by Freddy Foote
A New Zealand Lobster fisherman has had such great success with WASSP Multi Beam Sonar in his fleet, that he has ordered a fourth unit to be fitted to his newest vessel.
Trevor Burkhart installed a WASSP Multibeam Sonar into his 12m catamaran two years ago, since then his other boats have been fitted out with WASSP, with a fourth boat due to get one shortly.
Trevor Burkhart and his family have been actively involved in the New Zealand Lobster fishing industry since it’s commercial inception in the early 1950’s. His father Peter Burkhart fished in the early 1950’s up until the late 70’s and was always innovative in his approach to fishing, always using the best of gear available at the time.
Trevor and his two brothers have carried on that tradition and are at the forefront of technology in their industry and with that, two years ago Trevor opted to fit a WASSP Multibeam Sonar to his newest Lobster fishing vessel at the time ‘Tamatea Ariki Nui’ – a 12m alloy catamaran.
'WASSP & Navigator confirms all of the knowledge of your grounds that you’ve been fishing over the years. Not only does it confirm what you think is down there, but it gives you unparalleled visibility and enhanced detail, the system is just amazing,' said Burkhart.
WASSP allows Trevor and his crew to more accurately place their Lobster pots, which sees time and cost savings.
'Having had WASSP onboard for a couple of seasons now, I’m definitely seeing cost and time savings when I’m out on the water. I’m so pleased with the results of my first WASSP product, that we’ve decided to roll WASSP out onto our new fourth boat, due to be launched soon.'
Trevor says that some of his favourite features of the WASSP Multibeam Sonar are the extremely accurate ground definition, hardness/softness discrimination, and the ability to dynamically change the depth colours while viewing and to adjust the colours and shading for depth, contours and backscatter.
'The ability of Navigator to display all recorded maps at home to study and plan your fishing strategies with more fineness is brilliant. As well as the ability to distinguish fish by type/size and distribution in the water column. It is giving me the ability to virtually swim down and see with a Dolphins eye view of the seascape below.'
Burkhart says the simple layout and design of the graphic menu is easy to use, with everything accessed with the use of a stationery mouse with roller ball.
A screen shot of the WASSP 3D seafloor profiling, a favourite feature of Trevor’s.
'WASSP/Navigator has the innovative ability to give us an exceptional view of the fishes world, in 3D, 2D, combined with the hardness / softness and textures of the environment. It gives me an unsurpassed dynamic view and feel for the undersea world in which our target species live. Fishing is so much more enjoyable now with the magic of WASSP.'
Burkhart says WASSP gives him so much advantage over every other fisherman around and enables him to catch his quota very quickly. But as he sees it, the industry needs to work together and endeavour to use the best technologies available to both efficiently harvest plus protect the precious fish stocks.
'Managing our fish stocks responsibly is of prime importance to us all, WASSP is definitely another giant leap forward in the way we conduct our business.'
'If we can catch the fish quickly and efficiently, then there will be far less handling damage, much less fuel and bait used and everyone in the game including the fish will be far better off.'
WASSP Sales Manager Greg Fletcher says it has been an enjoyable process working with Trevor due to his experience and knowledge within this fishery.
'The feedback and suggestions he has made will be extremely helpful to our engineers as we continue to add more and more functionality that these fishermen need,' said Fletcher.
'We are starting to see in many fisheries around the world that smarter operators are having to invest in new technology to improve their productivity and increase their profitability.'
Trevor’s main interest is the profile of the seafloor in his fishery region.
'The WASSP Multibeam technology offers many advantages, mapping the seafloor with greater accuracy allows fishing closer to structures for better quality catches and less chance of damaging gear.'
'With the rising prices in fuel there is a greater need to find new techniques and technology that can deliver real gains in productivity.'
Burkhart says he’s found ENL extremely receptive and responsive to any new ideas and features regarding WASSP.
'Because of their open relationship to customer requests to fine tune and add features to cater for different fisheries, I’ve seen dramatic new system features added. With regular software updates plus the introduction of Navigator which opens up new and exciting spheres of operation that simply blows you away.'
'I can’t over emphasize the ‘WOW’ factor of this New Zealand pioneered system. As the saying goes, ‘Before I was Blind, but now I can See’ - it’s simple as that.'
Trevor Burkhart couldn’t be happier with the results his WASSP Multibeam Sonar is delivering.
Part of the Burkhart facility in Ward, New Zealand.
Trevor Burkhart and his family fish off the rugged East Coast of New Zealand’s South Island, where even launching the boat is an adventure.