Peruvian fishing company TASA has taken ownership of the fishing industry’s first unmanned surface vessel (USV) for fish finding and oceanographic and marine resource monitoring.
Following the final sea trials in June in Norway, the vehicle will enter Peruvian waters in September this year and will begin its mission to strengthen industry data acquisition capabilities to improve management of the available biomass.
The Sounder USV, from Kongsberg Maritime, will be equipped with acoustic technology including two echosounders, a low frequency sonar and a CTD sensor. Named Guardian del Mar, the vessel has a length of 8 metres and is capable of reaching a speed of 12 knots.
The USV does not require crew on board and can navigate autonomously for some 400 hours. Mission objectives will be carried out autonomously under human supervision in the beginning, to gradually be upgraded over time with improvements in situational awareness and collision avoidance.
During the initial phase of implementing this new technology in its daily operations TASA will supervise the USV from a nearby mothership. Guardian del Mar will join TASA’s fleet of 48 vessels with the purpose of gathering information on the state of marine resources, providing information on the location of schools to make fishing operations more efficient.
The USV will also be used between fishing seasons to acquire oceanographic and fish research data to develop a better understanding of the ocean.
“We are proud to bring this technological innovation to Peru, as the leading producer of fishmeal and fish oil,” said Gonzalo de Romaña, CEO of TASA.
“Although it has the purpose of improving the efficiency of our operations, it will also allow us to further strengthen the sustainability approach in the sector by being able to share valuable oceanographic data for scientific research and adequate fishing management in our country.”