Finding efficient ways to sort bycatch and grade on smaller vessels and on-board machinery that will pack into small carton sizes is high on vessel owner’s radars.
Below are two of the angles in prototype design phase.

A call for Expression of Interest to install a prototype will be made soon.

1. Automated smaller carton packing for Spencer Gulf/West Coast

Common vessel design and operation:

  • 3-4 man crew on medium sized vessel,
  • 100 to 400 kg shot size with day catch to 2.5T,
  • crab and small fish bycatch,
  • majority outside processing with inside packing and freezing (mostly snap) in freezer hold)
Prototype design and software testing; KM Fish Machinery Denmark

Prototype in design and software testing stage; KM Fish Machinery Denmark.

Prototype design to automate smaller carton size packing:

  • Dimensions: L= 1500 mm, W=760 mm (for transport =600 mm), H= 1800 mm that means it can be fitted to a range of vessel sizes.
  • 6 weighing hoppers fed by a small conveyor with 18 plastic weighing hoppers that allow portions to be combined for high accuracy.
  • A stop plate at conveyor outlet keep portions until batch is ready to release to box.

2. Grading and handling efficiency especially for higher value prawns

Common vessel design and operation:

  • <20m vessel
  • SE Qld (smaller crew, <100kg per shot, small fish bycatch, outside processing eg case study vessel in Tin Can Bay)
Grading and handling efficiency esp for higher value prawns on <20m vessels

Whole vessel approach to improving handling and grading efficiency for higher value prawns on the case study vessel, Tin Can Bay (pictured).

Proposal is to alter the flow of prawns across the sorting table and into the freezer including modification of a compact Prawn Quip roller grader to suit smaller vessels. A grader may be used to interface between the catch tray/hopper and the dipping/cooking/packing operations.

3. Other prototypes in design

Other prototypes in design include:

  • Alteration of Austral vessels to achieve longer dip times for PrawnFresh (4 out of 11 trawlers now converted but with multi-tiered design in concept for 20-24m layout).
  • Automated separation of fish bycatch and prawns for Gulf St Vincent