The Wadden Sea

sustainable fishing for cockles

The Wadden Sea is a unique intertidal zone in the southeastern part of the North Sea. It is well known for the large populations of waders, ducks and seals, which consider the Wadden Sea their home. In 2009, the Wadden Sea was added to UNESCO's World Heritage List. This area has extensive tidal mud flats plus deeper tidal trenches. An area, that is ideal for cockles to grow.

In the early fifties, fishing for cockles involved manual labour. Cockles were sieved using a kind of rake, to which a net was secured at the bottom. This method is still used today.

Power the loads efficiently
Harm Teerling, owner and shipper of the HA24, is a fisherman, fishing for cockles in the Wadden Sea using these rakes. To protect the Wadden Sea, this delicate area has been divided into 11 fishing sectors. As part of a professional organization, Harm is allowed to fish for cockles in one of these sectors for two weeks. No more than three ships are allowed in the same sector at the same time. After these two weeks, the boats go to harbour and after a few days they will continue fishing within the next sector.

To make life on board safe and as comfortable as possible, the boat is fully equipped with navigation, computer and radio equipment plus a flat screen TV, DVD player, microwave, electric stove and coffee machine. The previous ship owned by Harm could only power these loads by using a diesel generator. Even on the days when the ship was in the harbour, Harm still needed the generator to power the fridge for example.

60 percent fuel reduction
When Harm decided on his new build HA24 boat, he looked at multiple solutions to reduce generator usage. During the construction it became clear that a combination of solar panels and batteries would be ideal. With solar panels on his home, Harm had already experienced the benefits that solar power brings. On board, these benefits are even more apparent. After being operational for nearly 3 months, Harm reduced the diesel consumption drastically. Whereas previously he needed 4,000 litres of diesel every 4 weeks, his consumption has now been reduced to 1,250 litres over that 4 week period.

Victron Energy equipment used
Snijder Scheepselektro equipped the HA24 with solar panels that can provide up to 1.8kW, 3 Victron Energy Quattro systems, a BMV-700 and a Color Control GX. When fishing, Harm now has the option to harvest solar power and either use it to power his loads directly or store the energy produced. There is no need to switch on the diesel generator when in need of a coffee or to power the navigation equipment. Within the delicate area where Harm operates, it is not only the cost reduction that counts, but also the environmental impact. An impact, that is as low as possible by using solar power.


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