Friday, February 1, 2013

Environmentally Friendly Longliner Launched

The environmentally friendly longliner Northern Leader was launched Jan. 26 by JM Martinac Shipbuilding Corp. The 184-foot freezer longliner – the largest fishing vessel currently under construction in the United States -- launched at 5:30 AM from Martinac’s Tacoma shipyard.

The vessel, designed by Seattle-based Jensen Maritime Consultants and owned by fishing company Alaskan Leader Fisheries, will be homeported in Kodiak, Alaska.

The Northern Leader, which is designed to hold more than 1,000 tons of cod fish, is operated by 31 people and can deploy a long line over 45 miles.

The vessel will be used to support the longline fisheries of the North Pacific, Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands. It’s powered with five Caterpillar generators supplying two 1,000 kW Schottel Z drive electric motors. The hold is refrigerated with 3, 150-HP compressors reducing the temperature down as low as -25 degrees Fahrenheit.

The vessel is ABS classed for the Maltese Cross, A1 Fishing Vessel with AMS. Total international tonnage is estimated at 1,800 ITC.

“The launch of the Northern Leader is another proud step in the 89-year history of Martinac building ships and creating jobs in the Puget Sound,” US Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) said. “I was proud to write and spearhead the passage of Congressional legislation in 2010 that supported the construction of the Northern Leader. We look forward to building more state-of-the-art fishing vessels right here in Washington State and supporting the growth of our maritime economy.”

Cantwell wrote legislation signed into law in December 2010 that created a cooperative for the freezer longline fishery. The cooperative eliminates the race for fish and enables companies to harvest more value from each catch, helping to increase profit by 20 percent and spur investment in new fishing vessels with greater processing and storage capacity.