World Fishing April 2023

Page 14


After two decades of talks, United Nations’ member countries have agreed a treaty to protect the high seas that will ensure the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction.

Calling the agreement a “breakthrough”, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said the action agreed at the body’s headquarters in New York was “a victory for multilateralism and for global efforts to counter the destructive trends facing ocean health, now and for generations to come”.

The agreement reached by delegates of the Intergovernmental Conference on Marine Biodiversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) is the culmination of UN-facilitated talks that began in 2004. Referred to as the “High Seas Treaty”, the legal framework will place 30% of the world’s oceans into marine protected areas (MPAs), put more money into marine conservation, and covers access to and use of marine genetic resources. The agreement will enter into force once 60 states have ratified it.

“It is also vital for achieving ocean-related goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the KunmingMontreal Global Biodiversity Framework,” said Guterres, referring to the so-called “30x30” pledge

to protect a third of the world’s biodiversity – on land and sea – by 2030, which was made by a UN conference in Montreal in December.

EU Commissioner for the Environment, Ocean and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius described the agreement as a “historic moment” for the ocean.

“With the agreement on the UN High Seas Treaty, we take a crucial step forward to preserve the marine life and biodiversity that are essential for us and the generations to come,” he said.

While two-thirds of the world’s oceans are currently considered international waters (or high seas), until now only about 1% of these waters have been protected, which has left the marine life in these areas at risk of exploitation from a variety of threats including overfishing.



High hopes as iFarm version 3 gets underway page 14


Mekhanik Maslak joins RFC fleet page 17


Smart, connected seafood processing page 21


China-based aquaculture ship Conson No. 1 has become the first large yellow croaker (Larimichthys croceus) farm to achieve the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification.

Conson No. 1 is regarded as the world’s first full-scale “smart farming ship”. It produces 3,700

tonnes of large yellow croaker annually.

The vessel, which cruises in waters up to 100 nautical miles offshore, is owned by Qingdao Conson Blue Silicon Valley Development Co Ltd. It officially started operating in May 2022, and soon after started the improvement of its aquaculture system to meet the ASC standard.

Ukraine’s challenges intensify page 46

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Viewpoint 3 | Insight 12 | Fishing Technology 40
8 The new treaty will place 30% of the world’s oceans into MPAs



Welcome to the April issue of World Fishing & Aquaculture and also our latest Special Report starting on page 19, which looks at some of the companies and innovations that are changing the seafood processing landscape. In putting these articles together, it was heartening to learn about the advancements that key players in the seafood space are making to utilise more of the raw materials available in more costefficient, quality-boosting ways, while also generating more value from those products. I would once again like to offer my thanks to all those that took the time to discuss their strategies and experiences with us.

As these pages confirm, for some, strong progress is being achieved through investments in new technologies, while for others it’s coming from approaching opportunities and challenges in different ways and breaking away from what’s been standard practice. But while the approaches differ greatly, most ventures have a common end goal – to do seafood better.

Our very diverse, multi-faceted industry is a remarkable one. The determination that exists within seafood to do better by people and planet is something to celebrate. Equally so, is its inherent resolve to build better, more resilient and predictable businesses and all that entails. It’s further evidence that the seafood economy is on the right trajectory for a bright, sustainable future and more than equipped to overcome any challenges that it might face along the way in the wider world of food production.

WF is already looking forward to revisiting the topic of smarter, more connected seafood processing. Our hope is that a lot more of you in this crucial space will share your stories and visions with us and inspire others in the process.

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The determination that exists within seafood to do better by people and planet is something to celebrate


85% of tuna at healthy levels

Some 85% of tuna sourced worldwide is from stocks at a healthy level, according to the latest figures from the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation. Its ‘Status of the Stocks’ analysis also reports that 11% is from overfished stocks and 4% from those at an intermediate level of abundance.

Faroes to raise salmon tax

The recently-elected Faroese government has issued a proposal to adjust the revenue tax for the salmon farming industry. Nine tax rates are proposed between 0.5% and 20%.

