Jamaica Gleaner / Aiming to go after additional market share and satisfy what the company says is untapped local demand,
B & D Trawling has acquired an 80-foot fishing vessel that increases its fleet to six boats.
“We have been the leader in supplying the overseas markets, and we continue to do that, but what we found is that there is a significant demand in Jamaica for quality seafood. Because we were formally 100 per cent export, we want Jamaicans to get a taste of what the real quality product is like,” Roderick Francis, managing director, said.
B & D spent in excess of $80 million to acquire the boat called Captain Akeil . The vessel will primarily be used to catch lobster.
“We spent about US$600,000 acquiring the boat, and we’re adding another US$100,000 in equipment upgrades that will make this an absolutely state-of-the-art boat,” Francis said.
The B & D head said the boost to the company’s fleet would end up “creating 15 new well-paying jobs”.
“This is the largest of our fleet. The largest before this was 65 feet. This will give us about 20 per cent more capacity,” Francis said.
ADVANCED EQUIPMENT Pressed as to what would be so different about the new vessel, he said: “We’ll be dropping the usual lobster traps, but what makes this operation different is that we’ll be using advanced sonar and other equipment that will enable us to track the lobsters and move to areas where we can get better catches.”
The lobsters harvested will be quick-frozen within an hour of catch. Products will be sold locally and into select international, high-value seafood markets.
“This investment will create a significant economic return for fisheries while ensuring that the principles of fisheries conservation are upheld, respected, and resources safeguarded for future generations,” said Francis.