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Four New Chinese Small Tuna Longliners For Fiji

In December four identical longliners set sail from Shandong Province in China to Fiji.

The vessels were delivered from the Hunghai Shipbuilding Company Ltd, which translates as ‘Yellow Sea Shipbuilding’ in recognition of the body of water into which the yard launches its newly built vessels.

The four identical longliners are 39.6m overall with 6.8m beams and a molded depth of 6.8m. Accommodation is for 15 crewmembers in three cabins, in addition to the captain’s cabin just aft of the bridge.

Designed for fishing trips of up to 60 days, the vessel has capacity to stow 196t of frozen tuna. Depending on the grade of tuna they can be stowed in one of the ship’s two -50-degree holds or, for the lower grades, in one of the vessels two -25-degree holds. A blast freezer has a capacity of 2-3t per day. Frozen bait is stowed in a 10-ton hold under the after deck.

To provide power for the freezer compressors, a pair of local-brand diesels drive 150kW generators. For the more demanding role of main propulsion, a reliable Cummins KTA19 engine delivers 600 HP to drive the boat at about 10.5 knots at 85% power. Fuel capacity of 88.8m3 gives the vessels a range in excess of 5,500 miles.

In the wheelhouse a functional set of electronics includes a Marol autopilot, Garmin and Simrad GPS/plotters, Furuno radar, I-Com VHF and SSB.

In 2011 there were a large number of vessels delivered from the yard. Although tonnage of deep-sea ships may be down, the numbers are more than made up for with about 100 fishing boats launched. Unlike the four tuna longliners, most of the new builds are trawlers for local waters.