Belfast Telegraph

Bank helps fishing firm launch its new vessel

By Margaret Canning

A fishing company in Co Down which catches herring and mackerel for sale at home and abroad has bought a new 51-metre trawler. Stefanie M Fishing Company in Kilkeel has made a million-pound investment in the trawler, which is fitted with a complex refrigeration and storage system.

Because of its size, the new vessel will be docked in Belfast Harbour and will also sail around harbours in Northern Ireland and Europe during the fishing season.

The company employs 10 people including three engineers - and its investment is supported by First Trust.

Stefanie M managing director Stephen McCullough said the bank "understands the ins and outs of the fishing industry and has supported other fishing companies locally, so we knew they would make the investment process a smooth and simple one".

"We are looking forward to testing the Stefanie M out on the open water and we're positive the vessel will help us expand our fishing operations for years to come," he added.

The boat is one of only three of its kind in the province. The majority of fish caught by the Stefanie M is sold to fish processers in Kilkeel and Ardglass, who supply the food industry here and export to a number of countries across Europe, Asia and North Africa.

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