TRIALS carried out by Nofima in 2011 and 2012 to test Australian slaughtering technology on fishing vessels have produced extremely promising results, perhaps paving the way for more trawlers and Danish seine vessels to keep their catch temporarily alive.
The fish should be bled as rapidly as possible, preferably immediately after capture, but this is difficult for trawlers and Danish seine vessels. The results from a series of projects point to the fact that more than 90% of these catches may be kept alive in tanks on board the vessels.
Keeping the fish alive on board the vessel for several hours leads to dramatic quality improvements including, in particular, better bleeding and whiter fillet. However, after a longer period in live fish tanks, eg overnight, the fish has recuperated and is then extremely difficult to kill and bleed. It is necessary to kill and bleed the fish automatically in order to exploit the quality potential.
Nofima has, through a project financed by the Norwegian Seafood Research Fund (FHF), tested slaughtering technology for salmon on board large coastal fishing vessels. The stunning and bleeding technology of Australian company Seafood Innovations – whose machines are already used in Norway’s salmon aquaculture industry – is now being tested through the use of the SI-7 Combo, which kills and bleeds the fish in one operation.
Three trials have been carried out on different vessels. In the first trial, the efficiency of the machine was measured on board M/K Kildin from Båtsfjord. The machines were placed directly on the receiving bin, which produced poor working conditions. However, in spite of this, more than 30 cod were bled per machine per minute. This equates to 10-12 tonnes of slaughtered and bled cod per hour.
The machine’s ability to kill the cod was also documented through studying the bleeding in the cod’s brain. The scientists ascertained that the cod died immediately. However, the Australian machines are constructed for slaughtering salmon and, as a result, it was difficult to achieve good and even bleeding of cod.
Prior to the trial on board M/K Bernt Oskar in 2012 adjustments were made to the blade and a new entrance to the machine was developed based on the shape of the cod’s head.
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