Alaska has the most prolific commercial fishing industry in the United States, harvesting more seafood than all other states combined. The seafood industry ranks 3rd in importance among Alaska’s industries. Each commercial fishing vessel, while underway and at port, has continuous energy needs from propulsion and refrigeration to lighting and hydraulics. The Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation (AFDF), an industry organization dedicated to finding effective solutions to problems common in Alaska’s seafood industry, recognized the high cost of fuel and its environmental impacts and sought to help the fishing industry reduce fuel consumption.
In close collaboration with the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association (ALFA), Wostmann developed a vessel energy calculation application and database for analyzing energy use aboard fishing vessels in Alaskan waters. AFDF conducted energy audits from 49 fishing vessels, gathering data from data loggers and handheld measuring devices to determine hydraulic, electrical, refrigeration and propulsion power loads. Wostmann worked with AFDF and ALFA staff to develop a database and the necessary data loading procedures to allow analysis of the data leading to the determination of the key factors that affect vessel efficiency. This permitted AFDF to find the most effective systems, devices, and/or behavior to reduce the fisherman’s operational costs.
Our team built a web application based on the knowledge gathered from the initial database. This provided a tool for fisherman to enter personalized information about their fishing habits and hardware. The system produces a personalized vessel report with recommendations for reducing energy consumption. Fishermen can return to earlier pages and enter altered parameters to determine which changes are economically worthwhile. To provide users with the application stores this data anonymously in the database, and the information can be used to further refine the calculations.
Deliverable: Energy audit database, loading procedures, and vessel energy analysis web application for fisherman to determine the best energy saving measures for their boats and commercial fishing activities.
Commercial vessel owners are encouraged to use the Fishing Vessel Energy Analysis Tool, accessible at: