A brand new state-of-the-art fishing vessel - the first to be added to the country’s deepwater fleet in over 20 years - is arriving in Nelson, New Zealand on Friday 15 June.
Built for Sealord by Simek shipyard in Flekkefjord, Norway, in an extensive 16-month build project, the $70m purpose-built vessel has almost completed her six-week journey from Norway via the Panama Canal.
Named Tokatu from the Māori proverb “Te toka tu moana” (the rock that stands in the oceans) that is, a bulwark against adverse circumstances, the vessel is designed to fish all species and will produce base products at sea. At 81.75 metres long and 4706 gross tonnage, Tokatu will be the largest fishing vessel in New Zealand.
Sealord CEO Steve Yung says: “After much planning and anticipation, we’re very pleased Tokatu will soon be arriving here in New Zealand. This significant investment by Sealord demonstrates our shareholders’ long-term commitment to the business. Equipped with energy production equipment to allow electricity to drive the vessel at times, additional fuel saving technology and the new Precision Seafood Harvesting technology, it also showcases our dedication to sustainability and innovation.”
Sealord Board Chair Whaimutu Dewes, (also Chair of Moana New Zealand which jointly owns Sealord), said Tokatu was reflective of Maōri interests in modernising its fishing fleet. “The Board and Sealord senior management are focussed on continuing to develop Sealord as a progressive, forward looking fishing company. This new vessel enables us to improve our operational efficiencies, continue to lead sustainable fishing practices, and provide consistent world-class products for our customers.”
Tim Pankhurst, Seafood New Zealand Chief Executive, said he was looking forward to seeing the new vessel. “This is the biggest investment in a vessel New Zealand has seen. Our overall fleet is ageing and Tokatu represents a new chapter, and a significant vote of confidence in the seafood industry.”
Tokatu will complete final testing in Nelson before she is put to work on a four-week fishing trip off the West Coast of the South Island. A ceremony will be held later in the year to formally celebrate with key stakeholders the addition of Tokatu to Sealord's fleet.