Russian Crab

Russian Crab

Russian Crab renews fleet

One of Russia’s big players, Russian Crab, is in the process of renewing its fleet of elderly vessels with new tonnage, and the first of these new crab catchers have been floated off for outfitting.

The company is building both vivier crabbers at the Onega Shipyard, while processor vessels are taking shape at the Okskaya Sudoverf JSC shipyard.

Vivier crabber Kapitan Egorov was launched at Onega in Petrozavodsk at the end of last year, the second vessel in a planned series of seven new 57.70 metre, 12.60 metre vessels with 440m3 vivier capacity for an estimated 110 tonnes of live crab.

These CCa 5712LS series vessels are designed to work under the challenging conditions of the Bering Sea, the Sea of Okhotsk and the Sea of Japan, and are being outfitted with systems that are new to the Russian fishing sector, with circulation systems to keep crab in prime condition. These come with monitoring systems for temperature, air volume in the tanks and the oxygen content of the water, with data transferred automatically to the wheelhouse and to the office ashore.

Kapitan Egorov is the second of seven planned vivier crabbers designed to replace older vessels in the Russian Crab fleet / Капитан Егоров – второй из семи запланированных краболовов живовозов, предназначенных для замены старых судов крабового флота России

There’s a big difference between this new generation of dedicated crabbers and the current fleet, much of which has been converted from other fishing activities. The new crabbers have two-level storage capacity, double the deck space, and are powered by modern engines with modest fuel consumption and lower emissions.

‘The construction of each new vessel makes our fisheries more sustainable, strengthens shipbuilding competencies, and stimulates the development of related industries,’ said Russian Crab’s general director Alexander Sapozhnikov.

‘Despite challenges, it is important to continue building a new high-tech fleet, not to stop and not slow down,’ he added.

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The launch of Kapitan Egorov followed the launch a couple of weeks previously at the Okskaya Sudoverf JSC yard of Kapitan Manzholin, the first of three planned crabbing vessels with processing and freezing on board.

The seven vivier crabbers and the three processor vessels are built to the same hull design developed by Damen Engineering, and have the same dimensions, although Kapitan Manzholin has accommodation for a crew of 32, while the vivier vessels carry 24 crew. It also has a 500m3 refrigerated hold, as well as a sophisticated processing deck designed to deliver products processed at sea.

Main engine power is 1600kW and the processor vessels are expected to have an operating autonomy of 40 days.

‘I’m sure that such innovative vessels will allow the crab industry to develop effectively and increase its contribution to the development of our economy of our country,’ said deputy minister of agriculture Elena Fastova, who became the new vessel’s godmother at the launch ceremony.

Kapitan Manzholin is the first of three crabber-processors in the series / Капитан Манжолин — первый из трех краболовов процессоров в серии

‘We’ll be able not only to provide the domestic market with high-quality Russian products, but also to expand the volume and scope of exports.’

Both new vessel series are being built under the investment quotas initiative.

‘This is a big step for the domestic crab fishing industry, and, no less important, for the Russian shipbuilding industry,’ Alexander Sapozhnikov commented.

‘Under the situation with external restrictions, the implementation of innovative projects requires shipbuilders and equipment manufacturers to speed up the development of competencies and breakthrough technical solutions. A successful partnership with the shipyard and designers gives us confidence that further renewal of the fishing fleet using import substitution is a prospect for the near future.’

The two new crabbers follow the long tradition of being named after outstanding and highly decorated fishermen – in this case Nikolai Platonovich Manzholin (1898-1976), who worked his way up from engine room stoker to serving as a captain-director with responsibility for a fleet of processor vessels, including Vsevolod Sibirtsev, Menzhinsky, Lamut, Koryak, and Chinook.

Kapitan Egorov is named after skipper Nikolai Alexandrovich Egorov (1906 – 1979) who began crab fishing in the 1930s as mate, and later became the master of the Koryak seagoing crab cannery, doubling production and  establishing a reputation as one of the most skilled crab fishermen in the Russian fleet.