REEDVILLE, Va., May 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Omega Protein Corporation (NYSE: OME), christened two new vessels at its Reedville, Virginia facility. The two vessels, named the F/V Rappahannock and the F/V Fleeton are state of the art menhaden fishing vessels and are the first new vessels christened by the company in over 20 years. Omega Protein is a nutritional product company and a leading integrated producer of omega-3 fish oil and specialty protein products.
"The addition of the Rappahannock and the Fleeton to our Reedville fleet marks a significant investment in our operations here in Virginia," said Monty Deihl, Director of Fishing Operations at Omega Protein. Deihl added, "I'm proud that Omega is reviving the tradition of formally christening our new fishing vessels. It demonstrates our commitment to both our employees here and the community which for so many years this Reedville plant has supported."
Omega Protein CEO Bret Scholtes added, "These two vessels allow us to harvest menhaden in a more efficient and environmentally conscious capacity. It also allows us to better preserve those fish and conduct our operations in a safer way. It's really a win-win scenario in all regards. We couldn't be more excited about the 2013 fishing season and beyond."
A christening ceremony was held on Saturday, May 18 at Omega Protein's Reedville facility.The Rappahannock was christened by Mark Fortune, Assistant Chief of the Rappahannock Tribe. The Rappahannock have long inhabited the lands near Reedville, as well as lands spanning from the Northern Neck on the Rappahannock River to the Mattaponi River, and as far north as Fredericksburg, VA. In keeping with longstanding company tradition, the Fleeton was christened by Anna Scholtes, wife of Omega Protein CEO, Bret Scholtes. The ceremony coincided with Omega Protein's centennial celebrations, commemorating the company being chartered as Reedville Oil and Guano in 1913. Ben Landry, Omega's Director of Public Affairs, remarked, "This centennial is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on this company's storied past, but it's also a perfect platform for us to look forward towards an equally bright future." The Rappahannock was built in 1982 and is 196' x 40', making it the largest vessel operated by Omega Protein in 2013. The Fleeton is 184' x 38' and was built in 1976. Both vessels were originally used as Offshore Supply Vessels (OSV) in the Gulf of Mexico. They were purchased by Omega Protein and retro-fitted into state of the art menhaden fishing vessels. Among the updates, large fuel tanks were removed from the boats and replaced with fish storage containers. The vessels will also feature twice the usual tonnage of refrigeration aboard in an effort to improve the quality of fish prior to processing.