Cooke acquires US giant

Canadian seafood group Cooke Inc has entered into a binding purchase agreement to acquire Slade Gorton, one of the United States’ largest distributors, importers, and manufacturers of fresh and frozen seafood.

Seafish seeks levy changes

UK seafood public body Seafish has begun consulting with its levy payers and the wider seafood industry on its proposals for a new levy model. The Seafish levy hasn’t changed since 1999. Levy is due on the first sale of seafood, both domestically landed and imported.

A package of measures to improve the sustainability and resilience of the EU’s fisheries and aquaculture sectors has been launched by the European Commission.

Its main objectives are to promote the use of cleaner energy sources and reduce dependency on fossil fuels as well as reduce the sectors’ impact on marine ecosystems.

The package includes four elements: A  Communication on the Energy Transition of the EU Fisheries and Aquaculture sector; an Action Plan to protect and restore marine ecosystems for sustainable and resilient fisheries; a Communication on the common fisheries policy today and tomorrow and a Report on the Common Market Organisation for fishery and aquaculture products. Its proposed actions will be carried out gradually to help the sectors adapt.

Additionally, a ‘Pact for Fisheries and Oceans’ will support the full implementation of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) in coordination with member states and fisheries

stakeholders. The proposals also want to make the sectors attractive for younger generations looking for employment.

“We want to establish a ‘Pact for Fisheries and Oceans’ to work together with everyone to ensure sustainable and resilient fisheries, protect and restore our marine ecosystems, make the sector profitable and strengthen our food security in the long-term,” EU Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius said.

Sinkevičius added: “We are also promoting an energy transition to help the sector adapt its vessels and equipment, improve working conditions and move towards renewable, lowcarbon energy sources. We know this is a challenging task. For this reason, the transformation will be gradual and we will promote dialogue between all communities to lay the foundation for a resilient fisheries and aquaculture sector.”


Scotland’s fish farms have delivered a £3.3 billion boost to the country’s economy over the last decade, with a new government report finding that farmers’ economic contributions soared by 76% from £206 million in 2011 to £362 million in 2020.

Farming staff numbers also increased by nearly a third over the same period.

Trade body Salmon Scotland said the research shows that farm-raised salmon “generates vital wealth” for the country.

“Farm-raised Scottish salmon is a global success story that everyone in Scotland can take pride in, putting the best-tasting and healthiest protein product on people’s plates and delivering the

highest environmental and welfare standards,” Salmon Scotland CEO Tavish Scott said.

“All this has been achieved despite the incredible challenges of Covid and Brexit, and with the right

government support –streamlined regulation, a more business-friendly approach to immigration in the post-Brexit environment, and action to tackle rural housing shortages – we can deliver further sustainable growth,” he said.

According to the findings, aquaculture was the third largest marine contributor in gross value added (GVA), only behind oil and gas, and construction and water transport services. Fish farming accounted for 9.4% of the Scottish marine economy in 2020, compared to 7.3% for sea fishing at £284 million.

Over the decade, farmers grew 1.9 million tonnes of fish worth £9 billion, with sustainable production rising on average by 2.9% year-on-year.

4 | APRIL 2023 For the latest news and analysis go to NEWS
8 In 2020, there were 124,630 people employed in EU commercial fisheries and 57,000 in aquaculture 8 Fresh Scottish salmon accounts for more than £500 million worth of fish sales across the UK retail market annually

EU backs blue projects

Twenty multinational projects will receive over €117 million to contribute to the objectives of the EU mission ‘Restore our Ocean and Waters’: protect and restore biodiversity, cut pollution and support a sustainable blue economy.

Sea Safe for Aussie fishers

A programme designed to improve the culture of safety in Australia’s commercial seafood industry has been launched by seafood industry body Seafood Industry Australia, in conjunction with the Australian Maritime Safety Authority and the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation.

Namibian salmon go-ahead

Benguela Blue Aqua Farming has secured permits to raise Atlantic salmon in net pens off the coast of Namibia. The farm will be located 8km offshore from the town of Lüderitz and will use submersible pens, submerged grid infrastructure and other open ocean technology to raise its fish

Skretting opens in India

Aquafeed company

Skretting has set up a new production facility for shrimp and fish feeds in Mangrol, Surat, explaining that the high-end facility is part of its commitment towards Indian aquaculture and its strategy to further develop in Asia.


