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Blue North to build the most eco-friendly ship

Staff writer |
Natural resource company Blue North has signed a contract with Dakota Creek Industries to build one of the most environmentally friendly and technologically advanced fishing vessels.

The innovative "green" boat will be completed in the fourth quarter of 2014. It was specifically developed for the Alaska cod hook-and-line fishery, and was designed by Skipsteknisk AS, a Norwegian ship design firm. Blue North holds an option to build a second vessel starting late in 2013.

"One of our main objectives in designing and building this vessel is making absolutely certain that we move forward in a way that is environmentally sensitive and thoughtful. We recognize, accept and embrace our responsibility as stewards of sustainability in everything we do at Blue North," said Patrick Burns, Vice President at Blue North.

The new state-of-the-art Blue North fishing vessel offers five key environmental and safety advantages. First, the boat will deploy hook-and-line gear, which means that one fish will be caught at a time, with a focus on quality, as opposed to quantity. The benefit here is that the small lines leave a greatly reduced environmental footprint on the bottom of the ocean, compared to other gear types.

The boat will be constructed with an internal haul station, a first in the United States. The internal haul station assures the careful release of non-target species, and it allows all vessel personnel to accomplish their work inside the boat.

The boat will efficiently utilize proteins that currently go to waste, with the ultimate goal of 100 percent utilization. That said, the new Blue North vessel is not focused on catching more fish; instead, its onboard processing facility will use more of the fish that are caught.

The new Blue North vessel will also offer lower emissions and fuel savings of an estimated 30 percent or more, versus conventional designs. The vessel will be cleaner, thanks, in part, to the unique use of diesel electric twin-bladed dual-azimuth propulsion. The boat will also be one of the first fishing vessels in the United States built to meet new Tier III emissions standards set by the Federal government.

Fifth, the new Blue North vessel will greatly enhance the safety of life at sea. Its internal haul station means that crews will no longer be exposed to rough seas and freezing temperatures for hours on end, and the risk of falling overboard during hauling is negated.

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