Seven Spanish fishing companies from Vigo that make up the Association of Fishing Communities and Joint Ventures (Acemix) plan to invest an estimated 120 million Euros in new ships to renew their fleet operating in third countries among which Namibia, Argentina, Senegal and the Falkland Islands.
The idea of the businessmen is to build the new freezer trawlers in Galician shipyards, as to benefit both the fisheries sector and the shipbuilding industry, both of which are of great importance to the regional economy.
Representatives from the Vigo Cooperative of Vessel Owners, ARVI, of which Acemix is part met last week with the president of the Xunta de Galicia, Alberto Núñez Feijoo, to request institutional support for the initiative.
The construction cost of each vessel is estimated between 15 and 17 million Euros, to be borne by ship owners. However the sector is requesting help from the regional government and the central government to help with funding mechanisms such as low interest or long term securities or other financial instruments.
The fleet operating in Namibia, Argentina, Falkland Islands and Senegal fisheries is made up of vessels which despite their safety records are becoming obsolete. Owners intend to replace them with new technologies including energy-efficient engines as well as state of the art navigation, capturing and processing systems.
Some years ago, Acemix proposed a gradual renewal of their vessels, and this is the first time an initiative of such characteristics has arisen in such a collective and coordinated manner ARVI managing director José Ramón Fuertes, told Faro de Vigo.
The modernization of the fleet is also geared to benefit Vigo shipyards that have suffered a serious downturn in activity and jobs. Currently the Vigo shipbuilding industry has orders for ten ships in 2011 and two for 2012. (FIS).