A property formerly destined to be a large aluminum smelter that was never completed has been given a new lease of life by being transformed into a new Eco-Business Park for Iceland and the largest coworking space in the country.

Co-founded by the Iceland Ocean Cluster, the 280,000-square-metre park is situated in a highly advantageous location – just two minutes from Helguvik harbour, 10 minutes from the International Airport in Keflavik and 45 minutes from Reykjavik city centre.

There is an option to double the existing 25,000-squaremetre floor space by installing an additional level.

The park will benefit from a close relationship with The Resource Park in the Reykjanes where companies are striving to make full use of the rich local resources, including geothermal hot water, cold water, steam, renewable electricity and carbon dioxide.

With over 60 companies under its roof in Reykjavik, the Iceland Ocean Cluster House has become a global showcase of Iceland’s aim to use 100% of the fish to create value and waste nothing. The aim of the Eco-Business Park is to extend this ideology to a whole array of other industries.

It will grow the existing

co-working space of the Iceland Ocean Cluster 10-fold, providing a platform for diverse industry players that have the ambition to move toward circular business models.

The long-term vision of the park is to build bridges between the water, energy and food sectors and create the opportunity for companies inhouse to re-imagine each other´s waste streams into new value.

Meanwhile, according to new figures from Statistics Iceland, the total volume of fish and shellfish landed by the country’s fishing fleet increased by 23% or almost 261,000 tonnes in 2022, with a total 1,414,598 tonnes. The year’s catch value climbed 20% to ISK 195 billion.

A substantial increase was confirmed in the volume of pelagic fish, while demersal, flatfish and shellfish landings all shrank. 2022’s total pelagic catch jumped 47% to 955,954

tonnes. This spike was mainly due to a 207% increase in the capelin volume, which amounted to 449,934 tonnes. The value of the pelagic catch reached ISK 48 billion, up 41%. Of this, capelin accounted for ISK 20 billion, which was an 80% rise on the previous year.

Within the demersal category, with a total catch of 433,385 tonnes – an 8% drop versus 2021 – cod landings decreased 10% to 243,483 tonnes, and the redfish catch slipped 21% to 39,658 tonnes. However, the 2022 volumes of haddock (57,026 tonnes) and saithe (62,039 tonnes) were up by 1% and 4% respectively. In value terms, the cod catch increased 13% to ISK 85 billion, haddock was up 30% to ISK 21 billion and saithe climbed 46% to ISK 14 billion. The redfish landings’ value decreased 10% to ISK 10 billion.


A new agreement aimed at fixing post-Brexit problems in Northern Ireland has been reached by UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.

The agreement, named the “Windsor Framework”, replaces the old Northern Ireland Protocol, providing a new legal and UK constitutional framework.

Confirming the change, Sunak said: “It means food retailers like supermarkets, restaurants and wholesalers will no longer need hundreds of certificates for

every lorry. And we will end the situation where food made to UK rules could not be sent to and sold in Northern Ireland.”

According to the UK government, the new agreement delivers free-flowing trade in goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland by removing any sense of the border in the Irish Sea for goods staying within the UK. These goods will travel as normal through a new green lane without red tape or unnecessary checks, with the only checks remaining designed to prevent smuggling or crime.

All goods destined for the EU will use the red lane.

The agreement rewrites the treaty text with a new Stormont Brake that means the UK can veto new EU goods laws if they are not supported by both communities in Northern Ireland, which goes far beyond previous agreements or discussions on the old protocol.

All requirements have been scrapped for trade from Northern Ireland to Great Britain on a permanent basis, including the requirement for export declarations.

6 | APRIL 2023 For the latest news and analysis go to NEWS BRIEFS
8 Emphasis will be placed on establishing 100% circularity in the water, energy and food sectors
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First salmon-kelp farm

Start-up seaweed producer

Folla Alger and salmon producer Cermaq have teamed up to test a new combined sea site for salmon and kelp in Steigen in Nordland, Norway. It will be the world’s first farm built for the combined production of both salmon and kelp, whereby the seaweed will be grown inside the farm.

