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Dennis Holder. 2016 Scholarship winner

Dennis Holder. 2016 Scholarship winner

Dennis Holder, from Largs North adjacent to Port Adelaide in South Australia, has received a Nuffield Australia Farming Scholarship supported by Fisheries Research and Development Corporation.

He will investigate 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 plans to use 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 will travel to Canada, Japan, Norway, the Netherlands, Singapore and the United States to look at the latest and most successful innovations being used in commercial fishing vessels.

He will assess potential applications in Australia and undertake cost-benefit analyses, with the aim of packaging-up this information for local fishers.

Fisheries Research and Development Corporation is pleased to support Dennis Holder as a 2016 Nuffield Scholar. The organisation said it’s a valuable investment in the growth of agriculture in South Australia alongside Nuffield Australia, which is at the forefront of developing future industry leaders.

Nuffield Australia chief executive officer Jim Geltch said Nuffield now boasted more than 350 scholars in Australia who, through their scholarship global study tours, had significant insight into global agricultural production systems.

“We are building capacity for the nation’s food and fibre industries to be world leaders in the adoption of technology, best practice and innovation,” he said.

“Nuffield Scholars are influencing industry and community changes, resulting in agricultural productivity increases and economic development for rural communities.

“The Nuffield experience adds new dimensions to the way scholars think about the economic, environmental and social aspects of global food production.

“Engagement and investment in capacity building and talent development in agriculture is critical as the global population continues to escalate and the amount of land available for food production shrinks.”

Scholars undertake a 16-week program of group and individual travel.

Global Focus Program tours will visit several countries in March/April or June/July 2016, including New Zealand, Brazil, the United States of America, Mexico, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Kenya, Eastern Europe, Singapore, India, Qatar, Turkey, France, the Philippines, China, Canada or Ireland (itineraries will vary between groups).

Applications for Nuffield Australia Farming Scholarships open in April each year to Australian primary producers and managers who seek to research a topic important to them and to Australian agriculture.

Dennis is available to talk about his planned travel and can be contacted on:

Phone: 0428 814 854 Email:

Media contact:
Justine Mackay, Cox Inall Communications
P: 0435 325 954; E:

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