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Investing in the fishery of the future


Fishery is a dynamic industry. It is based on a living, natural resource and customers as well as end-users are continually making higher demands on quality. By investing in new, state-of-the-art fishing vessels, Royal Greenland is spearheading this development and underlining the position as one of the leading fisheries operators in the North Atlantic in terms of technology, crew conditions and efficiency.

In order to stay ahead in the game Royal Greenland has invested more than 100 million EUR in two new trawlers, which are currently being built at the Astilleros de Murueta SA shipyard in Bilbao, Spain. The two vessels have been developed in cooperation with Skibsteknisk AS in Aalesund, Norway, which has considerable experience in designing fishing vessels for ice-filled conditions in Arctic waters.

State-of-the-art sustainable fishery

The new trawlers will replace an existing fish trawler, Sisimiut, and a prawn trawler, Qaqqatsiaq and will be fully equipped with the latest in propulsion, navigation and catch equipment. The new fish trawler will target primarily Greenland halibut and cod and will be equipped with a factory plant to produce fishmeal and fish oil from the remains left after the fillets have been produced. This achieves far higher utilisation of the fish than is possible today and minimizes discards. The second vessel will be a combination trawler able to catch both prawns and Greenland halibut. This provides greater flexibility with regards to future development in quotas and movement of stocks. 

Reaching new fishing grounds

The two vessels will have greater loading capacity than the existing trawlers and can therefore be at sea for more days at a time without having to visit port for unloading. This makes it possible to reach new, remotely located fishing areas. Currently, especially in Greenland, prawn stocks seem to be moving from well-known, traditional fishing areas around Disko Bay West Greenland further North along the coast. It is unknown why the stock is moving, but biologists from the Greenlandic Institute of natural resources have suggested that it could be either due to rising sea temperatures or the recent bloom of one of the prawns' arch nemeses, cod. Through trial fisheries, Royal Greenland have discovered new, previously unknown prawn fishing areas in Melville Bay in Northern Greenland and the new addition to the RG fleet will make it commercially viable fish so far north.    

In addition, to the increased range and loading capacity, the new vessels will have onboard palleting, which will make shipping times shorter, streamline fishing operations and shorten time-to-market.

The new trawlers are planned to be delivered at six month intervals in 2019.

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