Seafood certifiers team up

A collaboration memorandum of understanding has been agreed by the Responsible Fisheries Management certification programme and the Global Seafood Alliance, with the two groups looking to expand their global reach.

Tilapia parents for Colombia

Colombia has received its first tilapia from GenoMar Genetics Group’s SPF (Specific Pathogen Free) breeding centre in the Philippines. The fish will be grown to maturation and serve as the parent stock for commercial fingerling production.

Major upgrade for Peterhead

Work has begun on a major new £30 million processing facility and coldstore upgrade for Denholm Seafoods in Peterhead. The investment is one of the largest ever undertaken by a wild-catch fish processing company in Scotland.


The Ocean 14 Capital fund has received an investment of €30 million from Ingka Investments, the investment arm of Ingka Group which represents retailer IKEA, to support its mission of funding sustainable solutions to improve ocean health.

This is the first time Ingka Investments has invested in the blue economy, with Head of Financial Market Investments at Ingka Investments, Samuel Rundle explaining that the Ingka Group is guided by the IKEA vision to create a better everyday life for people.

“As a purpose-led company, our aim is to invest with impact, delivering positive returns for communities and the environment for generations to come. Ocean health is critical to a cleaner and more inclusive recovery. We were very impressed with the strategy of the Ocean 14 team and are excited to support the acceleration of sustainable solutions to improve our oceans,” he said.

Following the Principality of Monaco’s €10 million

commitment from the sovereign wealth fund in September 2022, Ocean 14 Capital has now raised €130 million since launching its growth-stage impact fund in November 2021.

With this backing, the purpose-led €150 million impact fund believes it is well on track

to grow its portfolio to between 20-25 businesses within three years, having invested in four companies to date.

Using the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal number 14: Life Below Water as a guiding principle, Ocean 14 Capital is searching for entrepreneurs and businesses with big ideas around aquaculture and alternative proteins, reducing plastic waste pollution, protecting ecosystems and marine flora, and ending overfishing.

The fund’s mission is to supercharge the blue economy, which is expected to be worth $3 trillion by 2030, according to the OECD. At the same time, it will provide jobs to 40 million people.

“It is a real testament to the quality of our fund and intention that Ingka Investments has come on board in such a significant capacity,” Ocean 14 Capital Founding Partner Chris Gorell Barnes said. “If there’s no ocean, there’s no us – it connects us all. It provides food security and plays a vital role in achieving the UN sustainability agenda.”


India is seeking to double its income from seafood exports to US$14 billion by 2025 amid a sustained annual growth of 3% in the sector, according to Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Smt Anupriya Patel.

The country exported 1.36 million tonnes of seafood during 2021-22, earning an alltime record of $7.76 billion.

“In two years from now, we plan to achieve a target of 14 billion dollars,” Patel said after inaugurating the 23rd edition of India International Seafood Show (IISS) in Kolkota.

Highlighting that India is already among the world’s top five seafood-exporting countries, the minister said 17% of the country’s agricultural exports comprises fish and allied products.

“We are the world’s thirdlargest fish producer, secondlargest aquaculture producer and fourth-largest seafood exporter,” she said.

While noting duty concessions on the import of vital shrimp/fish feed ingredients announced in the Union Budget 2023-24, she highlighted the government’s measures towards protection of the interest of the country’s aqua farmers and the sector as a whole.

“We slashed the import duty from 15% to 5% for fishmeal/ krill meal and vitamin premixes, whereas the duty has been halved to 15% for fish lipid oil and algal prime,” she said.

As for RoDTEP (Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products), the minister said the flagship export promotion

scheme has effected a favourable revision in both its rate and cap for a majority of the exportable fishery products.

The government has enhanced the RoDTEP rate and cap for frozen shrimp, which is the country’s principal foreign exchange earner, to 3.1% from 2.5% and Rs 42 from Rs 16, respectively.

