CONSTRUCTION of the biggest whitefish trawler built in England for eight years is underway at Parkol Marine Engineering.
The 26m-long Our Lass III WY261 is due to be commissioned by Whitby’s Lockers Trawlers in August 2013 and will join the fishing company’s fleet of five existing vessels.
Managing director Arnold Locker said: “We are investing in the new trawler, which will meet the latest health and safety specifications and provide excellent working conditions, to take advantage of rising North Sea fishing quotas, as well as to expand our guard ship business.”
Lockers Trawlers Ltd was founded in 1987 by Mr Locker and his cousin, Michael Locker. The company, which primarily operates out of Peterhead, has 40 staff and a £5m turnover and is currently providing a guard ship service in both the North Sea and the Irish Sea.
The construction of Our Lass III has been made possible due to financial backing from Yorkshire Bank’s Investing for Growth initiative.
Mr Locker said: “Borrowing money is very difficult at the moment but we’ve been a Yorkshire Bank customer for more than 30 years and the bank has always been very supportive and understood our needs.”
Yorkshire Bank’s North Yorkshire Business Banking Centre’s business partner Duncan Brock said: “North Sea fishing is among Yorkshire and the North East’s historic and traditional industries, and it plays a vital part of the region’s commercial diversity. Arnold Locker is a significant figure in the sector and we’re pleased to support the continuing expansion of his business.”
Lockers Trawlers five vessels catch North Sea fish including cod, haddock and halibut, between Norway and the Yorkshire coast, and supply fish merchants between Peterhead and Whitby.
The company has been able to supplement its fishing income with guard duty contracts as the larger vessels it owns are favoured by gas and oil companies as they can remain on duty for longer periods of time.
The guard duty service sees vessels involved in commercial operations such as oild and gas provision and wind farming, in partnership with Streonshalh Guard Vessels of Aberdeenshire and is currently working alongside Groen Offshore Guard and Support Services in the Irish Sea, guarding new IT cables being laid from Holyhead to Dublin.