Danish Fishing Technology Cluster to Conduct Trawl Test Fishing in the Philippines

"Mission accomplished”, declares John B. Brink, director and partner of Comet Trawl ApS, upon signing the Memorandum of Understanding jointly with Undersecretary Eduardo B. Gongona, Bureau of Fisheries & Aquatic Resources, and Danish Ambassador Jan Top Christensen. The MoU determines that a cluster of Danish West coast fishing technology companies are to conduct trawl fishing tests in cooperation with local partner Royale Fishing based on the undersigned MoU between the Government of Denmark and the Philippines. The objective of the project is to determine the effectiveness of trawling, its ability to reduce fuel consumption, reduce bycatch and increase catch output while ensuring that trawling is a fish and seabed habitat secure method.

The cluster consisting of Comet Trawl ApS, Hirtshals Yard A/S, Vestkajens Maskinværksted A/S, Shannon Holding A/S and Thyborøn Trawldoors A/S have spent more than two years to secure access to one of the largest fishing grounds in the world. The Philippine archipelago has one of the world’s longest shore lines and access to an abundance of fish resources which is not being exploited by its national industries. Mostly conducting outdated manuel line fishing, the Philippines has the opportunity to develop a sector with an enormously positive impact on the country’s economy. Industrial activities involves a multitude of disciplines i.e. ship building, ship repair and services, fishing gear, seafood processing, industrial cooling – the entire value chain of upgrading a fishing industry to be able to manage trawl fishing. And, not least, a tremendous job development for an industry with requirement for new skills.

"We have been working closely together with the Danish Embassy to reach this conclusion. We could not have achieved the result without the direct involvement of their professional staff and we appreciate their insight on how to manage communication and working processes with BFAR", says John B. Brink. “The export opportunities for Denmark in this sector are very promising. We are both happy and also proud to be part of promoting our Danish skills to a country eager to move on and which meets us with a positive and cooperative attitude. Looking ahead, we are already taking steps to move the project forward. A mission from the Phillippines will soon arrive in Denmark to study how we fish in the North Sea. We both have to manage very rough seas, so the conditions are pretty similar," says John.

"The result achieved today is a good example of the Danish way of working together, says Lars S. Andersen, Senior Consultant at Andersen Consult. A team effort by the cluster, the Danish Embassy, BFAR and local partner Royale Fishing made this possible. Danish SMEs have what it takes to accomplish challenging projects, we never give up”.

The project has in its development stages been supported by Incubator Growth House Midtjylland (www.vhmidtjylland.dk) and Danida (www.danida.dk).

The cluster companies are all B2B members.

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