New vessel docks in gateway to Antarctica

6 November 2020

The new $40 million Antarctic Aurora vessel’s arrival in Hobart this week is an important sign of confidence in Australia’s fisheries, which will boost Tasmania’s economy and support local jobs. 

Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries Jonno Duniam said the 62 metre longliner affirms Tasmania as the gateway to the Antarctic.

“This impressive vessel is a fantastic investment in Australian fisheries and a strong sign of confidence in the industry,” Assistant Minister Duniam said.

“Australian Longline’s $40 million investment is evidence that Australia’s world-leading fisheries management and science is securing industry confidence and a strong future for the sector.

“Importantly, its continued operations out of Tasmanian ports will provide a valuable contribution to the state’s economy. The vessel will create 20 new jobs, and even more indirect jobs in the supply chain.

“Australian Longline Fishing represents world-leading environmental stewardship and it’s an important custodian of Australia’s fisheries in partnership with our government.”

Australian Longline Managing Director Malcolm McNeill said the vessel was state of the art.

“This deepwater longline vessel has purposefully been designed and built to catch fish from depths down to 2000m in the Southern Ocean, where strong winds, huge seas and freezing conditions are relentless,” Mr McNeill said. 

“On top of that, fish handling systems have been developed as a first for toothfish vessels that enhance fish quality and vessel unloading systems made more efficient by enabling product to come off already palletised and labelled for direct access to markets.

“There are numerous features that maximise the safety, well-being and comfort of crew, who will be spending months at sea, including a gym, sauna, hospital, wifi throughout the vessel and cabins with ensuites.”

The Antarctic Aurora will operate in the Commonwealth-managed Heard and McDonald Island Fishery and the internationally-managed CCAMLR New and Exploratory fisheries in the Ross Sea and east Antarctica.

Australia has a proud history of fishing in these waters, which are subject to some of the most conservation-oriented management rules and highest monitoring requirements of any fisheries in the world.