Omega Protein celebrates Vermilion launch in Louisiana
Omega Protein celebrated the launch of its newest vessel over the weekend at its facility in Abbeville, Louisiana, U.S.A.
Elected and state officials joined the company for the christening of the F/V Vermilion. In a press release the company said the vessel, the largest in its fleet of 30 ships, has state-of-the-art features designed to make operations safer and more efficient.
"The Abbeville processing facility and Omega Protein have been a foundation of the commercial fishing industry in Vermilion Parish for over 50 years," said U.S. Representative John Higgins (R-Louisiana). "The addition of the F/V Vermilion to its fleet is a strong sign of Omega Protein's commitment to doing business on the Gulf Coast."
The ship was originally launched as the Protector more than 40 years ago. Omega Protein invested USD 5 million (EUR 4.04 million) to turn it into a fishing vessel. That included the installation of a refrigeration system, which will enable the ship’s crew to provide fresh menhaden, and enhanced safety features for the loading and unloading of fish.
“Omega Protein is committed to improving our operations for the benefit of our customers and our employees,” said Omega Protein Vice President of Operations Monty Deihl. “The investments made in the Vermilion streamline our operations, improve the quality of our product, and most importantly, ensure the continued safety of our employees.”
Besides Rep. Higgins, other officials at the launch included Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Jack Montoucet.
“LDWF has always had a great working relationship with the menhaden industry and wishes to congratulate Omega Protein on its commissioning of a new vessel, which will harvest an important resource that has been a part of the fabric of Louisiana since the 1940s,” Montoucet said. “The menhaden fishery is a great example of how a responsible commercial fishery can work with scientists to provide crucial information to regulators so that the stock is protected while allowing an important fishery to operate sustainably.”
Houston, Texas, U.S.A.-based Omega Protein produces fish oil, fishmeal and organic fish solubles for companies that develop feeds for farm-raised pigs and fish. The nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids from the fish oil, reach humans through the consumption of pork and seafood products. The company also supplies omega-3 fatty acids to pet food makers.
Last December, Canadian-based Cooke Inc. acquired Omega Protein for USD 500 million (EUR 403.9 million). Prior to the sale, Omega Protein owned its fleet that worked in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean. Now, the company leases those vessels, including the Vermilion, from Alpha VesselCo, LLC.