A new $70m state-of-the-art deepwater fishery vessel will be purchased by Sealord, bringing operational efficiency, sustainability and 80 new local jobs to New Zealand. Designed by naval architect Skipsteknisk and to be built by Simek in Flekkefjord, Norway, the vessel is expected to be delivered in mid-2018.
The investment marks the first new vessel purchase by Sealord since 1996, making it the first to enter New Zealand deepwater fisheries in the past 20 years. With the capacity to fish 20,000 metric tonnes and target all Sealord’s species, the 83m vessel will produce all base products while at sea and has the ability to produce its own electricity.
Sealord chairman Whaimutu Dewes says with Sealord’s vision to be the best deep sea fishing company in New Zealand, this investment in the reliability, efficiency and increased capacity of the fleet is essential. Chief executive officer Steve Yung says Sealord’s shareholders, Maori-owned Moana New Zealand (Aotearoa Fisheries Limited) and Japanese company Nippon Suisan Kaisha, Ltd (Nissui), have committed to the vessel purchase, which they will part-fund.
“It will be able to fish all Sealord’s target species, including pelagic fish such as barracouda, squid and jack mackerel – something we’ve previously only been able to do through chartering vessels.” While allowing more flexible and efficient operations, the new jobs created will be vessel-based roles, including permanent full-time roles such as skipper, fishing crew and factory workers.
In keeping with the company’s ongoing commitments to sustainability and technology development, the vessel will also be equipped with new Precision Seafood Harvesting and other fishing technologies to ensure the most sustainable outcomes.