Austral Fisheries newest and most advanced fishing vessel, the Cape Arkona.
Cape Arkona Wins Best Multi Purpose Fishing Boat Award
Austral Fisheries' Cape Arkona has taken out the Baird Maritime Award for 'Best Multi-Purpose Fishing Boat' following her completion in 2020.
The vessel was designed by Norway’s Skipskompetanse and built by compatriot Baatbygg. Both are globally renowned firms and leaders in their respective fields.
Cape Arkona was designed and built with innovation in mind, as well as versatility - she is capable of trawling, potting, auto-lining and fully processing and refrigerating its catch within a single trip. Crew comfort, safety and convenience are also prominent features, all the while being powered an economical diesel-electric energy system.
The Cape Arkona is the first multifunctional vessel of its kind, rigged for autoline, potting and trawling, and has the opportunity to combine all these fishing methods in one single trip.
“There is no doubt,” Baatbygg told Baird Maritime, “that the most unique feature about the vessel is the combination of catch methods and the possibility to carry all the different necessary fishing gear at the same time. The propulsion and power train are also unique for this type of fishing vessel and as far as we know, it is the first configuration of this specific type to also be tied in with a battery system to create a true hybrid.
“The vessel is a testament to Austral Fisheries’ unique ability to think outside the box and at the same time staying true to their commitment of being carbon neutral and leaving a low environmental footprint.”
Both Baatbygg and Skipskompetanse agree that the need to minimise vessels’ environmental impact has begun having a growing influence on the fishing vessel newbuilding industry.
Primarily, the vessel will fish for Patagonian Toothfish in the Southern Ocean, but it will also trawl for Icefish and other species.
“Optimisation of the design to minimise operational costs as well as the carbon footprint is essential,” remarked Skipskompetanse.
Austral Fisheries would like to thank Baird Maritime for the award, and acknowledge the collaborative work between Baatbygg, Skipskompetanse and the team at Austral Fisheries who made this history-making project possible.
The Cape Arkona has already made her maiden voyage and early reports are very encouraging as Austral look to streamline on-board processes and allow crew to adjust to her layout.
Austral Fisheries is one of Australia’s largest integrated commercial fishing companies, with interests in both deep sea fishing and at-sea prawning. Sustainability and responsible fishing practises are at the heart of Austral’s operations, with all four of the Australian fisheries Austral operate in being independently certified as sustainable and well managed by the Marine Stewardship Council. In 2016, Austral Fisheries also became the first seafood company in the world to become certified as carbon neutral under the Australian Government Carbon Neutral Program.
Austral’s deep sea fishing activities involve the operation of 3 longline vessels, including a dual purpose longline-trawl vessel. Each vessel is equipped to face the world’s harshest fishing conditions, as experienced in Australia’s sub-Antarctic zones. These vessels specialise in catching Patagonian Toothfish and Mackerel Icefish, with their crew frequently braving horizontal rain, freezing temperatures and giant swells to get their catch. Austral’s prawning component catch Banana, Tiger and Endeavour prawns. This involves the operation of a fleet of 11 prawn trawlers in the Northern Prawn Fishery (NPF), off the coast of northern Australia.
The NPF was established in the late 1960’s and is Australia’s most valuable fishery managed by the Australian Commonwealth Government. In this fishery, banana prawns are caught for just three months of the year, and tiger prawns for just four months. In this way, the fishery and its prawn stocks are able to rejuvenate each year, ensuring the longterm sustainability of the fishery. With a recent investment into the Timor Reef Fishery, Austral have expanded operations to the Darwin region. This fishery operates in the remote offshore waters of the Northern Territory. Austral’s trap fishing vessel, The Eubalaena, targets primarily Goldband Snapper, Saddletail Snapper, Red Emperor, mixed Cod species as well as other tropical reef species.
In more than 40 years of operations, Austral Fisheries have been proponents for positive change and growth in the fishing and seafood industries. As founding members of Seafood Industry Australia, Commonwealth Fisheries Association and COLTO, and in conjunction with industry partners and government bodies, Austral have witnessed a significant turnaround in both the fisheries they operate in, as well as the industry as a whole.