Largest Live Fish Carrier in Latin and North America Built in Chile Sails


Published Jul 25, 2023 5:59 PM by The Maritime Executive


The largest fish transport ship built in Chile is Patagon XI. This Saturday, July 22, after its first navigation, it became one of the most important ships on the Pacific Coast, manufactured by the ASENAV national shipyard in Valdivia.

During the day, and in coordination with the local authorities, the Caucau Bridge opened its arms to allow the navigation of three ships: the Beagle, the Otway, and the Patagon XI. It must be considered that the vessel measures 79.80 meters long of length overall, a width -also known as beam- of 17.20 meters, and reaches up to 26.6 meters in height, for which the management of the operation was vital so that the ship could pass under the tilting structure.

Regarding this new naval milestone, Heinz Pierce, general manager of ASENAV highlighted the importance of the ship going out into the ocean. “With the Patagon XI setting sail, we are giving a concrete signal that this Live Fish Carrier, built entirely in Chile, establishes us as a country as a benchmark and at the forefront of the shipbuilding industry and maritime solutions in general at an international level. Undoubtedly, its navigation under the Caucau Bridge implies that we can address different challenges, which is why we are proud to promote Chilean engineering and be a contribution as one of the most relevant shipyards on the Pacific Coast and the Caribbean”.

Regarding the destination of the Patagon XI, Jesús Grandón, head of Ship Inspection of the General Directorate of the Maritime Territory and Merchant Marine of Chile (Directemar in Spanish) indicated that although it will operate in national waters, from the city of Puerto Montt to the south, "it could transit to another country and initiate the corresponding procedures, since it has all the safety certifications and complies with international agreements."

Ricardo Contreras, ASENAV project engineer, highlighted the technical details of the Patagon XI: an innovative system for loading and unloading live fish, oxygenation of the species, and water treatment systems in the sectors in the ship operational regions.

“This vessel has a large cargo capacity of up to 400 tons of live fish, representing an advantage for the salmon industry, with fewer trips between a farm and harvest centers. The Patagon XI also has a CO2 treatment system and UV reactors to eliminate infections that the fish might have when getting into the vessel. In this way, clean water is returned to the sea, making this ship more environmentally friendly,” said the expert.

In this sense, Contreras also explained that the vessel also has a particular method of "dry" loading and unloading live fish; that is, after collecting the fish from the cages in the sea, it separates them from the water and enters them into a hold-pond that contains seawater in ideal conditions to receive them and keep them in good condition during transport. ASENAV designed this system 100%.

"We are delivering a conditioned live fish carrier with two holds, with capacities of up to 3,000 m3 of water and which includes an oxygenation system to keep the treated species in better conditions," concluded the engineer.

It should be noted that ASENAV is the most important Chilean shipyard on the Pacific Coast of South America and the Caribbean. With facilities in Valdivia, the shipyard already has extensive
experience constructing ships that have set milestones in naval matters. Among them is the Magellan Explorer, a luxury cruise ship with low environmental impact currently operating in Antarctica. Added to this is the construction of the Dra. Barbieri Oceanographic, which will be used for maritime exploration, is expected to be delivered by 2024.

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