Fish Radio
Energy saving tool for fishing boats needs testers
January 7, 2015                          

BlueTracker GPS linked diesel fuel consumption monitoring system Credit: Bluebird Marine Systems

BlueTracker GPS linked diesel fuel consumption monitoring system
Credit: Bluebird Marine Systems

 This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Energy saving tools for fishing boats need field testers. More after this –

 Federal grants are available to help “Made in America” companies compete with imports and save US jobs. Learn more at

 Saving energy, and therefore money, tops any fisherman’s list. Now, for the first time, small boat owners can benefit from energy audits.

 People in Alaska are familiar with the home energy audits and this is basically a similar concept but on a fishing vessel. It becomes more complicated because there are more systems and different types of activities when you’re operating in different fisheries, things like that.

 Julie Decker is director of the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation, which has been focusing on energy efficiencies for several years. Two years ago AFDF and Sea Grant launched phase one of a program to create an audit method for fishing boats. With help from engineers, 12 boats were tested and an Energy Analysis Tool was created from the data. Decker says it’s a spreadsheet that lets fishermen calculate baselines and comparisons of fuel use by energy system.

You can see how much your hydraulics are using, or the main engine is drawing when you’re running around from fishery to fishery or how much your DC and AC systems are drawing, whether it’s for refrigeration, or what not.

 The energy tool is being fine tuned and in phase two, AFDF plans to launch a simpler version available via Smart Phone and on the web. To do so, Decker says they need to do 10 more boat audits and get feedback on the Energy Analysis spreadsheet.

 We’re asking fishermen to work with us and we’ll help you fill it out for your vessel and then hope for feedback from fishermen on whether they think it was useful, was it difficult to complete, what would make it easier for you to use, those kinds of things.

 Learn more about Energy Audits for small boats at and find links at our website:

 Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods – who salutes and says thanks to the men and women fishing across Alaska for their hard work and dedication. ( In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.