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Dennis Holder

Nuffield Australia 2016 Scholarship winner

Dennis Holder, from Largs North adjacent to Port Adelaide in South Australia, received a Nuffield Scholarship supported by the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation. He investigated technologies to reduce the carbon footprint of commercial fishing vessels.

Dennis operates a purpose-built, 24-metre aluminium boat for the wild catch of Blue Swimmer Crabs. The boat FV Silver Spectre and its fishing equipment reduced their carbon footprint and bycatch of juvenile crabs by 92%, while increasing operating efficiencies by over 50%. He has three fishing licences in SA, with a total quota holding of 220 tonnes. This is about 35 per cent of the SA Total Allowable Commercial Catch and enables him to supply markets in SA, New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.

Dennis used his scholarship to assess new marine technologies in electric propulsion and drive systems, energy storage and power generation for hybrid operations.

“Fishing vessels operate as high carbon consumption units and little has changed in this area in the past 40 years because operators have concentrated on making efficiencies in catching and selling,” he says.

“If we can reduce the carbon footprint from fishing vessels, there would be a big drop in daily running costs, better maintenance efficiencies, more social licence to operate from the community and potentially more attraction for younger people to enter our industry.”

Dennis says for his research he travelled to Canada, Japan, Norway, the Netherlands, Singapore and the USA to look at the latest and most successful innovations being used in commercial fishing vessels.

He is assessing potential applications in Australia and is undertaking cost-benefit analyses, to package up this information for local fishers.

Location: Largs North, South Australia
Scholarship report: click to view
Returning Scholar presentation: watch video
Returning Scholar profile:
click to view

Dennis was supported by:

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