Omega Shipyard christens new red crab vessel
Omega Shipyard, a subsidiary of Omega Protein, officially christened its new vessel, the Southern Star, on 8 July at its Moss Point, Mississippi facility.
The retrofitted vessel, formerly a supply vessel for the offshore oil industry, will be used by Cooke Uruguay in the South American red crab fishery. Cooke Uruguay is a sister division of Omega Protein, which was purchased by Cooke Inc. back in 2017.
The USD 12 million (EUR 10.7 million) investment in the retrofit started as a project to turn the Southern Star into a menhaden vessel for Omega Protein. However, since the acquisition by Cooke, plans for the vessel changed, and now the Southern Star will fish for red crab as one of the most advanced vessels in the fleet.
"This vessel is going to be a quantum leap into the future compared to what's currently available," Tim Milligan, the director of the Omega Protein shipyard, said in a release. "It's going to expand the capabilities of the fleet in a big way."
Renovations include a rebuilt propulsion system, new digitally-controlled equipment that will allow for less manual labor, processing facilities, and more. All told, the new equipment will allow the vessel to stay at sea for up to 30 days per trip.
"With these new renovations, you can't get a fresher product," Milligan said. "They're going to allow us to provide seafood that comes straight from the ocean and goes directly to the customer."