Ronja Islander is Grieg Seafood's new wellboat. Image: Grieg Seafood
Ronja Islander is Grieg Seafood's new wellboat. Image: Grieg Seafood

Grieg Seafood welcomes new wellboat to Canada

Grieg Seafood is expecting the arrival of a new wellboat. The custom design is valued at CDN $40 million and has the world’s most advanced fish handling technology, according to Grieg.


The Ronja Islander weighs approximately 1,850 tonnes and has a width of 12 metres. The vessel can hold a volume of 1,800m³.

It can accommodate up to 12 people and will begin working in British Columbian waters as soon as it arrives. During operations Grieg will have between five and nine employees on board. This is the only wellboat Grieg will have operating in BC.

Custom design

Grieg’s seawater production manager Dean Trethewey said the Ronja Islander was custom designed for Grieg Seafood and built for Norwegian firm Sølvtrans, the world’s biggest wellboat leasing company.

“We are really excited. We spent lots of time engaging with all the different stakeholders including environmental groups, Salmon Watch Society and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. We listened to people talk about concerns and took it into account. We incorporated those ideas into the design.

“Fish welfare is at the top of our list, so disinfection and biosecurity is all automated on the vessel.

“One of the other things that we had heard people were concerned about is bycatch inside the pen. The vessel has an area for bycatch and it goes there until we're ready to sort them and release them back into the environment. We have a 100% bycatch separation system during site-to-site transfers. The bycatch is released back into the ocean.”

Unique challenges

The vessel is considered to have the world’s most advanced fish-handling technology to date and has been engineered to specifically meet some of BC’s challenges, such as sea lice. It has a sea lice removal system with 100% capture of the removed lice.

The Ronja Islander features state of the art technology:

  • Side loading pump circulation at eight times per hour hold flushing means increased circulation and flushing compared to bow-to-stern pump circulation
  • Twin movable gate system for fish handling
  • Freshwater recapture system for fish health treatments
  • 100% UV system for disinfecting circulating water in cargo holds during fish transfer
  • 100% sea lice collecting system for freshwater and hydrogen peroxide treatments
  • Refrigerated sea water system allows temperature control to improve fish handling during treatments and better oxygen transfer
  • 100% closed system during transport utilising carbon dioxide strippers and recycling of water
  • 100% video camera surveillance system for all fish holds and handling
  • 100% automatic washing system for cargo spaces and piping systems
  • Built in oxygen injection system

The vessel’s main engine is a Yanmar 6EY26W, 1920 KW and runs off diesel generators.