A new fisheries research vessel for the Western Australian Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development was launched in Geraldton yesterday (30 January).
The $3.2 million RV Djildjit Kaartadjiny (pronounced Jil-Jit Kart-a-jin, meaning ‘fish knowledge’) was named in consultation with Noongar elders, and will replace the retired RV George Cassels in service.
The 18.6-metre vessel was manufactured by Geraldton-based Dongara Marine, and will be based at Hillarys in Perth’s northern beachside suburbs.
The vessel will be used to survey and monitor the health of WA’s fisheries including western rock lobster, crabs and demersal fish to support sustainability and accreditation through the Marine Stewardship Council.
It will manage a variety of specialised research equipment including fish traps and crustacean pots, baited remote underwater video (BRUVs), remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and towed underwater survey cameras.
The versatile design will also allow it to be used to support the Shark Monitoring Network and State-wide Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) program, as well as projects undertaken by research partners.
WA Fisheries Minister Don Punch said maintaining a fit-for-purpose fleet of research vessels was essential to protecting the sustainability of the state’s fisheries.
“The construction of the research vessel in Geraldton is a great example of Western Australia’s regional manufacturing capability, which helps to generate jobs and grow our regional economies,” he said.
“The RV Djildjit’s first voyage will be off the Mid West coast in March, where researchers will be using BRUVs and remotely operated vehicles to support the West Coast demersal fishery recovery.”
Geraldton MLA Lara Dalton added, “I am very pleased to attend today’s launch of this new modern fisheries research vessel RV Djildjit, built locally in Geraldton by Dongara Marine.
“Investing in projects which support regional manufacturing helps to generate local employment, in this case in the boat building and maintenance industry in the Mid West.”