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The mother of all pearling ships

AT this moment she holds the record as the biggest pearling vessel in the world – the 35 metre 376 tonne Nalena Bay, mother ship of the Broome-based Blue Seas Pearling Company.

She is currently in Fremantle harbour with skipper Tim Bailey who told Business News: “She is a multi-million dollar floating pearl farm custom designed for the job.”

With in-board hatcheries and hi-tech laboratories she will be used for dive-support to catch live shell and provide accommodation for 60 workers or 30 people to live comfortably on board at any time.

Built in the Keppel yards at Singapore, she was launched in July and will operate out of Roebuck Bay.

Soon, however, she will be superceded by another pearling supership. The new 51 metre 1440 tonne Paspaley 4 being completed in Norway has been built to cater for 220,000 hatchery shell a year and is due for delivery mid-April.

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