Cooke buys new scallop vessel for Wanchese Argentina operations

The Erin Bruce II.

Cooke-owned Wanchese Argentina, a subsidiary of Wanchese Fish Company, has added a new-built scallop vessel to its fleet.

On 5 August, the vessel was christened after being completed at the Astilleros Armon shipyard in Vigo, Spain.

“This new vessel is designed to be fuel efficient, offer modern accommodations for the crew, and leverage new technology and equipment to find new efficiencies in our harvesting and processing,” Cooke Seafood USA CEO Ross Butler said. “We are excited to welcome the Erin Bruce II to our fleet and we will continue to replace and modify vessels in the coming years as part of our ongoing renewal plan.”

The Erin Bruce II, the second vessel in Cooke’s Argentine fleet for Wanchese Fish Company in recent years, is 50.5 meters in length and 12 meters wide. It has a carrying capacity of 400 cubic meters, and can fit 37 crew members.

“A number of new features were added during construction that will allow Wanchese to exceed regulatory standards and better meet the growing needs of customers, including grading machine; processing electronics; electronic winches and autotrawl, radars, echo sounders, and trawling sensors in doors and nets,” the company said in a press release. “It is the biggest new build of a factory freezer trawler in the Argentine fishery and the first to be constructed specifically for the scallop fishery. The vessel will set sail for Argentina shortly and is expected to be in operation in Argentine waters in the first quarter of the 2024 season.”

Wanchese Fish Company is a division of Cooke Seafood USA, which itself is operated by Blacks Harbour, New Brunswick Canada-based Cooke Inc. A seafood harvester, processor, and distributor, Wanchese is capable of harvesting over 6,000 metric tons of seafood products each year. The fishery is certified by the Marine Stewardship Council.

The vessel is named after the original Erin Bruce, built in 1978 and cited by the company as the first vessel in the Argentine scallop fleet.

Photo courtesy of Cooke


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