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Shipping operator setting up in Scotland in wake of Marine Harvest order

MH Scotland has signed 10-year deals for three landing utility vessels supplied and operated by DESS Aquaculture. Image: DESS
MH Scotland has signed 10-year deals for three landing utility vessels supplied and operated by DESS Aquaculture. Image: DESS

Marine Harvest Scotland has signed ten-year charter contracts with Norwegian firm DESS Aquaculture for three new support vessels, signalling the entry of a new player in the service boat sector in Scotland.

The landing utility vessels will be built at the Dutch yard Niestern Sander Scheepsbouw BV. They will be delivered during first half of 2019 and will commence their long-term contracts with MH Scotland directly upon delivery. 

DESS Aquaculture commercial director Kjetil Løseth said the company – in which Marine Harvest has a 50% stake - would be setting up a new Scottish company, likely to be headquartered in Fort William or Kyleakin.

“Salmon farming in Scotland and Shetland is very interesting for us, and this is the start,” said Løseth. “We are working to try to get more business in this area, it’s a very interesting area for us.”

And he said the firm’s link to Marine Harvest wouldn’t prevent it looking for contracts with other producers.

Will work for all farmers

“We aim to work for all the salmon farmers that are interested to have cooperation with us,” said Løseth.

MH Scotland business support manager, Steve Bracken, said one of the new vessels would be used throughout Scotland, the second will be used in the north region – Wester Ross, Skye – and the third one will be used in Lewis and Harris.

Support boat statistics

Main dimensions

  • Length        27.55 m
  • Width         11.80 m
  • Depth         2.90 m
  • Speed         10 knots
  • Built year/yard   2019 / Niestern Sander
  • Accommodation          6 persons
  • Market       Scotland


  • Deadweight        160 tonnes 
  • Cargo          155 GT
  • Fuel oil       38 m³
  • Fresh water         30 m³
  • Ballast water       45 m³

Cargo systems

  • Cranes        HS Marine Cranes: AKC 145 /20 HE4 and AK 48/18,5 HE
  • Bow Ramp Hydraulic Bow Ramp for truck loading (smolt, fish feed, etc.)


  • Generator Sets   2 x Volvo Penta D13MH, 368 BkW at 1800 rpm
  • Gearbox     ZF Marine, ZF 500
  • Aux. engines       2 x Volvo Penta D7A, 80 ekW

“They’ll be used in sea lice treatments, net changes, harvests, site cleaning, site set-ups and grading, so they are general work boats,” said Bracken.

“Each will have a crew of three. We might have farm staff on the boat as well, doing certain jobs, so there is accommodation for them as well.”

He said MH Scotland’s increasing workload was the main driver for leasing the new boats. “We need to make sure we’ve got support vessels available to ensure we get all that we need to do done on time. That’s why it’s important for us to have a structure in place to be able to utilise these vessels in the proper way.”

DESS Aquaculture specialises in ownership and operations of vessels used in the aquaculture industry. The company is owned 50% by a wholly-owned subsidiary of Norway-headquartered shipping supplier Solstad Farstad ASA and 50% by Marine Harvest.

DESS has also signed seven-year charter contracts with Marine Harvest Norge AS for additional two wellboats. The new vessels will have a capacity of 3,500 m³ and will be sister vessels of two wellboats already under construction at the Sefine shipyard in Turkey.