She also said the 2020introduced Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) scheme plays a vital role in bringing about the socalled “blue revolution” through sustainable and responsible development of the fisheries sector in India, and that its investment of Rs 20,050 crore, will increase the country’s marine production capacity, productivity, intensification, diversification and exports.

8 | APRIL 2023 For the latest news and analysis go to NEWS
8 Ocean 14 Capital Fund 1 is an impact fund targeting €150 million that’s focused on driving a sustainable and regenerative blue economy


Iceland, the Republic of Korea, Norway, New Zealand, Panama, the European Union and Chile have become the newest members of the Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing Action Alliance, a coalition of governments and organisations committed to ending IUU fishing.

Tackling IUU fishing involves alliance members striving to be leaders in their respective countries by enacting and enforcing effective fisheries regulations, investing in monitoring and surveillance technologies, and promoting sustainable fishing practices. Members should also coordinate their efforts internationally to combat the

problem while also sharing information and best practices.

The alliance is working to identify and ensure competent authorities take action against those who engage in or profit from IUU fishing, including vessels, companies and individuals.

“For too many communities, the threat of IUU fishing looms year after year, as they bear the brunt of the instability and violence that accompanies this serious, organised, transboundary crime,” said Thérèse Coffey, UK Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

“For marine species, the impact can be devastating, and this has a catastrophic effect

on the lives of the hundreds of millions of people who depend on fisheries for their livelihoods. So, we need to accelerate our efforts and scale up.”

European Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius said the EU is pursuing a zerotolerance approach against IUU fishing as part of the European Green Deal and its international

ocean governance agenda.

“We are committed to strengthening our efforts by further promoting compliance with applicable rules and by strengthening monitoring, control and surveillance mechanisms. We also need to ensure a level playing field for legitimate operators and legal products on our markets,” he added.


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8 Annual losses attributable to IUU fishing are estimated to be at least €10 billion


The global market for the species is expected to surpass $7 billion by the end of 2033, writes Fact.MR

Be it baked, grilled or steamed; rainbow trout is proving increasingly popular among millennial “foodies”. Some of this popularity is driven by the fish’s mild, nut-like flavour and tender texture, while other consumers are being drawn by its high nutritional value and its relative affordability compared with other species. Market research conducted by Fact.MR predicts the consumption of rainbow trout will surge at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.2% over the coming decade. The study also estimates rainbow trout sales will climb from a current level of US$4.2 billion to $7 billion by the end of 2033.

Retailers are playing a prominent role in expanding this market through sampling, marketing and merchandising strategies, while the penetration of online delivery platforms and e-commerce has seen the availability of canned and frozen rainbow trout increase at an incredible pace. This trend will benefit rainbow trout suppliers immensely, especially those in the United States, Japan and Germany.

The global market for rainbow trout consists of both farmraised and wild variants, with the study, suggesting that farm-raised trout is likely to generate substantial demand in the coming years. This is largely due to advancements taking place in the fish farming sector, with the technology leveraged allowing round-the-clock monitoring of fish health.

Despite the species’ promising potential, there are some challenges for companies and fisheries to overcome – most prominently, the costs necessary for establishing, operating and maintaining farms. As such, emerging players are likely to find it hard competing with the bigger names in the market. At the same time, several environments where rainbow trout thrive are at an increasing risk of habitat destruction, which is likely to affect biodiversity in the long run and reduce wild rainbow trout populations.

Europe on top

Europe is expected to cement its position as the dominant regional market for rainbow trout in the 10 years through 2033, with the research suggesting the region has a 50% share of the global industry. This is largely due to Europe’s thriving fish farming sector.

North America is set to follow in Europe’s footsteps, with the United States also poised to register significant sales. This will be supported by efforts made by the US government and health agencies to promote fish consumption. Rainbow

trout farming is also on the rise in the States, with the sector governed by the United States Trout Farmers Association.

In Asia, Japan looks set to lead the way with fish imports in the country skyrocketing in recent years. This island nation’s proximity to the Pacific Ocean also allows its fish farmers to source wild trout.

