Another Steber vessel at work in the Top End

Another Steber vessel at work in the Top End

The Northern Territory Government has just launched an 11.4m fisheries research vessel built by Steber International, Taree.

The custom-built Mallarra weighs in an 10.5 tonnes and with its twin 380hp Yanmar diesel motors, has a range of some 400 nautical miles, a cruise speed of 18-22 knots and top speed of 30 knots.

Minister for Primary Industry and Fisheries, Willem Westra van Holthe said the name Mallarra means manta ray in the language of the local Yolngu people.

“There couldn’t be a more appropriate name for this vessel as the manta ray is believed by indigenous saltwater people to be the ‘Guardian of the Sea’,” Mr Westra van Holthe said.

“This new vessel will play a major role in monitoring the health of our coastal reef stocks as well as enabling research in the barramundi fishery, small pelagic fishery and other scientific monitoring projects. Mallarra will be very much the guardian of the sea and our fishery.

“Adopting an Aboriginal name symbolises the close working relationship that NT Fisheries has forged with marine rangers and the traditional owners around the territory’s vast coastline.

“The size and fit-out of the Mallarra means that it will be able to travel further and longer than other fisheries vessels have been able to before – this will open up new areas of research and investigation.

“The commissioning of this new boat is another demonstration that this government is committed to the sustainable development of our fisheries”, Mr Westra van Holthe concluded.

The Mallarra will be based at Cullen Bay Marina and is a welcome addition to the government’s fisheries fleet of six vessels.