The Ocean Dawn will replace the freezer-trawler Independent 1. (Photo. Sealord)
Sealord charters larger vessel for hoki fishing
Monday, June 20, 2011, 21:40 (GMT + 9)
Sealord has taken advantage of the higher hoki quota by chartering a larger vessel -- Ocean Dawn -- with 10 per cent more capacity.
Arriving in Nelson this week from Chile, the 64m-vessel was built in Norway in the early 1990’s and the investment will last for the next three years. The Ocean Dawn will replace the freezer-trawler Independent 1, which will be returned to its owners, and create up to four new fishing jobs.
“The recent increase in TACC (total allowable commercial catch) and current survey data signalling another increase in October have reinforced Sealord’s confidence in the sustainability of Hoki fishery and this investment is a direct result,” said Sealord’s General Manager Harvest Operations Colin Williams.
Sealord is feeling positive about the news, as hoki fishing, processing and export contribute powerfully to New Zealand’s seafood export market. Hoki was the country’s second highest value seafood export last year, earning NZD 172 million (USD 138.1 million).
“New Zealand seafood is globally recognised as being sustainable and our hoki fisheries are certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). Hoki is an excellent choice for environmentally responsible consumers,” Williams highlighted.
The charter of Ocean Dawn coincides with the end of the charter period for Independent 1. Sealord crew will move from one vessel to the other at Port Nelson.
The Ocean Dawn will make its first fishing trip for the fishing company in late July or early August, following sea trials and work to ascertain that the vessel meets New Zealand Food Safety Authority, Maritime New Zealand and Ministry of Fisheries requirements.
The Independent 1 was sold by Independent Fisheries to undisclosed new owners in 2010 and since then has continued to fish for Sealord under an interim arrangement with two crews of 37 people. Sealord leased it in 2009, reports The Nelson Mail.
Hoki season has just started and normally runs until mid-September.
By Natalia Real