Western Australia Fisheries Norman Moore
Fisheries Department Hooks New Boat For Long-Range Patrols
Victor P Taffa
A new long-range patrol boat will help the State Government manage WA’s fisheries for the future.
Fisheries Minister Norman Moore officially launched the Department of Fisheries 20 m-long Patrol Vessel (PV) Houtman in Geraldton.
Mr. Moore said the new Patrol Boat would help fisheries staff monitor fish catches as well as perform other important duties.
“Like its predecessor, PV Houtman will operate along the West Coast and the Gascoyne bioregions, while still delivering monitoring and compliance services at the Abrolhos Islands and for the rock lobster industry.” Mr. Moore said.
“It will have a busy workload helping to keep WA’s fisheries sustainable. It will also be a valuable asset and help other State Government agencies deal with search and rescue demands, whale entanglements, oil spill responses and other operations.”
“The Abrolhos are significant in terms of Mid-West history and economically important as a commercial rock lobster fishing area and as a developing tourist destination.”
“The Department of Fisheries manages the Abrolhos Islands as a fish habitat protection area and a boat like the PV Houtman is vital for monitoring and compliance activities there.” Mr. Moore said.
The Minister said the new $3.36 Million craft was designed by a local Port Denison company and its construction in Geraldton had provided a boost to confidence and opportunity for local businesses.
“The PV Houtman was designed by Southerly Designs and built by Western Boat Builders of Geraldton.” the Minister said.
“It is a long range patrol boat, built to cope with the often demanding offshore environment along WA’s coast.”
“This versatile, up-to-date vessel will be based in Geraldton, where it replaces the 18-year-old PV McLaughlan, and provide a platform for a range of important tasks.”
The boat will also play an integral part in managing significant maritime and archaeological sites at the Abrolhos Islands and delivering compliance services on behalf of the WA Museum and the Commonwealth Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts.
Mr. Moore said the PV Houtman was named after Frederik de Houtman, the explorer who discovered the Abrolhos Islands in late 1619.
“The Dutchman is credited with being the second European to sight the West Coast of Australia.” the Minister said.
“De Houtman named the Abrolhos Islands, which in Portuguese means ‘keep your eyes open’ and ‘spiked obtrusion’ as both a warning and description of the reefs that surround them.”