The vessel, named Guardian del Mar, has a length of 8 meters and the capability of reaching a speed of 12 knots. She does not require crew on board and her operating costs will represent about 0.6% compared to an average vessel of the industrial fishing fleet. With a navigation autonomy of more than 400 hours, the USV completes its mission objectives autonomously under human supervision and will gradually be upgraded with developments on situational awareness and collision avoidance. During the initial phase of implementing this new technology in their daily operations, TASA will gain valuable experience and training by supervising the USV from a nearby mothership. The Sounder USV includes autonomous capabilities such as anti-grounding, automatic object detection, CTD casts and much more.
Guardian del Mar will join TASA’s fleet of 48 vessels with the purpose of gathering information on the state of marine resources such as mackerel, horse mackerel and anchoveta, providing information on the location of schools to make fishing operations more efficient. In this way, the process of deploying the fleet will be made more efficient and bring about reductions in fuel consumption and the carbon footprint derived from these trips. The USV will also be used between fishing seasons to acquire oceanographic and fish research data to develop a better understanding of the ocean.
Likewise, it will allow the collection of oceanographic information and fishing information that will be available to scientific institutes and analysis departments of TASA to better understand the development of the marine sector related to fishing. Data will also be made available to the Peruvian Navy to inform, identify, and allow people to board in emergency situations.
Other technical characteristics in the system include the use of sophisticated equipment such as Kongsberg’s world leading Simrad SX90 fishing sonar and ES80 echo sounder.
“We are proud to bring this technological innovation to Peru, as the leading producer of fishmeal and fish oil. 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”, commented Gonzalo de Romaña, CEO of TASA.
Bjørn Jalving, Senior Vice President Technology, Kongsberg Maritime said, “KONGSBERG is proud to be a part of the Peruvian work for sustainable and efficient fisheries. TASA has shown a future-oriented approach by integrating the Sounder USV in their operations. We look forward to close cooperation when the vehicle is set in operation”.
As this will be the first marine drone in operation within Peru, personnel from the General Directorate of Captaincies and Coast Guards (DICAPI) have visited the Kongsberg facility in Horten, Norway to see the USV in operation and to carry out the first regulatory framework for the regulation and use of unmanned vehicles, facilitating the entry of similar equipment into the Peruvian sea.