The NWFC fleet is one of the largest fishing fleets in the Arctic Basin. More than 20 fishing and crab-catching vessels regularly go to sea. At the same time, new vessels are being built at the shipyards – among Russian companies, the NWFC leads in targeted investments in the fishing fleet renewal.
Currently, NWFC has specialized crab and fishing vessels with factories onboard. The home ports of the fleet are Murmansk and Arkhangelsk. The Consortium’s vessels are approved by the authorities of China, Korea, Japan, Europe, and the USA as suppliers of products to these countries.
Bottom trawl fishing at sea is carried out by our modern freezing trawlers with processing factories on board. Crab processors, both specialized vessels and modified trawlers, catch crabs with special trap systems and immediately, on board, produce the finished product.
We have implemented individual HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) food safety management systems on all ships. Our approach to modern equipment includes not just, a powerful power plant, but also additional options, such as palletizing cargo systems that accelerate loading and unloading, etc.
In 2021, large-tonnage trawlers AK-0074 Barentsevo More and AK-5440 Norvezhskoe More, as well as crab processors MK-00648 Azimut, MK-0652 Arktur and MK-0659 Neptun were put into operation. The concern’s fishing vessels are currently among the largest in their class, and the trawler AK-0074 Barentsevo More received an award as the “Best Trawler of 2020” according to Baird Maritime.
Effective work in a cold climate is impossible without full living and recreational conditions. Our principle is that the vessel should be comfortable for the crew. All ships of the NWFC are equipped with single and double cabins for staff, spacious cabins and even gyms and saunas. Sailors eat centrally, in a shipboard dining room, the menu is compiled taking into account high energy consumption during heavy physical work in a cold climate.
The first companies that became part of the NWFC were engaged in fishing in Murmansk and Petrozavodsk. Back then, the fleet mainly consisted of MRTK (small-sized fishing stern trawler) and SRTMk (stern middle freezer trawler) vessels. In 2002, the North-West Fishing Consortium was registered, and it was headed by the legendary captain Mark Isaakovich Lyubovsky.
Since 2004, the harvesting of the Red King crab and the Opilio crab has been allowed in the Barents and Norwegian Seas, which required the conversion and construction of special vessels.
The Consortium became a pioneer in this area by investing in the development of its own projects. The head crab processor MK-4818 Zenith of NWFC own design was launched in 2019 at the Tersan Turkish shipyard. In 2021, the new vessels MK-0652 Arktur, MK-0659 Neptun and MK-0648 Azimut of the KSP02 project joined the fleet and started crab catching.
In 2014, the Arkhangelsk Trawl Fleet JSC (ATF), the oldest fishing enterprise in the Arctic Basin, became part of the NWFC. Its history dates back more than a hundred years: the first fishing voyage of the fleet began on June 6, 1920, when the RT-30 Luchinsky trawler went to sea. The first trawlers were small vessels with a displacement of 600-700 tons, and no more than 150 tons of fish could be on board of each such vessel at a time.
Of course, the vessels of the Arkhangelsk Trawl Fleet in 2014 bore little resemblance to their distant “ancestors”, but even they did not fully meet the ever-growing requirements of the industry. The company was one of the first to start cooperation with the Vyborg Shipyard (VS) and two new trawlers AK-5440 Norvezhskoe More and AK-0074 Barentsevo More have joined the Consortium’s fleet.
One of the ATF trawlers is named after Mark Lyubovsky, a famous Soviet and later Russian captain and organizer of the fishing industry. Mark Isaakovich Lyubovsky was born on May 3, 1929. After graduating from the Klaipeda Maritime School, he took up the position of a navigator on the Murmanseld vessels. In 1955, Lyubovsky became a captain on the fishing vessels of the White Sea base of Goslov. Mark Isaakovich was an excellent expert in his field, he, at the same time, honored traditions and was not afraid to learn new approaches.
Thus, Lyubovsky was the first one among captains to master multi-depth trawl fishing on SRT_M vessels. Crews under the command of Mark Isaakovich brought a much larger catch than was stated in the voyage order.
Since 1968, Lyubovsky has worked in senior positions at the White Sea base of Goslov KASSR, which later became Karelrybflot JSC. In February 2002, Mark Isaakovich took the post of president of the North-West Fishing Company, which included 9 fishing companies.
He was awarded the Order of Merit for the Fatherland, IV degree.
The Arkhangelsk trawl fleet was originally formed in 1920 from 12 nationalized trawlers: six vessels of the Arkhangelsk fisherman Bezzubikov and six of the Arkhangelsk Centrosoyuz. In the first year of existence, ATF vessels caught 1,700 tons of fish. Over the hundred years of existence, ATF has often experienced difficult times. During the Great Patriotic War, ships were withdrawn and re-equipped for military needs, but later the vessels returned to peaceful fishing.
The “90s crisis of the” also turned out to be a difficult period for the company, ATF managed to completely get out of it only in 2014 after its joining to NWFC.
Nowadays, ATF has specialized units for ship repair, transshipment and storage of cargo, personnel training and retraining. The catch is processed both on board vessels and at the fish processing plant in Arkhangelsk.
This plant was built by the German company EMF in accordance with modern standards. ATF Fish Processing Plant is a multiple winner of Russian and international industry exhibitions.
Crab catching, 2022
Crab processing, 2022