roaldsnes has come up with a completely new solution for catch reception and storage. Together with Ulstein and the equipment manufacturer Evotec, the idea is now becoming a reality.

“ECOFIVE's new trawl handling system leads the fish into a water-filled catch reception in the vessel below the waterline. The catch does not leave the water and is thus not exposed to the same physical stress as when hauling the trawl bag onto the deck above the trawl slip before emptying it into the receiving bins”.

The catch reception system, taken in use on Bluewild's FX101 fishing vessel, leads the fish directly into the vessel below the waterline.
The catch reception system, taken in use on Bluewild's FX101 fishing vessel, leads the fish directly into the vessel below the waterline.

Roaldsnes' thinking has paid off, as there are several advantages to be found in this new solution.

“There are multiple effects, the most important being a higher quality of the catch and safer work on deck. If this solution works as planned, it will help to revolutionize the industry”, says Roaldsnes.

Designed for the lowest possible emissions

The new trawler also has an efficient hybrid system with two propellers, combining batteries with diesel-electric and diesel-mechanical propulsion. This means that the fishing vessel is very fuel-efficient.

“Through analyses and tank tests, we estimate that this hybrid system, together with the other energy-saving measures on board, will provide at least a 25 per cent reduction in fuel consumption and emissions, compared to a corresponding modern trawler that operates this type of combination fishing. In some operations, the savings can exceed 40 per cent”, says Roaldsnes.

The jury’s comments

The secretary of the jury for the Innovation Award, Odd Berg, praises the vessel.

“ECOFIVE marks a change for the fishing industry!”

The former ship engineer is particularly impressed by two of the innovations.

“There are many small innovations that add up to a fascinating vessel, but the most interesting is the trawl and its construction, together with the hybrid propulsion system. The jury was very impressed by the possibilities the trawl provides for taking out fish in portions that are suitable for the on-board factory”, reveals Berg, and continues:

“The ship engineer in me also finds the propeller construction particularly exciting. ECOFIVE is the result of long-term and solid innovation work, and we hope this will prove to be successful for the involved parties”.

The other two nominees for the award were Marin Teknikk and Ervik Havfiske for developing a combined vessel for trawling and crab fishing, and Ocean Space Acoustics for the development of ‘PingMe’ which will prevent the loss of fishing gear and catch and make fishing more effectively.

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