New classification rules for fishing ships
Large scale upgrading of Russia’s fishing fleet needs new approaches, new rules and new technologies. Fishing ships of new design are more efficient and sophisticated which calls for modernization of classification rules.
New fishing ships ordered under the keel quota programme are distinctly different from ships of previous designs which is the need of the age. As Gennady Yegorov, Director General of Marine Engineering Bureau, told at the conference “New approaches to construction of the fishing fleet”, newly ordered freezing trawlers, like those of КМТ01 and КМТ02 design are of similar or smaller size as compared with Soviet time series but they are fitted with state-of-the-art plants and trawl equipment and feature higher performance and automation.
“Of course, the approaches to design and equipment of fishing ships have changed a lot during the period when they were not built in Russia. They get smaller but gain productivity”, says Gennady Yegorov.
Rosrybolovstvo (Russia’s Federal Agency for Fishery) says about 40 contracts for construction of fishing ships are in the works. The Agency believes that ships specializing in catching crab, mackerel and sardine will be in the highest demand in the future.
As of today, all crab catchers are old fishing ships converted or adjusted for crab catching which have been operating for 3-5 years after modernization and repair. For the first time in Russia AO Nordic Engineering has developed a dedicated crab boat design complying with all current requirements in the field of safe navigation. The vessel is intended for catching and freezing of crab. It is also equipped for processing and transportation of frozen goods and for transportation of live crab.
However, unclear state regulations in this area hinder signing of contracts for construction of new dedicated crab catchers. Crab quotas can be put up for auctions that will result in considerable market changes. All-Russian Association of Fishing Industry, Businessmen and Exporters suggests applying a common procedure when contracts are renewed but it is not clear if its voice will be heard.
Anyway, shipbuilding boom in the fishing segment has begun. Therefore, it is necessary to update the Rules of Russian Maritime Register of Shipping in the part of the fishing fleet.
Apart from characteristics of the ships the current Rules include the requirements of international conventions, like SOLAS, which do not actually cover fishing ships. This concerns the number of cross bulkheads which is surely less on ships with fish processing plants as compared with cargo ships; firefighting requirements, etc. Besides, trawl decks are usually made of high-resistance steel which is not produced in Russia and is not described by the Rules.
RS says it is working to improve its normative documents. For that purpose, RS is analyzing the experience of other classification societies, considers the proposals of shipyards, shipping and design companies.
To improve transparency and customers’ awareness of the technical design review, RS has developed a software allowing for a closer collaboration with the process stakeholders through online interaction.
Consideration of the 170701 freezing trawler design is to become the pilot project under the new software application.
It should be noted, that the year of 2018 is expected to see signing of contracts for construction of about 50 fishing ships under the keel quota programme.