DISCOVER Magazine #7

More than 200 fishing vessels built by Damen

Published in category: Fishing & Aquaculture

Damen aims to be the partner of choice as the fishing industry looks to renew an aging fleet.

With the majority of fishing vessels averaging at least 25 years of age, and with 50 years not even an exception, Damen is the partner when considering fleet renewal options.

Many vessels worldwide do not meet modern standards of hygiene, engineering, safety, occupational health & safety requirements, and HACCP veterinary standards. And, given the low oil prices, and the increasing demand for fish, the industry is relatively buoyant compared to other sectors, so it is the perfect time to think about fleet renewal.

Damen Manager Design & Proposal Fishery Marcel van der Zwan, says: “Damen Fishery wants to help customers and partner them in choosing new, modern equipment tailored to their exact fishing requirements, ensuring the best quality products, which in turn yield the highest prices.

“The beauty of choosing Damen is that we have vast experience and knowledge built up over our 90 years and this is backed by extensive R&D. We listen to our customers’ ideas and make sure the vessel really fits his ‘fishing world’.”

Damen can build vessels at its renowned North Sea specialist fisheries yard, Maaskant Shipyards Stellendam, or at Galati, Romania, which is suitable for larger vessels. Damen Maaskant Shipyards Stellendam is a real benchmark for beam trawlers and other North Sea fishing vessels and has been building them since 1948. China and Vietnam are also options, especially for clients in that region. Additionally, vessels can be built by Damen Technical Cooperation (DTC), whereby the whole package, including the building licences, design and materials are provided by Damen, so the customer can build wherever they prefer. Over the years, Damen has built more than 200 fishing vessels across the globe covering a wide range of fishing methods.

“The importance and benefits of a great relationship with customers becomes clear looking at the cooperation with long-standing Welsh client Kim Mould, when we jointly developed the mussel dredger Lolipop. This exceptional vessel type was groundbreaking at the time and was the basis for the oyster catcher Jacoba Prins, which won the Dutch KNVTS Ship of the Year Award in 2006. This was really innovative, being the first diesel-electric vessel in the industry and it could be operated by just two people,” says Marcel.

“The draught was truly exceptional at just 60 centimetres. It has only one generating set for all the services – everything was electrical – and this was combined with two azimuth thrusters with counterrotating propellers. This was also the first vessel that had the ability for the automatic hauling and setting of the nets.”

New Zealand Galatea II 2400 is still running. Damen built three of these vessels in 1979 and they are still sailing in New Zealand.

Currently, there are fifteen different fishing vessels in the Damen portfolio including everything from more traditional twin riggers and shellfish dredgers, to the new generation of Sea Fishers (ranging between 20-32 metres), to state-of-the-art fishery research vessels with the latest sonar and fish-finding equipment. There have been several new additions recently developed with the Norwegian Design company, Skipsteknisk.

The very latest is the 100 metre Factory Freezer Trawler, which has been specifically designed for the Russian and Far East markets. “These vessels are operating in the Bering Sea in extremely rough conditions.” Therefore, Damen has designed a vessel with very low fuel consumption and exceptional seakeeping ability to make it as comfortable for the crew as possible. “We did a lot of R&D into the bow form and propulsion system configuration. The length and beam have a big influence on the rolling movements, so this was also carefully considered.”

Westfleet Seafoods does not want to bid farewell to this benchmark, says general manager John Brown, but it does want to expand its fleet

Another recent addition is the Damen King Crab Fisher 1600. This 60.8 metre vessel is fitted with cages, has on board processing, cooking and freezing facilities, as well as a 30 m3 tank for live crabs.

The Damen Live Fish Carrier 4000, which has fish tanks of 4,000 m3, is designed for the aquaculture market. “We decided to develop this because of the trend for fish farms to go further offshore, so oceangoing vessels are more necessary.” The Fish Carrier includes vacuum loading, and pressure unloading of the live salmon. There are also on board delousing facilities. The vessel has fast loading facilities, whereby fish are loaded, stored and unloaded in a gentle manner through smooth, 500 mm hoses and pipes. Water is continuously flowing and filtered, oxygen is added and CO2 is removed.

Damen is also able to build the very latest fishery research vessels. As Marcel points out, a major advantage of being part of the Damen Group is that there is a lot of knowledge in all parts of the company. The department Defence and Security works on the Fishery Research Vessel projects together with sister companies such as Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding, which has decades of experience developing vessels with an extremely low noise profile and with the highest grade of sonar equipment, suited for the research vessels.

Marcel hints that more new vessel types are on the way, but it is too early to reveal details. “But, yes we are still expanding our portfolio!”

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