Nunavut’s Baffin Fisheries signs deal for new trawler

“Baffin Fisheries are investing in the future”


Here's what the Baffin Fisheries new trawler will look like. (HANDOUT PHOTO)

Here’s what the Baffin Fisheries new trawler will look like. (HANDOUT PHOTO)

Baffin Fisheries, the largest shrimp harvester in Canada’s North, plans to add another vessel to its existing fleet of four.

That intent was announced June 16 when the Inuit-owned Nunavut company said it had signed a letter of intent with Norway’s Havyard Ship Technology for the design and construction of a new Arctic trawler to fish cold water turbot and shrimp in the Arctic Ocean adjacent to Nunavut.

The vessel under consideration is 75 metres long and 17 m wide, with a capacity to hold up to 1,200 tonnes—nearly double the capacity of the largest vessel currently operating in Nunavut.

“Acquiring a new, efficient, purpose-built factory trawler will allow us to improve operations, create new Inuit employment opportunities, and ensure more Nunavut seafood resources are harvested by Inuit-owned vessels and companies.” said Baffin Fisheries Chairman and President Jacopie Maniapik, in a release.

“The acquisition of this modern vessel with the very latest fishing and navigation technology signals that Baffin Fisheries are investing in the future.”

The letter of intent allows Baffin Fisheries to enter into a shipbuilding contract with Havyard before the end of August 2017, with a potential delivery date for the vessel in April 2019.

“This is a long-term, strategic decision that demonstrates our confidence in the industry, and the strength of Inuit-owned companies. This is a great day for our Company, our communities and for Nunavut,” Maniapik said.

The new vessel is expected to replace the Company’s first trawler, Inuksuk I, which will be 32 years old when the new vessel is delivered.

Baffin Fisheries is jointly owned by five Hunters and Trappers Associations in Nunavut: Amarok HTA in Iqaluit, Pangnirtung HTA in Pangnirtung, Mayukalik HTA in Kimmirut, Mittimatalik HTA in Pond Inlet and Nammautaq HTA in Clyde River. Each HTA elects two representatives to sit on the board of directors.

With this new addition, the fleet will include two large factory freezer multi-species trawlers and two factory freezer gillnetters.

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