Key players operating in the rainbow trout market are focusing on establishing bases across regions where the demand is significant. Fact.MR expects fish farming costs to rise in the years to come, and that’s why players should spring into action and capitalise on the opportunities available now. Market participants also need to be mindful of the regulations enforced by governments across different regions to protect biodiversity. Sourcing wild trout by going against stringent regulations is likely to lead to harsh sanctions.

All in all, there are lucrative opportunities for players to explore and risks to steer clear of. With growing demand for rainbow trout, key players are tapping into fish imports and aquaculture. For instance, in November 2021, Finnforel Oy, a leading ecological fish farm announced plans for breeding rainbow trout. The Finnish company’s production capacity will expand from 1 million to 3 million kg. It also intends to export to European countries such as Germany, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

8 Rainbow trout sales are being boosted by consumers’ growing attention to healthier foods

10 | APRIL 2023 For the latest news and analysis go to ANALYSIS
Headquartered in Dubai, UAE, with offices in the United States and India, Fact.MR is leading provider of syndicated and custom market research reports across several industries. Photo Credit:


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The future of fishing


Industry is concerned the UK’s new fisheries strategy fails to factor in its biggest challenge, writes Jason

Published by UK government towards the end of last year, the post-Brexit Joint Fisheries Statement (JFS) is supposed to bring improved social, economic, and environmental benefits to the country’s seafood industry as an independent coastal state. But for many stakeholders, the strategy doesn’t go far enough in its support of industry, particularly in safeguarding access to fishing grounds.

Setting out high-level rules on how to deliver key fisheries objectives in the Fisheries Act 2020 and how to manage fisheries while restoring the marine environment, the JFS forms a key part of a new Fisheries Framework. It contains positive elements, including recognising the importance of the UK’s fishing, aquaculture and processing sectors and working with supply chains on key issues like access to labour.

However, the recent Westminster Food & Nutrition Forum policy conference: Next steps for fisheries policy in the UK heard that the JFS fails to bring clarity to the issue of spatial squeezing and the displacement of fishing activities by other marine industries and environmental protection initiatives, not least offshore energy production and marine protected areas (MPAs).

Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF) Chief Executive Elspeth MacDonald told the conference that spatial pressure is among the biggest threats now facing UK fishers.

“I think it gets very scant reference in the fishery statement, yet it’s a really major issue, and one that many of us are going to have to grapple with,” MacDonald

said. “It’s a really big challenge for us as we look ahead, so it’s disappointing it only merits two paragraphs in the joint fishery statement in terms of what to do about displacement.

“It is worrying that governments are pressing ahead with policies that will likely increase the displacement of fishing with so little prior consideration of how to manage it,” she said.

MacDonald warned displacement could force more vessels inshore, which would in turn have consequences for the hard-pressed inshore grounds, and that some inshore vessels might then venture offshore where they could encounter safety challenges.

Safety could be further undermined by conflicts between static and mobile gears, she said, adding that in this scenario, sustainable fisheries plans could be jeopardised.

A seat at the table

Chief Executive of the Cornish Fish Producers Organisation Chris Ranford told the conference the “massive appetite for offshore renewable energy” and the growing number of MPAs are challenging the increasingly important role that fishing has as a source of food security.

“As an industry, we’re neither anti-renewable nor antimarine protection; we recognise the importance of both to achieve other policy aims. But what I really want to highlight is the importance of bringing fish to the table much earlier in the marine spatial planning process as a way to co-locate and minimise the unknowns that will

8 There’s growing industry concern that displacement will force more vessels inshore and cause increased gear conflict

12 | APRIL 2023 For the latest news and analysis go to

happen if we aren’t included,” he said.

“Probably the most worrying thing is that nobody’s really asked the industry what it will do as a result of the spatial challenges. Will it move to new grounds? Is there space to do that? Will big boats be sold to buy three smaller ones – putting a squeeze on the inshore fleet? Or will fishers simply go out of business? Either way, we face catastrophic displacement and many unintended consequences.”

Michel Kaiser, Professor of Fisheries Conservation at Heriot-Watt University, believes that moving forward, areas that are important seafood production areas need to be classified.

