Cornelis Vrolijk logo

PJS de Jong price for SOFIC project with TNO


The occurrence of unwanted bycatch is posing a growing challenge to the fishing industry. The implementation of new European legislation, namely the landing obligation, adds substantial pressure on finding solutions. With this new legislation unwanted bycatch cannot be returned back to sea anymore, while under the old legislation in many cases it was mandatory to return bycatch back to sea. For pelagic trawlers, the new rules have been in force since the 1st of January 2015.

Cornelis Vrolijk and Jaczon have had sustainable entrepreneurship at the centre of their business for many years. The company structurally puts effort into finding innovative solutions, amongst others to increase the selectivity of the catches.

Since 2009 work has been ongoing together with TNO on the development of a system with which different fish species (such as herring, mackerel, horse mackerel and sprat) can be identified from a distance. Such a system would help skippers in their decision to set the fishing net or move on to look for another shoal of fish and hereby prevent the catch of the ‘wrong’ species.

TNO developed software with which the ‘fish recognition’ is done. Two Jaczon vessels, the ‘Wiron 6’ and the ‘Afrika’ used the software in a test phase and made detailed catch data available with which TNO could improve the software. This way, the software was developed to become self-learning and over the course of 6 years it was optimised. The prototype functioning in 2015 is promising and the expectation is that it can be further improved still with the acquisition of more data.

On 17 September 2015 the project received the P.J.S. de Jong innovation award during the Maritime & Offshore Innovation Day of TNO at the RDM-Campus in Rotterdam.

The P.J.S. de Jong award was handed out for the first time. The maritime sector invoked the new prize for the most innovative solution with the potential for substantial societal impact. With the award scientists, institutes and companies are supported that bring benefit to developments in the maritime sector based on research conducted by the navy. The award is named after former prime minister and naval captain P.J.S. de Jong.

On the 20th of October, the TNO research team visited Jaczon in Scheveningen to hand over the award to the entire project team.

FLTR Martin Pastoors (RVZ), Maurits Huisman (TNO), Jan Melis (Skipper Wiron 6 - Jaczon), Huig van der Plas (Skipper Afrika – Jaczon), Jan Hoegee TNO), Eric Roeleveld (Jaczon) en Jaap van der Werff (Jaczon).

< Back to news