8 June 2015

New vessel will contribute towards MSC-certified shellfish sector

Damen Maaskant Shipyards Stellendam is constructing an innovative shellfish dredger for the Dutch fishing cooperative YE 118 Noordland BV. The 43-metre vessel, sharing the same name as the cooperative, shows how a standard Maaskant design can be modified to meet the ever changing requirements of the modern fishing industry.

“We are very happy to have been given the opportunity to build such a cutting-edge vessel,” says Damen Maaskant Shipyards Stellendam Director Frits van Dongen. “The Noordland will be able to harvest shells in water up to 20 metres deep – something that is made possible by the advanced pumping system.” The pump will be connected to a 30-metre suction pipe, with a 1-metre wide basket at one end that the vessel will position over the target area.

Supporting a sustainable fishery

This fishing technique minimises environmental damage such as disturbance to the seabed and unwanted bycatch. In fact, the Dutch shell fishery is an MSC certified industry – meaning that it is sustainably managed to ensure healthy levels of the target species while supporting the surrounding ecosystem. At present, the majority of the catch is sold in Southern Europe while the consumption of shells as a delicacy is relatively unknown in the domestic market.

As well as installation of the specialised fishing equipment, the yard’s scope also includes fitting of the vessel’s generators and propulsion system as well as carpentry, electronics and piping. Delivery is planned for mid-October.

Meeting customer demands with flexible design

Also at the yard at this time is the BS 8 Valente, a Welsh mussel dredger built at Damen Maaskant back in 2003, which has returned to undergo routine maintenance and repair works. Seeing the Valente and the Noordland together demonstrates the flexibility of the yard’s design process. Although used for different duties – dredging for mussels requires a different setup and equipment than when shells are the target catch – the vessels’ hulls are actually identical. Maaskant can fit out the standard hull to meet a client’s specific fishing requirements – once again proving that it is at the forefront of emerging fishing technologies, working together with fishing vessel owners and captains to develop new techniques and equipment.


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