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At home on the sea

For thousand of years Norwegians have been navigating the ocean and working with the sea. Practical and technological expertise combined with experience has always been essential for success. These days, the highest level of experience and technology is still readily available all up and down the Norwegian coastline, much of it tailored to the fishing industry. Nearly 80% of the Norwegian population lives either on or near the coastline, and so it is natural that the sea has been part of the country’s culture, society, and industry throughout its history.

 Norwegian fishing gear manufacturers have developed a global market with a wide range of fishing gear products and services, including the thriving area of aquaculture. Norwegian success is rooted in a long tradition of hands-on experience that has been developed with the goal of solving problems, creating solutions – and finding or raising the fish.

One reason for the strength of the Norwegian fishing gear industry is the infrastructure in this country, including the Norwegian Marine Technology Research Institute (MARINTEK), providing research, development and technical consulting. Always looking for improvement, MARINTEK Institute works closely both nationally and internationally with the Government, companies and like-minded organizations. On the MARINTEK agenda in 2009 is the first-ever international symposium on Marine Propulsers, an event covering an entire spectrum of propulsion related activities and technology.

The Smp’09 event is a joint cooperation between MARINTEK and NTNU (Norwegian University of Science and Technology), providing a forum to present state-of-the-art research and studies on existing marine propulsors as well as a platform for introduction of new types of propulsors. The symposium will cover cutting-edge topics related to propellers, pods and thrusters, waterjets, rudders, unconventional propulsors, cavitation, noise and vibration, and the entire range of propulsion topics – with the environment in clear focus. See the website www.marinepropulsors.com for more information.


Powered by Scana Volda, the Teigenes has diesel electric and hybrid propulsion featuring the CP95 propeller and ACG950K reduction gear.
© Scana Volda

Getting There
One key to successful fishing is to be able to get there – and then to get back home. The heart and soul of fishing vessels include equipment such as engines, deck equipment, cable, chains, as well as gearboxes and clutches. To successfully harvest the sea, one needs to get to the destination, and Norway offers a wide range of maneuvering and propulsion systems. Examples of successful companies include Roll-Royce, Brunvoll, Sleipner Motor and Scana Volda, all names respected for their dedication and technological expertise.

Strong safety restrictions, increasing environmental demands and focus on economy in operation of vessels with a wide range of operational modes, make the fishing vessel owner a demanding customer. For generations, Scana Volda has risen to the occasions, starting in 1913 when the former Volda Mekaniske Verksted was established with the main customer segment was the small fishing vessels along the long coast of Norway. The company started as a supplier of integrated systems of diesel engine and CP-propeller, and the first system was delivered in 1914, a 7hk 4-stroke engine to a local fisherman.

It is a long way from that time till the modern fishing vessels of today – but Scana Volda is still regarded as a preferred supplier of propulsion systems to the fleet of fishing vessels. During recent years, Scana Volda has conquered major global players in several prestigious projects. The sailing fleet contains a large number of Scana Volda installations, and in the modern fleet many prestigious vessels with Scana Volda propulsion systems can be found.


Mustad products helps the fishing industry make the big catch in over than 160 markets worldwide. © Mustad


Anchors Away
Sotra Marine Produkter AS is one of Europe’s largest suppliers of anchors and chains, playing an important role in the global aquaculture industry. Other gear that typifies Norwegian excellence are buoys, floats and fenders, and one needs look no further than Norway to find the world’s leading supplier. Provinor’s two major lines of products, Polyform and Scanmarin, are respected worldwide for quality and user friendliness. Company products are exported to more than 60 countries, and worldwide service is offered through a well established, international network of importers, distributors and dealers.

In some regions of the world, the name Mustad is the actual name used for the fishing hook. This is perhaps the ultimate compliment to this business built with care since the 1870’s. All told, Mustad products are sold and distributed in more than 160 markets worldwide and is one of the best known brand names in the world of fishing gear, including a globally known and respected fishing system, a system that is as environmentally friendly as it is sustainable within the areas of deep sea systems, coastal systems, hooks, lines, bait and a wide range of accessories.

Covering All Needs
Many Norwegian companies within the equipment sector cover a broad spectrum of the outfitting process, such as Karmøy Winch, supplying complete deck machinery packages not only to fishing vessels, but to oil platforms, tankers, seismic vessels – literally anything that navigates or makes its home on the sea. Navigation has been critical ever since the first time Norwegians set off from the coast centuries ago, and this experience has been parlayed into international success for companies such as Thrane & Thrane, Jotron and Navico provide state-of-the-art software and hardware that cover communication and navigation needs, such as alarm, monitoring and control.

To improve success in the actual task of finding and securing the fish catch, companies that include Mørenot and Nofi Tromsø, supplying quality gear within the areas of fish detection systems, including trawling, longlining and hauling equipment. NOFI Tromsø AS markets are mainly related to the fishing and aquaculture industry, oil spill control agencies and general industry. Recently, the company launched its patented NOFI Current Buster™ Technology, with new technology enabling multiple functions during the combating of oil spills.

