Improved fuel efficiency:
Trials have shown up to a 25% saving in fuel can be achieved. Since each tooth is sprung separately the tension on the spring (or resistence) is much less than a traditional tooth bar which requires a greater resistance to stay in its set position since there are 9 teeth pushing against the springs as opposed to only one on each tine, this means that the N-Virodredge™ is much more easily towed.
A traditional dredge requires 225kg of pull to tow it at 2.5 knots whereas an N-Virodredge™ requires only 110kg.
Less seabed damage:
Since the N-Virodredge™ travels on skids with the tines penetrating the seabed to only the required depth and no more, plus the fact that they are much less resistant to obstuctions and give larger escape routes between the individually moveable tines, there is no doubt that seabed disturbance is substantially reduced.
Maintained or Improved catch levels:
This is due to the greater ‘lift’ of the spring tines compared to a traditional dredge tooth bar. The springier effect of the tines means that they work much harder at dislodging the scallops and throwing them up and into the bag. Also, the fact that they fish much cleaner means that the dredge can be towed for longer therefore reducing down time whilst emptying.
Trials have shown that due to the individual movement of the tines in the N-Virodredge™ plus the reduction in resistance of the tines, the N-Virodredge™ picks up much less rocks and other organisms than a traditional dredge until the tines wear down. This also contributes to fuel efficiency.
Less wear on parts:
The N-Virodredge™ only has one moving part – the spring tine – and one other wear part – the skid. A traditional dredge has many – tooth bar, paws, springs, eyebolts & nuts, paw bolts & nuts, sword bolts & nuts and spring washers. This means that the N-Virodredge™ is much easier to maintain with less down time whilst fishing.
Reduced catch damage:
The N-Virodredge™ is a more ‘gentle’ method of catching scallops. This, combined with the reduction of rocks caught, results in very little damage to the scallop catch. This improves meat yield to the fisherman and increases survival rates of undersized scallops returned to the seabed.