“At the moment, we’re quite happy identifying areas that are fit for purpose for wind farms, tidal power and so on, but nobody is talking about the necessity to identify key areas for fishing. At the end of the day, we’re talking about food production. And if we undermine our ability to produce food, it’ll be very difficult to wind that back once those areas have been blocked out. I think it’s an important area of discussion, and one that’s entirely justified to give the industry business certainty going forward,” he told the conference.

Progress through technology

Nevertheless, Kaiser believes the JFS remains a good opportunity for the UK to become world-leading in terms of sustainable fisheries.

While countries such as New Zealand, Iceland, Norway, the United States and Canada are ahead of the UK in terms of managing their fisheries in a sustainable manner, it has an opportunity to move things that would make it much better placed, he said.

“The JFS will allow us to take control of the situation and use technologies to our advantage – to make the industry much more sustainable.

“But there’s a lot of work to do. The elements that make this possible now are the advent of technologies and the fact that they’ve become miniaturised and far less expensive. We talk a lot about remote electronic monitoring, and we typically think about that in terms of enforcement, but that’s just one element of it. What we could be doing is turning our fishing vessels into smart fishing platforms where they’re capturing data that is useful to the industry – informing it how to fish better.”

Kaiser said the “ultimate ambition” of the JFS is for healthy seas, healthy stocks and healthy fishing communities, and that the more efficient the catching sector becomes at catching the same volume of fish, the less it interferes with the marine environment.

Another critical area that needs much greater focus is the supply chain and the improvements that can be made so that fish caught or farmed by UK businesses, and then processed by British processors can thrive, said Kaiser.

“Some of our key blue-chip fisheries have actually gone bust as a result of post-Brexit complexities that have occurred at borders and in [foreign] trade. Improvements need to be made if we’re truly going to realise the profitability of our fishing sector, which at the end of the day exports very high-quality luxury products overseas.”

“Not only will that improve profitability, it will also improve conservation outcomes. That will feed back into sustaining the health of the stocks that we’re exploiting. But we can only do that with data and information,” he said. “We keep talking about fishermen contributing data. This is entirely possible – every fishing vessel is an environmental sampling platform, we just need to capitalise on that.” MacDonald agreed that there’s a “tremendous capacity” for fishing vessels to be much more involved in terms of data data.

“We’ve got a modern, efficient fishing fleet in Scotland, with some very sophisticated vessels. There’s a great deal these vessels could do, and we would certainly be keen to have conversations with government about how we can how we can do that,” she said.

8 The rapid growth of offshore wind farming is increasingly displacing fishing vessels from traditional grounds

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At the end of the day, we’re talking about food production


Focusing on Fisheries Development


Cermaq, BioSort and Scale AQ’s third version of iFarm has been installed in Norway. This small step could become a giant leap for salmon farming if the technology proves successful, writes

Facial recognition tools are used in criminal investigations or when tagging people on social media, but over the past few years, they have also been appearing in aquaculture. In January 2020, Norwegian fish farmer Cermaq and the technology firms BioSort with support from ScaleAQ formally launched the first version of iFarm, a system that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning in facial recognition software to improve the management and oversight of salmon farming.

Three years on, and iFarm’s third version has been installed in pens at Hellarvika, a Cermaq farm in Steigen. Version Three will mostly focus on sensors, data collection, machine learning, and further development of the fish sorting mechanism. Sensors will retrieve high-quality images and follow up key parameters such as fish ID, lice, growth and welfare.

Most salmon farms currently assess the health of their fish as a group. If some are found to have lice, diseases or parasites, the whole farm is treated. But the iFarm system aims to assess each individual fish for growth, sea lice, disease, lesions and other factors that affect health and welfare. This allows farmers to determine how fast each fish grows and check for any problems.

Each iFarm pen contains around 150,000 salmon. Around every four days, they come to the surface and take a gulp of air to regulate their swim bladders. When they do this, they are guided through a sensor arrangement where cameras can recognise and monitor them individually before recording data on them based on their unique

markings and structure. Any sick individual can then be treated, stopping or limiting the spread of disease and dramatically reducing the extent of treatment and associated costs as it no longer becomes necessary to treat an entire farm.

