Baffin Fisheries buys $ 72 million fishing boat
Baffin Fisheries says it is buying what will be Canada’s largest fishing vessel.
The new ship will be much safer and more economical than the ship it replaces, CEO Chris Flanagan said.
The company held a press conference on Friday morning to announce the newest addition to its fleet: a $ 72.5 million 80-meter stern trawler that can carry a maximum of 1,320 tonnes of frozen turbot or 930 tonnes of shrimp. of cold water.
The trawler will be designed by the Norwegian company Skipsteknisk A / S and built in Turkey by Tersan Shipyard. Baffin Fisheries expects it to be delivered in February 2024.
“We are very, very proud of this ship,” said Flanagan. “This will add a lot of benefits both financially and in terms of employment for Nunavummiut and Inuit.
Although the ship requires a crew of 34, the company believes it can operate with 30 people, leaving additional spaces for mentoring and training programs for technical support, first and second mate, cook, factory and trawl master.
Flanagan said the company employs around 50 to 60 Inuit on its ships throughout the year.
“But I will say there is a lot of room for improvement,” he said. “We really need more workers from Nunavut.
Many Inuit still do not see the offshore fishing industry as a job opportunity, he said.
“So it’s hard to educate people about fishing, get them to take training, and then work on vessels that are going to take them away from their community for months or weeks at a time,” said Flanagan.
Adamee Itorcheak, representative of Iqaluit on the Baffin Fisheries board of directors, said he wanted more Inuit to be employed by the company.
“When we really start to benefit from it is when we have the jobs,” he said.
Itorcheak, whose son works for the company, said he appreciates how much safer the new ship will be.
Safety features of the new vessel include a more modern system for launching a fast rescue craft and electric rather than hydraulic winches, eliminating the risk of an oil spill on the deck, Flanagan said.
“The bridge is the most dangerous place. So if you have a risk of oil on the deck, it’s a riskier environment. Electric winches eliminate that, ”said Flanagan.
Scotiabank is lending Baffin Fisheries $ 60 million for the vessel and the Canadian Economic Development Agency is lending $ 3 million.
The company also approached several Canadian and European banks to obtain loans for the vessel and, although fishing and Nunavut companies often struggled to obtain such financing, the company had several offers, a Flanagan said.
The vessel, which has yet to be named, will replace a 34-year-old vessel called the MV Inuksuk, which carries less than half the capacity of the new vessel.
Between reducing maintenance costs and reducing transits to the east coast, the new vessel will offer “extreme fuel and time savings,” Flanagan said.
Going forward, Flanagan said the ship and other marine infrastructure, such as the future deep-water port at Qikiqtarjuaq, will create a host of new opportunities for the company.
Currently, the company unloads its catch in Newfoundland, which can sometimes take six days. But the federal government’s announcement in August that it would spend $ 40 million to build a deep-water port at Qikiqtarjuaq would provide another place to disembark the ship, Flanagan said.
Also within the next decade, Flanagan said it may be possible to start harvesting southern yellowtail flounder and redfish, which currently has no proven commercial viability.
Itorcheak said he wanted the business to expand into new fishing grounds.
“I have always maintained that we should not be limited to two species and we should not be limited to one place. We need multiple sites, ”he said.
Catch limits and company locations are regulated by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. It deals primarily with arctic shrimp and turbot and fishes primarily off the northeast coast of Baffin Island.