Sunday, 12 July 2020

Nippon Maru No1's maiden voyage of nearly a year!

As UK Seafarer's Week draws to a close - spare a thought for these guys.

Last year December the Japanese longliner Kinsai Maru No1 was picked up on AIS fishing at Rockall. This was not the first time Japanese boats have been spotted at the Rock but this boat's story was slightly different.

The Kinsai Nippon Maru No1 had been completed in Japan and launched in August last year and was on her maiden voyage...from Japan. She left her home port around the 17th of September to begin a three month steam across two oceans, first the Pacific and then the Atlantic - to fish at Rockall! She is thought to target tuna which are then blast frozen on board. Individual bluefin tuns have made up to £2.3 million pounds on Tokyo's famous fish market - but they are landed fresh.

Last week an AIS alert picked up the boat again as she stopped for the first time - back in Japan! The boat has been at sea for over ten months - she has never touched the shore in all that time. Looking at the AIS track it would seem that she spent the first part of her long trip hunting fish down the west coast of the island of Ireland and then headed back across the Atlantic, thorough the Panama Canal and on to fishing grounds in the Pacific before heading home.