Established in 1948, Mørenot AS supplies fishing gear to the fishing and aquaculture industries. The company has kept pace with the rapidly evolving fishing industry, and continues to modernize and update its product line to meet customer needs and is the country’s leading manufacturer of equipment to the fishing and fish farming industries.

Once the catch is made, Norwegian expertise and equipment is in place with fish handling systems, ice plants, fish grading systems, and companies such as Optimar and Finsam supplying the full range of equipment necessary. Clearly a critical element of the seafood industry is the ability to immediately initiate proper handling once the catch is made. MMC Tendos is a Norwegian company specializing in fish handling systems for the seafood and aquaculture industries. The company provides innovative solutions that cover the entire spectrum from the open sea until ready for end consumer. Cflow Fish Handling is another company that can refer to long experience, with the basic philosophy of designing and producing equipment and systems covering the whole value chain from harvesting the fish from the sea, feeding it through processing lines, through to the final fish products.

The Dacon Rescue Frame, a manual recovery net helps to raise the level of safety on the high seas. © Dacon


Safety First
VHF Communication is a part of the VHF Group, an international corporation specializing in wireless communication. VHF Communication offers a wide range of professional radio communication solutions, including ProFish. Profish is a radio system designed for the aquaculture industry that allow workers to maintain long-range, constant communication. In addition it features a market-leading safety alert system that includes: 1) A manual alarm system, 2) an automatic “Lone Worker” alerts with programmable timer, and 3) an integrated “Man overboard” water sensor.

The ProFish “Lone Worker” function can be set to activate after a certain time with radio inactivity. According to VHF Communication CEO Trond Knudsen, “The Lone Worker functionality can considerably increase safety levels for aquaculture industry users. Workers will be safeguarded either self assisted or automatically, as users can send alerts themselves, or alerts can be set to trigger after 15 minutes of radio inactivity, and most importantly, send automatic alert it workers falls over board. VHF Communication believes that there is a big potential for Profish within the fishing industry.”

Mare Safety AS, established in 2000, has a wide range of safety and rescue products tailor-made for both land-based industry and offshore. Safety also comes first for Dacon, a manufacturer of maritime rescue and recovery equipment for professional use for the past nearly 30 years. Dacon’s equipment range covers all size boats and vessels, spanning from manual recovery nets for Fast Rescue Craft, lifeboats and other smaller rescue craft, to large crane-operated equipment for offshore rescue vessels, enabling direct recovery onboard the vessel in heavy sea conditions.


NCE Aquaculture members such as Fjord Marine Cod ensure that the best practices are followed related to the commercial production of farmed fish and seafood. © Fjord Marine Cod

Growing & Healthy

  Since the 1970s, the aquaculture cluster along the coast of Nordland has been involved in the creation of one of Norway’s most important export industries. The country has deep traditions as a fishing nation, a long protected coastline, and clean seas with a high water replacement rate and good water quality that provide an excellent basis for aquaculture production. NCE Aquaculture (National Centre of Expertise) creates value and innovation related to the commercial production of farmed fish and seafood for the global market.

The NCE Aquaculture cluster is rooted in strong relations and collaboration between 18 aquaculture-related companies and R&D institutions. The cluster covers the broad spectrum of activities related to the industry, including the production of fry and edible fish, processing, feed production, technology, health and environment, finance, research and training. The partnership includes SPoN Fish, Codfarmers, Fjord Marine Cod, Aker Seafoods, Gildeskål Research Station, Helgelandstorsk AKVA group, Skretting, BioMar, Lofitorsk, Bodø University College, Nova Sea, Plastsveis, Rapp Marine, Bodø Science park, Nordlandsbanken and Nofima. These members are experts within their respective areas, key actors who by virtue of their competence and resource base will play a decisive role in the further development of Norwegian aquaculture. (See the related NCE Aquaculture Partner Page in this issue.)

Norwegian companies are many and expert within their respective areas, including OxyVision AS, a company providing specialized technology for oxygenation systems used in the farming of fish and shrimp. The company can provide solutions for land-based tanks, earth ponds, and sea cages. Recirculation is key to a stable water environment and healthy fish, and AquaOptima has a patented system (ECO-TRAP) that removes solids directly from the tank, something that indeed does benefit the water treatment system.

On the quality contract side of aquaculture, the company Aquastructures AS performs the certification of new and existing equipment for the fish farming industry according to an international technical standard for floating fish farm installations, NS-EN 9415, also offering software tools for technical analysis, quality assurance and the maintenance of fish farming systems based on proven technology. In general, once considered a supplementary business to agriculture, aquaculture has since blossomed into half of Norway’s fish exports. See the article in this issue “A World Leader in Aquaculture”.

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