A former training vessel has been given a new lease of life and switched to commercial fishing in the Russian Far East, delivering its first 275 tonne landing of mackerel and ivasi sardine to the port of Vladivostok.

The 52 metre, 1913kW Maria was built in Japan in 1983 and operated for many years as a training vessel for the Far Eastern State Technical Fisheries University, but when its role there was no longer viable, the decision was taken to transfer it to the state-owned service company FGUP Natribresurs.

The transfer took place in April last year and Maria was refitted at the Livadia Shipyard in Nakhodka. Once its inspections had taken place, a new fishing crew of 28 took over and headed for fishing grounds for its first trip.

‘The first fishing trip for a new vessel is always exciting. Now we can confirm that everything turned out well – and we returned with a good catch. The skipper and the crew worked well together and we can see that the crew and the trawler have good prospects ahead of them,’ said Yury Balashov, director of the Primorsky branch of the FSUE Natribresurs. ‘After unloading, we steam to Nakhodka for stores and get ready for the next trip.’

Maria is equipped to operate on most Far Eastern commercial species with a 50 tonne per day processing deck with freezing cabinets and a 300 tonne capacity refrigerated fishroom.

Source: FGUP Natribresurs