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Petition seeks U.S. seafood-advice revision

Two of the world’s top experts on brain and neurological development have joined 125 others in calling on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to revise its advice on fish consumption and pregnancy — last updated in 2004 — because it is out of date and may be “inadvertently causing harm”…. Read more (

Fitch Progress Report – f/v Royal Dawn Reports positive results


With albacore tuna, squid and sardine seasons off the West Coast getting underway this summer, I just received a favorable report from one of our new customers, Brent Bixler the owner and operator of the f/v Royal Dawn, a troll and pole tuna boat. Brent like most of his compatriots from San Diego is on his way north for a 3 to 4 month trip fishing for albacore along the West Coast from mid-Summer to late Fall. As I learned from the American Albacore Fishing Association meeting this past Spring, it’s a migrating species and you have to go and find them so there is a lot of engine runtime and fuel consumed just chasing the fish from Southern California to Canada. Then of course, you have to get back home at some point.

Boats like Brent’s will consume between 10 and 30 thousand gallons of diesel for their main and generator engines over the course of this long season. With prices varying between $2.50 and possibly as much as $4 per gallon that is a range of $25,000 to $120,000 per season just for fuel depending on engine consumption rate, time at sea, fuel prices and other variables. Brent was an early adopter and pioneer of sorts experimenting with the Fitch Fuel Catalyst back in the mid-90’s when he bought one unit for his Cummins KTA1150 main engine and another smaller unit for his Caterpillar 3304 generator engine. He was fishing the South Pacific during those days and travelling for 30 days to reach the fishing grounds. These long voyages over many seasons provided him the ideal opportunity to compare fuel consumption at sea at normal running speed with his FloScan metering system. At the AAFA meeting where I first met Brent, he claimed he saved 12% over his previous consumption rate with the Fitch catalysts installed; however, his were probably 15 years old and he thought they might no longer be serviceable and needed to be replaced. He was right!

Brent was a contemporary of Bart Mathews, Captain of the f/v Maverick during those days and his experience matches that of Bart very closely as evidenced by the attached testimonial letter.

Brent purchased 3 brand new heavy-duty Fitch catalyst cannisters for the Royal Dawn shortly after the AAFA Meeting(1 for the main and 1 each for each of his 2 main generator engines -the CAT and a 6-cylinder Izuzu). These Heavy-Duty Grade (HDG) units come with a replacement warranty of 10,000 hours or 7 years verses the Standard units he had been using which came with only a 5,000 hour or 4-year replacement warranty. He estimated the old units were installed sometime between 1993-95 so they were will past the warranty period. Since he was happy with the results from the old set, he was pleased that I showed up to offer him these new, much superior units. In addition, Brent bought an auto kit for his Dodge RAM 2500 diesel pickup with a Cummins 5.9 liter engine that ran extremely rough and was very loud in the cab.

As the Royal Dawn heads north it stopped in Fish Harbor, Terminal island for fuel, anchovies and immigration processing of the crew. Brent told me on the trip from San Diego he measured a reduction in fuel consumption with the new HDG unit on the main from 8.5 to 8.0 gph travelling in flat calm seas at 1300 rpms. That 1/2 gph reduction would equate to $2,500 in direct fuel cast savings if the main is operated 20 hours per day for 100 days and fuel costs remain at current $2.50 price in Fish Harbor. In addition Brent is very happy with performance of his pickup truck which he says runs a lot quieter. Brent is continuing to document fuel savings and other benefits of the Fitch units on the Royal Dawn. He has said repeatedly that he supports this technology, believes it works and recommends that all his fellow fishermen to do the same as soon as possible.

Please contact me if you would like to speak with Brent directly.

Thanks and Regards,
Mark Phillips
(562) 537-0165

P.S. There is a new page on the website under the Marine Section with Photos and Videos of different boats using Fitch or planning to. It’s pretty interesting and amusing, I think.