Aker BioMarine Invest in Sustainable Krill Fishing Vessel

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15 Feb 2017 --- Aker BioMarine has awarded a contract to VARD to build a state-of-the-art krill-fishing vessel that will fish in the Antarctic. The company say that, “it is the largest single contract VARD has ever received for a fishing vessel, and we are very happy to have entered a shipbuilding contract with them.”

Webjørn Eikrem, EVP Production and Supply Chain at Aker BioMarine noted, “This will also contribute to securing Norwegian jobs in the future.”

The state of the art vessel will add to Aker BioMarine’s key message of being environmentally friendly and sustainable. Matts Johansen, CEO at Aker BioMarine explains how since Aker BioMarine was established in 2006, such messages have been its focus.

“From day one, we have worked with WWF Norway. The krill fishery in the Antarctica is one of the most sustainable fisheries in the world, and Aker BioMarine hopes to yet again set a new bar for sustainable harvesting with this new vessel.”

“Norwegian skills and new technology will help us reduce our carbon footprint even further with this vessel,” he says.

Talking to NutritionInsight, Katrin Berntsen, Director of Communication at Aker BioMarine, explains the eco-friendly aspects of the new 130-meter-long krill vessel in more detail.

“The vessel will come equipped with Eco-Harvesting technology, a unique trawl system, which uses a special mechanism that singles out unwanted by-catch (non-krill species) releasing them unharmed,” she says.

“This invention reduces by-catches to near zero. In addition, the new krill vessel will be equipped with the latest in eco-friendly technology, making it energy efficient in operations.”

Berntsen also explains how the vessel will help the company to drive market innovation saying, “Aker BioMarine explores new, groundbreaking science that can drive demand in new market segments.”

She adds that innovation in this market is much needed, citing a study published in the May 2016 issue of Progress in Lipid Research, which states, “very few countries of those surveyed had population with optimal levels of omega-3s EPA and DHA nutrients in their blood.”

“Given these findings, it has been suggested that low omega-3 status is a public health issue, and that it is imperative to get these nutrients into the hands of as many people as possible,” says Berntsen.

“Aker BioMarine has kicked off the Omega-3 Index Project (O3i) with several industry partners to bring greater awareness to the ramifications of having low omega-3 levels, which has become a global health concern.”

She continues, “The majority of the global population is omega-3 deficient, which is why Aker BioMarine with partners have taken on the project to raise awareness about the dangers of having a low Omega-3 Index and how to do something about it.”

The acquisition of the new, sustainable fishing vessel is hoped to help the company reach more consumers in need of Omega-3 nutrients.

Construction is planned to begin in May this year ­– and the vessel is expected to complete at the end of 2018. The total value of the contract is 1 billion NOK, including buyer’s supplies.

According to the plan, the new vessel will be in operation in the Antarctic from the beginning of the 2019 season.

Roy Reite, CEO and Executive Director at VARD says, “This is a very exciting fishery project that we are really looking forward to work with.”

“We have developed a range of innovative vessels together with our good relations in Aker since the 1980s, and also this project is built on good cooperation and complementary expertise within fisheries, ship design and technology.”

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