February 4, 2022

We’re pleased to say the results of the Sumwing Trial on our beam trawler, Margaret of Ladram, have now been published by Seafish. The trial results showed an extremely promising 42% saving in fuel consumption. Adam Cowan-Dickie (skipper of the Margaret) has also noted that since the trial, when fishing normally, he’s noticed a continued saving of 30% or around 60-70 litres per hour. This also has the environmental benefit of reduced CO2 emissions.

The trial also showed a substantial reduction in seabed impact due to the shape of the new gear, with a reduction of benthic material discards of 69%. The traditional gear caught three times more baskets per haul on average than the Sumwing gear. Additionally, the Sumwing was shown to almost completely eliminate the amount of shells caught. This is thought to represent the decreased footprint of the new trawl gear on the seabed, which has improved the quality of the fish caught as well as reducing the wear and tear of the gear, increasing its longevity.


Looking to the future, Waterdance intend to continue their work with Brixham Trawl Makers to further improve this new gear. This will be primarily be done with a view to bettering the fishing efficiency of the Sumwing and to maximise it’s catch volume relative to traditional beams. This work will be enhanced through further testing and monitoring of the gear, for example by observing the gear in action using underwater cameras.

Waterdance are confident that this work will lead to further improvements in the gear whilst maintaining the great results seen in this trial. Waterdance will now be moving forward with the aspiration of further modifications of the gear (for example, to work with closed beam trawl gear) so that it can be rolled out across the fleet and into the wider fishing industry. This would have significant, industry-wide benefits due to the reduction in CO2 emissions as a result of the lower fuel consumption of the vessels using this gear (it has been estimated that these fuel savings could result in over three tonnes less CO2 emissions per day). Reduction of the carbon footprint of fishing methods is vital for the future of the industry, through positioning fish as an environmentally-conscious option for the public and to the overall reduction of the environmental impact of food production.

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!