Airmar Uses CHIRP-Sounder Technology to Search for Bluefin Tuna off Scotland

Company partners with Garmin to outfit project boat for summer expedition

Airmar Bluefin Expedition

Airmar Bluefin Expedition

Airmar's Bertrand Picarda, left, and project-boat owner Barry Larsen, right.Courtesy Airmar Technology Corporation

Combining cutting-edge marine electronics with hopeful news about eastern Atlantic bluefin tuna, Airmar Technology Corporation has launched "Bluefin Tuna — Past and Present," a summer fishing expedition off Scotland to locate these valuable game fish in a region where they once thrived. To chronicle the team, the boat, the electronics and the multiple trips Airmar's team plans to take, the company started a blog page.

"We see this as a perfect opportunity to demonstrate Airmar's new CHIRP (compressed high-intensity radar pulse) technology," says Bertrand Picarda, general manager for Airmar EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa). "Our goal is to demonstrate the return of the bluefin tuna in our region by utilizing the latest echosounder technology."

Airmar builds broadband transducers that deliver much greater sensitivity and performance than those used for traditional fish finding. Airmar will partner with Garmin, which makes the GSD 26, a black-box sounder with Spread Spectrum CHIRP technology. The two companies plan to outfit a 40-foot project boat, owned by Barry Larsen, a boat racer and angler.

Picarda’s team will fish 10 days a month from June through October, starting Thursday and targeting multiple locations. This week, they fish between the Outer Hebrides island group and the Scottish mainland.

Picarda brings a decade of big-game fishing to the team, having fished bluefin competitions in the Mediterranean from 1998 through 2003, with two national titles in the French Tuna Fishing Championship in 2001 and 2002.