Kirkella, the UK’s leading freezer trawler

The 81m Hull-based Kirkella was registered in June 2018. She is a state-of-the-art trawler, catching around 12 tonnes of fish per haul. With 30 crew onboard and automated processing, the first fish reach the on-board freezers just 40 minutes after being caught. Aided by GPS, sensors on the nets and sophisticated control systems, modern trawling is now so precise that wastage is negligible.

Each trawl lasts between 30 minutes and six hours. The nets are hauled onboard from the stern by powerful 2,000m cable winches and the catch is electronically stunned and conveyed to the onboard factory. The fish are filleted, frozen and packaged in a continuous, highly mechanised process. Anything other than the prime fillets of cod and haddock are stored separately and processed into fishmeal to be used in animal feeds and as a fertiliser. Kirkella can store up to 780 tonnes of fish fillets at -28° Celsius in her on-board freezer.


Kirkella General Tour

Kirkella trawler cutaway illustration

Key facts and figures

Registered Hull
Built 2018, Norway
Length 81m
Beam (width) 16m
Gross tonnage 3,976
Crew 30
Based Hull
Type Freezer trawler
Catch landed Hull
Main fishing area Barents Sea, Greenland waters, NAFO (northwest Atlantic), Norwegian Sea
Depth of trawl 80m – 460m with 700m capability
Cable per trawl winch 2,000m
Onboard packaging 3 x 15lb small boxes per large box, 60 large boxes per pallet, 3.5 pallets per haul, 227 pallets per trip
Time from catch to freezer on board From 40 minutes
Onboard freezing room -30C
Time to process each catch 4 - 5 hours
Length of typical trip 60 days
Typical catch per haul 12 tonnes, 4225 kg skinless fillets, 620 inners
Typical catch per trip 780 tonnes / 2.3m fish suppers
Amount of catch consumed in the UK in fish & chip shops 100%
Number of legs per net 3
Engine One main 6-cylinder 4800hp 3600kW Rolls-Royce diesel engine and one auxiliary engine
Fuel capacity 800 tonnes
Fuel consumption per day at cruising speed 10 – 12 tonnes per day
Distance from Hull to Barents Sea 1500 miles
Time from Hull to Barents Sea 5 days