Latest in RFC series heads for Far East

Mekhanik Maslak

The latest in a planned series of new trawlers for the Russian Fishery Company has been delivered by the Admiralty Shipyard in St Petersburg

Mekhanik Maslak sailed from the yard in February for the long delivery trip, taking the southern sea route via the Suez Canal and calling at Busan in Korea before its scheduled first call in Sakhalin in April.

This series of 108-metre long, 21-metre breadth ST-192 factory trawlers is designed to operate in the Bering Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk, fishing with pelagic gear for pollock and herring – and replacing much of the Russian Fishery Company’s fleet of well-maintained by elderly Soviet-era tonnage.

A key reason for embarking on this very significant investment, part of the Russian government’s investment quotas initiative intended to boost both shipbuilding and fisheries, is the need to move into more sophisticated processing at sea, not least in producing surimi. The older fleet, dating back to the Soviet era, inevitably becomes increasingly high-cost in terms of maintenance, while having also reached the limits of what can be achieved by upgrading factory decks and facilities on board.

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