Earlier this year the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation and the University of Alaska Marine Advisory Program launched a project to find places where fishing vessel operators can conserve energy. Mike Gaffney of Alaris Companies is the auditor on the project and is ready to present some of his preliminary findings to fishermen on Monday here in Kodiak.
Julie Decker of Wrangell is the development director for the AFDF. She says Gaffney has extensive experience in vessel audits, and said the meeting at Fishermen’s Hall would be valuable for all boat owners and operators, not just fishermen.
“I think one of the most important reasons for a fisherman to come to this meeting is to be able to interact one on one with a vessel energy auditor/engineer with extensive experience on vessels all the way up to 1,000-feet and ask the types of questions that they may never be able to ask that level of engineer.”
She says Gaffney has consulted with many vessel operators, such as the Coast Guard, and that the savings can be substantial.
“And their recommendations varied from like 19 to 39 percent savings. Now some of that higher-end savings was due to things that they could change while tied to the dock, not necessarily underway. So there’s some real savings. We’re not talking, you know, a couple percent, we’re talking about potentially some significant savings when you look at energy efficiency as a whole on the entire vessel.”
She said Gaffney will discuss how different energy-using systems were employed on fishing vessels, including gillnetters, trollers, longliners, seiners, trawlers and tenders, and explain how the results translate into solid recommendations for the different vessel types.
“Some of it has to do with how you operate the vessel, some of it has to do with particular pieces of equipment. And those are the kinds of things that Mike going to talk to in much more detail during the workshop. And then of course when we have the final results in the manuals that we’ll be handing out to the fleets.”
Those energy-efficiency management protocols will be gear-type and vessel-size specific recommendations, which Decker expects should be compiled by the end of the year. Next year, the results will be taken around to the different fleets that were audited:
“That’s the other component of this project, is to do the outreach back to the fleets. So we’ll take around those documents, and hold some workshops, and really try to get the information down to the fleets.”
The preliminary results presentation and question and answer opportunity will be Monday at Fishermen’s Hall from 6 to 8 p.m. All vessel operators are welcome, not just fishermen.