There’s officially a new kid on the salmon-harvesting block.
All eyes at Discovery Harbour Marina were turned to wharf K, slip 21 last Thursday, as the newest member of the Marine Harvest fleet of ships, the Amarissa Joye, was in town for an “open house” of sorts, showing off the latest and greatest in aquaculture technology.
At a whopping 31.7 metres long, 10.3 metres wide, with a chilling capacity of 200 tonnes and the ability to process 8,000 fish per hour of operation, the Amarissa Joye is now the jewel of the Marine Harvest fleet.
Twice the size of any previous salmon harvesting ship, with twice the capacity and the latest and greatest in fish farming technology aboard, the Amarissa Joye was custom designed and built for Marine Harvest by ABD Boats in Vancouver, so it’s also a genuine “Made in B.C.” endeavour.
“The technology and scale of fish farms has been improving immensely over the years, but the scale and capacity of harvesting hasn’t,” said Ian Roberts of Marine Harvest. “Until now, that is.”
Roberts said that they would have previously had two harvesting ships running at capacity per day to get 25,000 to 30,000 fish to the processing plant, but now the Amarissa Joye can do that much work by itself, in the same amount of time.
It’s also designed to improve the quality of the fish being harvested using the latest in harvesting and refrigeration technology in which the salmon “go from swimming in the ocean to bled and on ice in about 20 seconds,” according to Roberts, minimizing the stress placed on the fish during the harvesting process, and locks in the quality much faster than previous harvesting practices.
“Unlike commercial fishing, we have to kill our fish humanely,” Roberts said, “and this process improves those conditions even more. The technology is just amazing.”
The Amarissa Joye will now dock in Port Hardy for another public viewing before getting to work.