New era in fishing technology

For Marine Radio Acoustic Devices (MRAD), the blessing and ‘christening’ of the two new vessels recently acquired by Irvin & Johnson ((I & J) was an important milestone in what has been a long association between the two companies.
The event, which took place at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town in November, saw the two new fishing vessels, the ‘Ferox’ and the ‘Umlobi’ being unveiled.
MRAD, as the suppliers of the latest in on-board sonar technology for the two vessels, was proud to witness the unveiling and blessing ceremony, secure in the knowledge that the newly-installed Simrad sonar technology will significantly enhance the vessels’ navigation and fishing intelligence capabilities.
“MRAD has a long and fruitful history with I & J as a supplier of on-board electronic equipment for navigation and fishing research. We were fortunate to secure an order for a new Simrad SX93 sonar for the Umlobi, which was fitted during the vessel’s pre-delivery dry-docking in Norway. The Simrad SX93 is recognised as the best commercial and fisheries research sonar available today; and MRAD is proud to have been behind the procurement and installation of the equipment,” said Eddy Elschot, General Manager of MRAD.
The Norwegian vessel Umlobi, although not new, is in excellent condition, according to Elschot, and will be I & J’s new flagship vessel. A 2,600 gross ton fishing trawler, the Umlobi will able to both catch and process all fish on-board.
The ‘Ferox’ is a newly-built 910 gross ton stern trawler, capable of fast turnarounds and delivering fresh fish to the V&A Waterfront for further processing at I & J’s Woodstock plant in Cape Town.
“The Ferox represents a huge step forward in cutting-edge navigation and acoustic fish-finding technologies. The selection of the Simrad ES70 split beam fish-finder allows measurement of biomass, fish size and distribution of fish species within a school,” said Elshot.
“In a nutshell, this allows the skipper to selectively and responsibly target the right size schools, avoiding both mixed and juvenile schools of fish,” he added.
MRAD, established in 1998, is the exclusive local distributor of Simrad, as well as other well-name brands in sonar, radar and navigation systems. The company has a special focus on the fisheries and marine research environment, but has a wide and loyal customer base which includes the leisure market.