Clean Seas shells out for advanced vessel amid Pt Lincoln pull out threats

Posted by Editorial on 16th July 2008

Clean Seas Tuna Limited has announced the commission of one of the largest and most sophisticated specialised harvesting vessels in the Southern Hemisphere – The Ulysses II. The news comes at a time when they have warned that they may be forced to leave Port Lincoln if mining exports are allowed to proceed.

The 32 metre vessel is purpose fitted out to preserve its sustainable seafood cargo under constant cold chain control from ocean to plate. Keeping the temperature of seafood low throughout the supply chain is vital and such equipment is pivotal to the success of fishing operations.

According to Clean Seas, it is the most advanced in its design and is capable of harvesting up to $1 Million worth of Kingfish in one operation if necessary. The vessel has capacity for up to 100 tonnes of zero degrees water on board.

Chairman Hagen Stehr AO indicated that such a vessel did not come cheap, suggesting that “if the vessel was to be built at present it would cost close to $4 million”. The positive impact on company performance would more than outweigh the cost according to management. “The vessel is a valuable addition and crucial in creating a top brand for its fish around the world,” a statement advised.

The company, which last week became the first aquaculture company in the Southern Hemisphere to receive the ‘Friend of the Seas’ certification for sustainable practices, also announced that it was on track to meet Kingfish production targets.

Clean Seas yesterday threatened to leave their Port Lincoln base if new mining exports from the town are allowed. The company is synonymous with the famous fishing region of Australia but, if mining exports are permitted through its port, then they are likely to leave with Mauritius a possible option. The risks of allowing the mining exports have already led to protests and are of great concern to Mr Stehr. “If something would ever happen or the smallest thing would go wrong, I mean we would be canned around the world, I can’t afford to take those risks,” he advised, according to the ABC.

In calling for Premier Mike Rann to call a halt to the plans, Mr Stehr outlined the marketing difficulties they would face.”It is not conducive for the seafood industry to be two kilometres from a mining operation,” he was quoted as saying in The Advertiser. “The Europeans wouldn’t have a bar of it, they would drop us.”