Scanmar is the pioneer among producers of Catch Control Systems. Our main objective is to offer commercial fishermen equipment for increased efficiency and financial gain.
We always strive to improve our products, and we listen carefully to the users.
We believe that our close cooperation with the fishing industry combined with our genuine interest and technological approach has been vital to our success.
Scanmar’s Catch Control Systems are characterized by their advanced technology and high quality, and since 1980 we have invested 400 million Norwegian kroner in developing robust, reliable and innovative products.
Scanmar was established in 1980, at a time when there were major problems in the entire electronics industry, particularly in the fisheries. As in all other industries, most vendors copied each other and there was a wide range of echo sounders and sonars from numerous suppliers but little innovation.
In the beginning we were therefore keen to find a product range that distanced itself from other suppliers and since catching fish is the primary goal in fisheries it was natural to start there.
We studied many scientific research reports, and it was obvious that there was a great need to have better control of fishing gear to improve efficiency in fishery. No vendors, even the very largest, had managed to develop a reliable wireless transmission technology. This is an absolute and indispensable prerequisite with respect to the great value of equipment and catch.
Even with all odds against us we chose to try. It was obvious from the start that there was a need to control the trawl’s depth in relation to the location of pelagic fish, filling of the bag, and
temperature of the water at the depth being fished. We developed robust technology for hydro-acoustic transmission of signals, and sensor electronics were completely encapsulated in a newly developed plastic material.
The products were a success and were soon in use in most
of the world’s fishing nations. When we were on board and studied many hauls with fishermen and scientists, we realized quickly that there was a need for much more information. The first thing that became clear was that many experienced problems with the trawl doors. In a field report from a U.S. research institute in the early 1980’s, we read that problems were encountered in 30% of the hauls. This was probably the crucial factor in the decision to develop Distance Sensors. The intention was to give the fishermen information about the distance between the trawl doors, if the doors had laid down (lost sensor contact) and not least to make it easier to rig after repairs or purchase of new equipment.
Earlier you would receive information by making simple measurements on the warp, check the wear and tear on the trawl doors, etc. Despite this, there were not many who saw the need for distance measurements. But eventually “everyone” wanted them. We got a lot of feedback from the users saying that what they now experienced was entirely different than what they thought.
The following year the Trawl Speed/Symmetry sensor was developed. With Distance Sensors on the trawl doors we quickly noticed how the changes in towing speed and underwater currents affected the door distance. And once different fish species’ ability to swim in warm/cold water became thoroughly documented, it was obvious that it would be important to control the trawl speed and whether the trawl was skewed.
It took a while before this sensor became a success. But the Grid Sensor, a variant that was made to control the angle and water flow on shrimp grids, was an immediate success. This was also the case with the Symmetry Sensor a little later, though now it is flow into the trawl opening and flow through the tunnel that counts.
The Trawl Eye was introduced at the end of the
1980’s and was immediately indispensable to many.
After a while other manufacturers came into the market. While we had built up extensive experience and had a good idea of the fishermen’s future needs, the other manufacturers had none of these skills. Most went quickly out of business because they had to create simple solutions to get started as quickly as possible.
Scanmar’s development in recent years has been extensive: new bridge solutions, angle measurements for doors, filling rate, as well as several patents that will result in new products.