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New Fisheries Protection Vessel For DARD

Sustainability +1 more

NORTHERN IRELAND - The Fisheries Division of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) has taken delivery of a new Fishery Protection Vessel, which recently arrived at Bangor harbour from Estonia.

The FPV ‘Banrion Uladh’ has been constructed over the past 12 months and will take up duty enforcing Fisheries Regulations in the Irish Sea with immediate effect.

Following an EU regulated tender competition, a contract for construction was awarded in May 2009 to A.S. Baltic Workboats in Estonia to build the 26–metre aluminium vessel at a cost of £2.25 million. The project has attracted a 50 per cent financial contribution from the EU.

The vessel has a very high technical specification, is equipped with twin MTU diesel engines delivering 2400 horsepower and achieving speeds of 27 knots. In addition to usual marine equipment, the vessel has a wet laboratory for scientific work and further electronic and computer systems enhance versatility with the ability to tow sophisticated sonar arrays and automatically monitor sea temperature and salinity.

The boat carries an integral Rigid Inflatable Boat to allow boarding of vessels at sea, has a range of 650 miles, and can accommodate seven staff.

The Minister, Michelle Gildernew MP MLA, said: “I welcome that the Department has taken delivery of this vessel, which will enhance our ability to undertake fisheries management in adjacent waters.”