Salmon Go Solar
The world's first solar-powered salmon fishery is being developed under a partnership recently announced between Lummi Island Wild Coop and Alpha Energy. The project will begin in early spring with Alpha Energy installing solar panels on part of Lummi Island Wild's reefnet fleet.
"Technology like this from Alpha Energy is making us unquestionably the greenest, most sustainable commercial fishery on the planet," said Coop member Dave Hansen. One reason for reefnetting's strong environmental following stems from its ability to release non-targeted species unharmed. "Reefnets have been called the original and still best in selective fishing by the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, but now we will raise the environmental standard even higher by being the first fishing operation to utilize power exclusively from the sun," Hansen said.
Solar panels will soon recharge battery banks used to power the boats' winches and gear. Currently thousands of pounds of batteries must be ferried to shore for recharging every couple of days.
"This is a perfect example of how solar power can save time, labor and money for a fishery or any business in a remote location," said Matt Donnelly, Vice President Alpha Energy. "These boats are in the water for months at a time and require constant power to operate. As long as the sun rises in the morning, these reefnet boats will have environmentally-friendly power."
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