National Fisherman


The Sorting Table 

sorting table iconThe Sorting Table features stories from National Fisherman contributors and guest bloggers.

The St. John’s, Newfoundland-based eSonar and Zhoushan Sound Ocean IT Co. of Zhoushan, China, signed a distribution agreement on Oct. 10 for eSonar’s sonar-based trawl monitoring systems to be marketed in eastern China through Zhoushan Sound’s distribution network. The two companies also agreed to collaborate on the development of new sonar products.

In late November, Jim Hall, eSonar’s managing director, and Don Vokey, director of marketing and sales, flew to Zhoushan to conduct training with Zhoushan Sound’s technical staff and sales people.

“At first, we were hesitant to enter the Chinese market because we were protective of our [intellectual property],” Vokey recalled, but with the assistance of the provincial government’s Department of Innovation, Business and Rural Development and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, he and Hall exhibited the company’s products at an inbound trade mission in St. John’s and then at Oceanology International in China.

“We were inundated with meetings,” Vokey said. They met Dr. Jun Han, who had taught at Tokyo University and was doing similar work in the development of sonar products. And after conducting due diligence through the Canadian trade commissioner’s office in Shanghai, they decided to partner with his company.

Two weeks after inking this agreement, on Oct. 24, Nautel, a marine electronics distributor headquartered in Lisbon, signed a distribution agreement with eSonar to sell the company’s products, TrawlVue and SeineVue, in Portugal. “Since then, they have installed both systems, on a trawler and a purse seiner,” reported Vokey. “Both are working extremely well.” He added that the sensors on these new systems are fully programmable in the field and have multifunction capabilities.

In addition to China and Portugal, eSonar has distributors in Ireland, Spain, the United States, Canada, the Faroe Islands, the UK and Belgium. — Andrew Safer

Inside the Industry

The following was released by the Maine Department of Marine Resources on Jan. 22:

The Maine Department of Marine Resources announced an emergency regulation that will support the continued rebuilding effort in Maine’s scallop fishery. The rule, effective January 23, 2016, will close the Muscle Ridge Area near South Thomaston and the Western Penobscot Bay Area.

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Louisiana’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, which governs commercial and recreational fishing in the state, got a new boss in January. Charlie Melancon, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislator, was appointed to the job by the state’s new governor, John Bel Edwards.

Although much of his non-political work in the past has centered on the state’s sugar cane industry, Melancon said he is confident that other experience, including working closely with fishermen when in Congress, has prepared him well for this new challenge.

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