Kirkella trawler pictured in London ahead of official naming ceremony

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 24 Apr 2019

A trawler which became the first in more than a decade to land fish in Hull has sailed to London for its official naming ceremony.

Kirkella, a state-of-the-art vessel owned by UK Fisheries, catches eight percent of all the cod and haddock used in fish and chip shops across the country.

The 81-metre-long ship sailed from Hull to London on Sunday, ahead of its naming ceremony in Greenwich on Wednesday, April 24.

Kirkella made for some memorable photos as it passed under Tower Bridge and alongside landmarks including The Shard.

As high as three London buses above the waterline, Kirkella spends between four and six weeks at a time out in the North Atlantic.

Last September, it landed around 700 tonnes of cod and haddock in Hull, in what was a landmark moment for the fishing industry in the city.


Kirkella in London ahead of her naming ceremony

UK Fisheries’ chief executive said at the time the landmark was proof that the industry was “well and truly back” in Hull.

Jane Sandell said: “British distant-water fishing has a bright future, which is why we have invested in our new multi-million pound fishing vessel – Kirkella.

READ MORE: UK Fisheries brings Kirkella home to Hull

“The fishing industry was once the largest employer in Hull and this is a real vote of confidence from UK Fisheries that it’s well and truly back.

“We are proud to have operated from the Port of Hull many years ago, so it’s fantastic that we’re able to come back with such confidence – and such a beautiful vessel.”

Kirkella sailed underneath a raised Tower Bridge on Tuesday afternoon, fully decked out in bunting and naval flags.

The vessel then returned up the Thames to Greenwich Pier, ahead of the naming ceremony on Wednesday.

Hull Live last year went aboard Kirkella, to speak to some of the fisherman who are landing fish in the city again.

Shaun Wray, who started out as a deck hand for J.Marr & Son Ltd in 1985 when he was just 16, is now the second mate on the vessel.

Kirkella in London ahead of her naming ceremony

He said: “The first time I went out on a trawler when I was 16, it sank, and when I got home my mum told me I was never going back again.

“I obviously did. Since I left school at Malet Lambert I always wanted to go out to sea. I originally wanted to be on one of the oil tankers, but it is much harder to get into than fishing.

Read more: On board the Kirkella trawler landing fish in Hull for the first time in a decade

“The Kirkella is like a floating hotel. It’s got a cinema, gym, sauna and everything. You go out for six weeks at a time, and then get six weeks on land at home.”

The vessel supports 65 crew members, the majority of which are from the Hull and Grimsby area.

Shaun Wray on the bridge of the new Kirkella (Image: Pete Harbour)

The fish is already frozen when it is landed in Hull, thanks to an impressive on-board factory.

From there, the millions of fish portions supply around 300 fish and chip shops both regionally and across the country.



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