Introduction Two decades ago, when the idea of the Active Trawl System was conceived, it was really a “nice to have and to get working” project. However, driving it forward were always the thoughts of “what if .... happened?” Now, those “what ifs” are realities, with a recent EU proposal to phase out deep-sea bottom trawling narrowly  defeated by a vote of 342 to 326. Trawling is publically being branded as, “the devastating and indiscriminate  practice of bottom trawling that continue to plough the seafloor with monster nets that crush everything in their  path."  The cost of fuel has also skyrocketed, affecting the financial viability of the fishing operation. The fisherman  are being drowned by this tsunami of opposition to trawling as well as by other negative factors. Their opposing voice is scarcely heard and their arguments against it are generally weak. If the Active Trawl System, having factored in these issues a long time ago, becomes the “must have” trawl system,  it can be the bridge between the opposition to trawling on the one hand and the besieged fisherman on the other,  while providing the protein the growing world population requires in an mutually acceptable manner.      What makes the Active Trawl System so different from current trawl systems? There are three main differences: 1. It puts the control of the trawl at the business end of the warp, right at the trawl doors 2. It is a closed-loop system which adjusts the forces generated by the trawl doors in accordance with the demand         dictated by the trawl conditions 3. It uses spinning rotors as the force generating elements The Active Trawl System (ATS), is the new generation trawling technology specifically designed to provide effective and practical solutions to the operational, environmental and resource management problems within the industry. By virtue of its design, construction and operation, the system can significantly reduce the destructive impact of trawl gear on the seabed. It is an “aimed” trawling system that provides unparalleled control over the vertical as well as the horizontal position of the net, while maintaining optimum trawl geometry. It thus provides excellent selectivity by accurate targeting of specific shoals as well as by its ability to take effective and quick avoidance action i.e. to prevent a particular shoal being caught. It constantly monitors the trawl conditions and generates the minimal forces required to maintain the trawl geometry. This results in an important reduction in energy to tow the trawl and hence lower fuel costs. It can thus significantly improve the economics of fishing by reducing costs and improving fishing efficiency for both  small and large vessels.  Please follow the pages through for more details about this new system. However, please note that all the images and videos of the ATS system on this website are of a cable-type design. Details of the latest cable-less design are not  yet in the public domain. Nevertheless, functionality and operation of the cable-type and the cable-less systems are, to all intents and purposes, identical.
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