Extra jobs on bigger Sealord trawler
Sealord has chartered a bigger ship to replace the freezer-trawler Independent 1, and extra jobs will result.
The Ocean Dawn is expected to arrive at Port Nelson early next week from Chile. Built in Norway in the early 1990s, the 64-metre ship has 10 per cent more capacity than the Independent 1, which is going back to its owners. It has previously fished for hoki when under charter to New Zealand company Simunovich Fisheries.
The existing Independent 1 crews will transfer, and there will be up to eight new fishing jobs on the Ocean Dawn, Sealord's general manager of harvest operations Colin Williams said today.
Mr Williams said the three-year charter of the Ocean Dawn stemmed from good news about the sustainability of the hoki fishery.
The recent increase in the Total Allowable Commercial Catch (TACC) to 120,000 tonnes, and data signalling a further rise in October, had reinforced Sealord's confidence in hoki's future sustainability.
"This investment is a direct result."
Hoki was New Zealand's second-highest value seafood export in 2010, earning $172 million, with Sealord holding 30 per cent of the TACC. Rock lobster is export leader at $229m last year, and mussels third, at $171m.
The hoki season has just begun and usually runs to mid-September.
Mr Williams said the aim was a seamless transition from one ship to the other, with crew and gear transferring at Port Nelson. Ocean Dawn would start fishing for Sealord in late July or early August, following sea trials and work to ensure it met 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 last year, and has continued to fish for Sealord under an interim arrangement. It has two crews of 37. Sealord leased it in 2009.
The Nelson Mail