Omega christens new ship for Cooke Uruguay
Omega Shipyard, a subsidiary of Omega Protein, has christened the latest ship to be built in its Moss Point shipyard in Mississippi.
The newly retrofitted F/V Southern Star is bound for Uruguay where it will be used by Cooke Uruguay, a sister division of Omega Protein, to fish for red crab.
“This vessel is going to be a quantum leap into the future compared to what’s currently available,” said Tim Milligan, director of the Omega Protein shipyard. “It’s going to expand the capabilities of the fleet in a big way.”
The Southern Star began its service in 1979, as a supply vessel for the offshore oil industry. It was bought by Omega Protein in 2016, prior to its acquisition by Cooke Inc. Originally the plan was for the vessel to become a menhaden fishing vessel. However, the vessel was redesigned and will now serve as a red crab fishing vessel in the Southern Atlantic Ocean. With US$12 million invested in the retrofit, the Southern Star will be one of the most advanced vessels in Cooke's fleet.
Renovations include a rebuilt propulsion system and digitally controlled equipment which will reduce labour and help the Southern Star to stay at sea for up to 30 days per each trip.
The vessel will also have facilities to process, package, freeze and store red crab on board, allowing the vessel to sell directly to retailers and wholesalers.
After leaving Moss Point, the Southern Star will have a permanent home port in Montevideo, Uruguay.
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