How experience and expertise have helped create a game-changing krill fishing vessel

An eye on the environment

Thore Veddergjerde, Project Director at Rimfrost, shares his views on the partnership with KONGSBERG and the importance of sustainable practice in the Antarctic.

  • Gunvor Hatling Midtbø
    Vice President, Communications

“We have been working for a long time to make sure this vessel can conduct the most environmentally-friendly fishing operations ever,” says Thore Veddegjerde, Project Director at Rimfrost. “We’re confident that it will revolutionise krill fishing in Antarctica.

“Krill is a highly important element of the Antarctic ecosystem. It’s a keystone species, feeding whales, penguins, seals and seabirds. It’s our obligation to ensure that catching it does not affect this fragile ecosystem undesirably, and that our industry as a whole operates in a responsible manner.”

That’s been the driving force behind the latest addition to Rimfrost’s fishing fleet, the state-of-the-art krill trawler designed by Kongsberg Maritime and currently under construction in Turkey.

With experience of harvesting krill in Antarctica dating back almost a decade, the company is a world leader in the production of krill-based products, as well as research and development into ways of creating those products as efficiently and sustainably as possible.

Advancing from the outset

“In 2010, we successfully implemented the world’s first floating nutraceutical producer. Since then, with eight fishing seasons and 10 years of research in Antarctica behind us, new innovative and sustainable methods for processing and catching have been developed. All this expertise has now been brought into the new vessel.”

KONGSBERG, who helped with design work for the major conversion of Juvel in 2008 to improve the sustainability of its operations, was the natural partner for creating the new ship.

“We worked together on the conversion of Juvel, a project that demanded understanding of the challenges associated with krill fishing in a vulnerable and extreme environment,” says Thore. “KONGSBERG’s acquired experience and know-how from this project has been an important aspect of the design process for our new vessel.

“KONGSBERG is an innovative and solution-oriented partner, and we are confident that they bring quality-assured delivery of design and equipment when it comes to maritime sustainability and energy savings.”

“We are in this for the long haul, and preservation and sustainability are vital to the future of our business.”

“Our focus has been on low outtake of the krill biomass and high value of the product,” says Thore. “We will catch less krill to obtain the same amount of finished product, and at the same time we will improve quality.

“The new vessel will ensure our raw material consumption remains significantly higher than that of our competitors. Our operation and production processes are less energy demanding. We guarantee 100 per cent traceability from sea to product, and having 100 per cent ownership of the short value chain ensures precise quality and reliable production capacity.”

“We are subject to – and supportive of – tight regulations and control on our activities, and the new design and technologies will make it easier than ever before to monitor and report our catch data on a daily basis to Norwegian national authorities and the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources.

“All of it – the research, the collaboration, the design, the attention to sustainability –
is crucial for our business, as well as the wellbeing of the Antarctic ecosystem. We are in this for the long haul, and preservation and sustainability are vital to the future of our business.

“We’re confident that our new vessel will set a completely new environmental and sustainability standard for fishing and operations in Antarctica, and set Norway, Rimfrost and KONGSBERG at the very front of that movement.”

Thore Veddergjerde, Project Director, Rimfrost