The new fishing vessel Kirkella was in London on 24 April 2019 for her official naming ceremony, at which 3,000 portions of fish and chips were served.

She was named by HRH The Princess Royal at the ceremony, which was attended by officers, crew and shareholders of Kirkella’s owner, UK Fisheries.

Decked out in bunting and naval flags, Kirkella arrived at Greenwich on the day before, steamed under a raised Tower Bridge before turning opposite the Tower of London and then returning to moor at Greenwich, close to Cutty Sark Gardens.

Kirkella is one of four sisters delivered to Icelandic owner Samherji since August 2017; the others are Cuxhaven and Berlin (under the German flag) and Emeraude (flying the French flag).

Kirkella is 81m in length, 3,976 gross tonnes and was completed in August 2018 by Myklebust Verft, Gursken (Norway) on a hull launched in Poland by Crist SA of Gdansk in Ausgust the previous year.

Registered in Hull, she is operated by UK Fisheries Ltd, a company which is part owned by the Onward Fishing Company (part of Samherji), and by Parlevliet & van der Plas Haringhandel based in the Netherlands.

The company owns both Marr Management and Boyd Line, both names familiar with the fishing industry.

Kirkella collects on average around 12 tonnes of fish every haul, with the fish reaching the freezers within 40 minutes of being caught. In total, the vessel can store up to 780 tonnes of fish fillets.

She is designed to fish the seas in the Barents Sea, taking her 5 days to reach the fishing grounds from Hull.

Photos by Fraser Grey and Krispin Atkinson; words by Krispen Atkinson

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