Data loading...

World Largest Trawler Accused Of Tuna Fishing In Indian EEZ India, April 12, 13

In the South of India the Kerala Fishing Boat Operators’ Association leaders have come up with an allegation that the authorities were facilitating fishing by foreign vessels in the coast.

“Fishermen set out to sea from Kerala have reported that they spotted ‘Atlantic Dawn’, an Irish fishing trawler which is one of the largest of its kind in the world. The vessel was spotted around 80 nautical miles off the coast,” Association general secretary Joseph Xavier Kalappurakkal.

Atlantic Dawn

“When we contacted the officials of the Fisheries Survey of India, they confirmed the presence of foreign vessels along Kerala coast,” said Boat Operators’ Association general secretary Joseph Xavier Kalappurakkal. He said the presence of foreign trawlers along Kerala coast proved the allegations by stakeholders in the fishing sector, to be right.

Various organizations in the fishing sector, boat owners as well as common fishermen, have been urging the government to control fishing activities by foreign vessels in Indian waters.

There have been allegations that mindless fishing by these big vessels is one of the reasons for depletion of the fish wealth.

“We came to know that the fishermen on board the ‘Atlantic dawn’ have got a very good catch of tuna. The vessel has the capacity to carry about 8,000 tons,” he said. He urged authorities to intervene in the issue immediately.

Atlantic Dawn was the world’s largest trawler – and the most controversial fishing vessel ever built. At 144 meters long, weighing 14,055 tons with a crew of sixty-three the ‘Atlantic Dawn’ was the biggest, and most technologically advanced, trawler in the world. Two 9,655bhp diesel engines could propel the ship to a top speed of 18 knots (around 20 mph), and nets hundreds of meters wide could be pulled through the sea. Atlantic Dawn was also fitted out with advanced low-frequency, long-range fish locating sonar and featured full on-board filleting, freezing and refrigeration facilities. When operating at full capacity the Atlantic Dawn could catch, process and freeze 400 tons of fish every 24-hours and could hold a total of 7000 tons of frozen fish. It three thousand tons of fuel allowed the ship to stay at sea for up to five weeks at a time. Atlantic Dawn was built at the Umoe Sterkoder shipyard in Kristiansund, Norway at a cost of €63 million.

However the trawler until now has not been known to target tuna, but mostly sardines, mackerel, and anchovies.