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New Seychelles flagged purse seiner launched in Spain |21 January 2014

The latest Seychelles flagged purse seiner, the IZARO, was officially launched on Saturday in Bilbao, Spain.

The Minister for Natural Resources, Peter Sinon, was guest of honour at the ceremony at the invitation of Kepa Echebarria, the president & chief executive of Echebastar that owns Hartswater Limited Company, an IBC sub-company of the Echebastar Group incorporated and operating in Seychelles since 2000. Echebastar itself has been operating in Seychelles since 1985.

The IZARO, a 1900 m3 tuna purse seiner vessel, has been built at the Spanish shipyard Zamakona S.A., based in Puerto Pesquero, on a contract which represents a total investment volume of €30 million.

The vessel was designed and developed by Cintranaval-Defcar, Bilbao.

The 88 metre-long and 14 metre-wide new vessel is equipped with state of the art fish detecting technology, -60 freezing capacity and tuna handling systems.

The IZARO also has 20 cargo tanks for freezing and storage with a total cargo volume of 1,330 tonnes of tuna.
Zamakona Shipyard has taken almost two years to build the IZARO, with construction work starting in April 2012.

Speaking at the launch were Mr Echebarria, who introduced intervention by the various personalities including the Basque country authorities such as Arantza Tapia, responsible for Agriculture, Fisheries and Industry; Josu Erkoreka, spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice and Izaskun Bilbao from the EU Parliament.

While addressing the guests, Minister Sinon hailed the event as a historical and significant one since it is the first new purse seiner that is registered under the Seychelles flag immediately as it comes out of the shipyard.

He stated that the addition of the new purse seiner is the result of the excellent relationship that has and continues to exist between the Echebastar Group and Seychelles.
One innovative charasteristic of the vessel is its ability to focus more precisely on targetted species allowing more non-targetted species to be returned alive to the ocean.

The minister highlighted this new and innovative approach that aims to promote and encourage more sustainable fishing techniques in our EEZ and the Indian Ocean.
The minister took the opportunity to inform those gathered for the ceremony of the national effort to promote the concept and principles of ‘Blue Economy’.

He reassured the group of Seychelles’ full support in the joint quest to promote and practice more sustainable techniques in our activities that benefit from the natural resources of our ocean especially when it comes to our ‘Blue Gold’.

He reminded the gathering that fish is a finite but renewable resources and that with the right approaches we should entrust it upon ourselves that we manage our efforts to ensure that the  sustainable fishing pratices can and will be passed on for generations to come.

Thanking everyone present for attending the ceremony, Mr Echebarria said the IZARO will be sailing soon to Port Victoria to start commercial fishing in our EEZ.  

He also confirmed that another similar vessel scheduled to be completed by February next near and one due to be completed in June 2015 will both be registered and operate under the Seychelles’ flag.

It is worth noting that Echebastar operates its whole fleet of fishing vessels in the Indian Ocean. The company has stuck to its operational location despite adverse experiences and encounters with the pirates in the Indian Ocean. This was also a point that the minister took the opportunity to express gratitude for in his intervention.
The  IZARO is expected to arrive in Seychelles for its first fishing expedition sometime next month.

The minister also took the opportunity to meet and discuss the programmes and new investment opportunities of other Spanish tuna fishing companies such as the Albacora and ANABAC. The growth of the industrial fisheries in Port Victoria seems to be taking an upward trend.

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