Hawaii Firm Announces Plans To Construct A Stable Semi-Submerged Fishing Vessel (SSFV)

SEACO, I n c o r p o r a t e d , 146 Hekili Street, P.O. Box 1171, Kailua, Hawaii 96734, has announced plans to design and construct an advanced type of fishing craft for use in the rough waters around the Northwest Hawaiian Islands. The 300-ton vessel will be 100 feet long and similar in concept to the U.S. Navy's Stable Semi-submerged Platform, SSP Kaimalino. The K a i m a l i n o has been operating in Hawaiian waters for nearly four years under the control of the Naval Ocean Systems Center, Hawaii Laboratory.

Present plans call for detailed economic, technical, and fisheries' investigations of the SSFV during the r e m a i n d e r of 1978. During 1979, a detailed design of the vessel will be completed, with the start of construction planned for early 1980. Several State and Federal agencies, including the UH Sea Grant Office, are cooperating with SEACO in conducting studies and sea trials to demonstrate the effectiveness of this type of craft.

The SSFV Program Manager, Mark Rice, cited recent fisheries studies by the National Marine Fisheries Service which have uncovered large fish and lobster resources in the Northwest Chain.

While the present fleet of Hawaiian fishing vessels is not designed for extended deployment in these rough waters, the 200- mile fisheries zone now under United States jurisdiction makes a Hawaiian Fleet e c o n o m i c a l l y and politically viable. There exists a need for new vessels that can fish effectively in this untapped region.

The p o t e n t i a l of SSFVs for fishing in the Northwest Chain holds additional promise for diversification of Hawaii's industries.

Involvement of local companies and local labor will give Hawaii a unique vessel to tap these large f i s h r e s e r v e s , and could provide the State with an exportable shipbuilding technology.

The SSFV design may also serve for scientific research and passenger-cargo versions, according to SEACO.

As with the Kaimalino, the new SSFV will have a high degree of stability in open sea waves up to 20 feet. The advanced design of the vessel will provide a higher degree of crew comfort, increased efficiency, and improved safety for fishermen working around remote reefs and shoals in the Hawaiian Chain.

SEACO is an independent technical services and research firm with headquarters in Kailua. The company is engaged in development and analyses of high technology ocean systems, communications, technical documentation, and systems management projects under contracts with the government and private firms, and has held contracts with the Navy for operation and engineering support of the SSP Kaimalino. The company's approximately 100 scientists, technicians, and engineers represent a pool of talent available to strengthen Hawaii's position in the research and scientific industries.

Other stories from October 1978 issue


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