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Gearing up for the future of North Atlantic fishery


The fishery pattern in the North Atlantic has changed over the past years. As the fish and shellfish move further north the sailing distances get longer, and in these northernmost areas, the weather conditions can be quite harsh. To operate a sustainable and efficient fishery in these areas it requires a fleet built for the purpose. The possible length of our fishing trips is determined mainly by two factors; The fuel reserve and the space in the cargo hold.

With the investment in two new factory trawlers being delivered in 2019 and a third one for delivery in 2021 Royal Greenland is gearing up for the future. The design process has included finding solutions to a list of requirements to the vessels and has been carried out together with the Norwegian company Skipsteknisk. All three vessels are being built by Astilleros de Murueta in Bilbao, Spain.

“It has been necessary to re-think and optimize all processes onboard to make room for the new requirements” says Lars Nielsen, Executive Vice President, Production, “I am extremely proud of our crews’ deep involvement in the design and building process, and the know-how they have been able to add to this project – it is true Royal Greenland vessels”

See the building process and hear Lars Nielsen share his vision for investing in new trawlers for the North Atlantic fisheries

Key requirements to the new trawlers:

  • 100% utilization of the fish

An ambitious goal has been met in the first new trawler – by installing a fish meal and -oil factory in connection with the onboard factory, all off-cuts and eventual bycatch can be utilized for commercially viable products. Moving from utilization of a whole fish including guts from 35% in a normal fillet production to now 100% is an important step in taking responsibility for the life below water.

  • Energy efficiency but yet safe and fast commute

These somewhat contradictory requirements have been solved by installing an engine system with a powerful 5400kW, 750rpm main engine that gives the vessel strength in bad weather and can secure fast commute on the long sailing distances. The common rail technology, which is new to this generation of fishing vessels, secures optimal utilization of the gas oil consumed.

To avoid starting the main engine when the need for energy is lower, e.g. during production at sea or when docking in harbor, two 1254kW auxiliary engines have been installed. These auxiliary engines can both alone or in combination satisfy the different operational modes of the trawler and thus minimize energy consumption.

To reduce energy consumption electronic trawl winches have been chosen instead of hydraulic and all lighting onboard is LED.

  • Highest quality fishery and on-board processing with real time quality registration

The on-board factory is built with state-of-the art equipment. All walls and floors are stainless steel for optimal hygiene, the cutting- and packing stations adapted for optimal working conditions and all produce will be packed and automatically palleted and registrated online during processing.

  • Best work place in the North Atlantic

To recruit the best crews and offer them the best working conditions it has been crucial in the design process to find room for single cabins where crew-members can have their privacy. Moreover spacious living rooms, fitness- and relax areas has been prioritized. The choice of materials and design contributes to the well-being onboard and the walls are decorated with Greenlandic, Faroe and Danish art.

  • Minimize discharge to the marine environment

Using only Marine Gas Oil with max 0,1% Sulphur and no Heavy fuel is not a new thing in Royal Greenland, but the standard is continued on the new vessels, where initiatives have been made to further optimize the use of oil and find ways to consume less. New is, on the other hand, the incinerator system for continuous operation that ensures optimal incineration at a high temperature and a biological sewage treatment plant that will ensure that only purified wastewater is led back to the sea.

Next news: Virtual tour on board (the new) M/tr Sisimiut