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International Maritime Consultants

International fisheries research vessel for Bangladesh

International fisheries research vessel for Bangladesh

Reflecting IMC’s international clientele, its latest fisheries research and survey vessel design was built in Malaysia for the Bangladesh Department of Fisheries. RV Meen Shandhani arrived in Bangladesh in June after completing extensive sea and fishing trials and its delivery voyage.

The Australian consultancy’s naval architects and engineers drew on a wealth of relevant experience, data and expertise when developing the research vessel’s design. Formed in 1994, IMC and its principals have a long interest in, and association with, the fisheries sector. Managing Director Justin McPherson worked in Australia’s Northern Prawn Fishery before training as a naval architect and the company’s design library now includes projects covering longliners, purse seiners and pearling vessels, as well as research vessels such as the 35.8 metre RV Solander and 22.6 metre RV Naturaliste. IMC is currently finalising a prawn trawler design to address the Australian fisheries’ ageing fleets.

Built at the Sumber Samudra shipyard, the 37.8 metre Meen Shandhani is capable of mid-water, bottom, and otter board trawling; as well as oceanographic research including sea bottom and water sampling.

The main deck layout reflects these diverse capabilities, with a net roller, trawl gallows and twin 2000 metre capacity single drum net winches, each capable of eight tonnes pull at 22 metres per minute, located aft to support stern trawling. Outriggers for otter board trawling are integrated into a large A-frame lifting boom further forward. Central to all trawling operations are a pair of trawl winches, each of which can store 2400 metres of 16mm steel wire rope and provide 10 tonnes pull at 22.5 metres per minute.

Bottom, midwater and shrimp trawl nets are of Korean design manufactured in Malaysia by Jaya Nets, while the otter boards are from BMI in Korea. BMI also supplied two of the snatch blocks, with the remainder of the suite being Blueline units from Denmark.

Forward of the trawl winches, beneath the shelterdeck, there is a stainless steel / aluminium semi-contact plate freezer to port, while IMC designed an alcove into the starboard side.

The alcove enables specialist hydrographic tools such as conductivity, temperature, and depth (CTD) packages and water sampling equipment to be safely deployed and retrieved, with lifting accomplished by a dedicated A-frame and hydraulic winch combination located on the deck above. The equipment can be transferred into the purpose-designed wet lab immediately forward of the alcove using an overhead Toyo monorail and electric hoist system.

Further reflecting the important scientific and sampling work the vessel will undertake, a dry lab is located ahead of the wet lab. This space also includes a dedicated instrument store.

The remainder of main deck is utilised for accommodation, with a large combined crew amenities and laundry space; galley; and mess / recreation space; as well as two cabins, each providing two berths for scientific personnel.

The shelter deck area also provides the access to the vessel’s 90 cubic metre fish hold. Located just forward of amidships on the lower deck the hold can be cooled to -22°C. IMC’s design also incorporates an 11 cubic metre refrigerated sea water (RSW) tank that can be maintained at -1°C. Bitzer compressors and condensers, and Desmi condenser pumps, are used for the RSW, plate freezer and fish hold refrigeration systems.

Aft of the fish hold are tank spaces, including double-bottom fuel tanks and the RSW tank, and the research vessel’s large machinery space. Propulsion power comes from a single Cummins QSK38-M engine with the heavy duty rating of 1400hp at 1800rpm. This drives a fixed pitch propeller through a 6:1 reduction Hitachi Nico / Twin Disc MG-5506 gearbox. Mentrade supplied the propeller, stern tube, shafting, and rudder package. Engine control and steering systems are from Kobelt.

The machinery space also houses a pair of 150kW, 50Hz generators powered by Cummins QSB7-DM engines and the two 75kW hydraulic power packs for the fishing deck equipment. A workshop area is located against the bulkhead that separates the machine space from the steering gear compartment, which also houses fresh water tanks port and starboard.

Accommodation for 20 crew is located forward of the hold and accessed from the deck above via an enclosed stairwell. Four berth cabins are positioned either side of the stairs, with a 12 berth cabin located further forward. Ahead of this is a ship’s store, and forepeak ballast tank.

The same stairwell also leads up to the officers’ accommodation on the forecastle deck where there is a twin berth cabin, an officers’ washroom, and single berth cabins for the captain and chief engineer who share an ensuite head.

Stairs lead up and aft to the wheelhouse, within which the navigation electronics are primarily Furuno (including X- and S-band radars, DGPS navigator, log, GPS plotter/echo sounder) with Raytheon Anschütz selected for the autopilot and GPS; Hapcon for the bridge navigation watch alarm system; and Haiyang for the AIS. Furuno also supplied a colour scanning sonar and Doppler current indicator, while a Samyung unit was specified for the net recorder. The only exceptions to the use of Furuno communications equipment are the SARTs (Samyung) and EPIRB (McMurdo). A four camera HKVision CCTV system is also fitted.

Outside on the forecastle deck are the hydrographic winch and associated control station, plus a 4.2 metre Hwayan rigid inflatable work / rescue boat and associated davit.

Meen Shandhani is classed by Bureau Veritas with I ✠ Hull ✠ Mach Special service / Research ship Unrestricted Navigation. Its steel hull has a moulded beam of 9.2 metres, depth of 4.6 metres and design draft of 3.3 metres corresponding to a deadweight of just over 194 tonnes. It is expected to commence extensive fisheries resource surveys in the Bay of Bengal shortly.

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contact details

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