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a vessel that receives fresh fish and other marine products (for example, crabs and shrimp) from catching vessels; processes the catch into a canned product, fish meal, and fat; and delivers the products to port.
The first factory ships were built in the mid-1920’s in connection with the development of expeditionary fishing for crabs, sauries, sardines, mackerel, and other marine animals. The canned products prepared on factory ships in the fishing grounds taste better and are more nutritional than similar products prepared at shore enterprises from defrosted frozen fish. The production equipment on a factory ship includes fish-processing machines, mechanized lines for dressing the fish and producing canned fish and roe, and units for producing fish meal and fat from the waste products. On large factory ships as many as 450,000 cans are produced daily. Refrigeration units are used for preliminary cooling of the fresh fish and storage of the canned products; they also provide ice for production needs. The fish meal is stored in unrefrigerated holds, and the fat in special tanks.
Factory ships have a length of 160–170 m. The power of the main engine is about 3 MW, and the speed is 13 knots (around 24 km/hr). Factory ships may remain at sea for 90 days or longer and have a crew of more than 600 men. In an expedition of a fishing fleet, the factory ship supplies the catching vessels with fuel, fresh water, and other supplies. In addition, it renders recreational and medical services for the crews.
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V. V. RANENKO