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Photos: Ismo Henttonen

Tailored vessels for Norwegian fishing industry

Safety, ergonomics and durability are the criteria that Norwegian fish processing industry expects from their work boats. Finnish Weldmec Marine has responded to that demand and has designed new purpose built aluminium boats, which fulfill the high Norwegian standards.

Text: Leena Seretin

Over 15 years ago, when Matias Iiskola started manufacturing boats in his father’s garage, he did not anticipate that the same business will have turnover of 6 million euros, over 40 different types of boats and only growth insight. Small one-man-workshop has grown into export-oriented Weldmec Marine. Iiskola, as the owner and Chairman of the Board, is now concentrating on increasing the manufacturing capacity. Jari Ahoranta, who previously worked as Sales and Marketing Manager, is now CEO and in charge of finding new market segments. That is what they have found in Norway.

Fish processing industry is already a huge business in Norway and the future seems to bring even more growth. For this, the industry needs new tools, such as quality boats for harsh conditions, which makes the exhausting work more efficient, faster, safer and more durable. “Generally there are four important criteria for commercial boats: safety, seaworthiness, ergonomics and durability, and all this to an attractive price. Together with our partners and by listening to customers, we have designed several new boat types, to match the high criteria of Norwegian fish processing industry’s needs”, says Jari Ahoranta.

“In Norway there are four most important criteria for commercial boats: safety, seaworthiness, ergonomics and durability.”

As an example, he mentions a boat used for catching wrasse, a small fish which is transported live to the net pens, where the salmon is maturing to adult age. These smaller fish helps fighting parasites from the skin of the salmon, which means less antibiotics for the salmon – eco-friendliness is also pushing its way to the salmon farming. Fish farming industry needs multiple boats for a variety of jobs, this is only one example from it.

New safety regulations

Change of safety regulations in Norway shapes the demand of commercial boats: around 6.000 fishing vessels need to be retroactively certified to match the new regulations. “It is impossible to re-configure all of those old vessels to match new regulations in an economic viable way, which creates demand for new work boats in this industry section. Every single of our tailor made vessels meets these new safety standards”, says Jari Ahoranta.

Weldmec Marine has also local partners in Norway, which have enabled them to listen better of what their customers need and with this local presence, the vessels by Weldmec Marine fulfils exactly those needs.

Weldmec Marine, Matias Iiskola (left) and Jari Ahoranta.

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