“Sea lice and mortality are two important challenges that iFarm has been aiming to address over the past few years, along with building a history or health record for each individual fish so that they can be monitored and sorted according to their conditions,” BioSort Managing Director Geir Stang Hauge told WF.

“Fish that have sea lice will be sent to a treatment unit, while those with skin lesions are handled according to their needs. The most unique feature of iFarm is the ability to remove individuals from a pen for a particular treatment. One of the core things with iFarm is helping farmers to be more targeted in their treatment approach and this emphasis on the individual plays a huge role.”

Step-by-step learning

The main focus of Versions One and Two were understanding how iFarm affects fish behaviour, perfecting system construction, ensuring that the fish are well and have good welfare, and testing two versions of the sensor housing and cameras. This offered insights into camera arrangement, lighting and data processing to create health records for each fish.

First and second-generation sensor arrangements and camera units were also tested to collect statistics for lice growth and get the best possible images. This involved

14 | APRIL 2023 For the latest news and analysis go to
8 iFarm Version 3 has been installed in pens at Hellarvika, a Cermaq farm in Steige Photo Credit: BioSort AS

establishing specific illumination around the fish and photographing each one from multiple angles. Meanwhile, a lot of work was carried out on operational adaptations, such as sorting, cleaning cameras and maintaining equipment.

Version Three aims to make it easier to catch swimming fish individually by further developing a robotic mechanism that was established a year ago. Meanwhile, the sorting mechanism will be made more autonomous so that together with the iFarm sensor system, it can make its own decisions based on defined criteria such as the discovery of lice or wounds. The sorting mechanism will also be simpler than the previous versions of iFarm with less motors.

The process will require the development of precise machine vision, rapid processing of large amounts of data, and interaction with a mechanical sorting unit with its own control systems. An automated cleaning system has also been installed to enable the cleaning of lamps

when it comes to what we can do automatically. The other important aspect is the sorting and handling of the fish. Right now, we are working on the newly-installed sensor arrangement as well as feeding and fish behaviour, and we believe that with Version Three, we will have much more of a proof-of-concept. However, iFarm is very much a stepby-step process, where we learn new things from each version and improve upon those.”

Unique insights

iFarm aside, Hauge believes that AI and technology are proving their versatility in salmon farming, promising to deliver greater efficiencies and insights.

They can enable farmers to count sea lice quickly and easily or closely monitor the size of their fish, he said, while autonomous feeding is another area that is getting a lot of attention in terms of AI. Indeed, Hauge and his team have been investigating fish growth drivers in subsea feeding –feeding the fish at a deeper depth to offer better protection from sea lice.

As for iFarm, it can give farmers access to a technology that can offer considerable protection against sea lice and greatly reduce mortality. Shifting from stock-based aquaculture to individualised follow-up and care will greatly impact on fish health and welfare, enabling early disease detection and implementation of countermeasures to stop infections from spreading.

The iFarm system, which should be ready for commercial use in a few years, is likely to be in high demand.

and cameras, while a new fish transport system is being implemented to lead the fish through a pipe and bring them close to the surface in the same pen for treatment or removal.

“At Hellarvika, the key thing for us now is to gain momentum on the AI or computer vision part, in other words what we can see on each fish,” said Hauge. “We want to be able to see the different stages of sea lice or wounds as early as possible and have the data to be able to analyse a particular population. Perhaps the most important thing for us this year is to have plenty to show for

“There is a lot of interest in iFarm and increasing talk in aquaculture circles of the welfare of individual salmon as opposed to groups,” said Hauge. “With 150,000 to 200,000 fish in a pen, it’s difficult to see how sea lice attach to the fish, spread through a population, or whether some fish are impacted more than others. But the potential to monitor every single fish, coupled with big data analysis on the population, will provide farmers with unique insights and understandings of important elements that they don’t fully comprehend yet. We look forward to installing iFarm on customers’ farms when all the key features are fully up and running.”

For the latest news and analysis go to APRIL 2023 | 15 NEW HORIZONS
8 The BioSort installation team
iFarm is very much a stepby-step process, where we learn new things from each version
Geir Stang Hauge, BioSort
Photo Credit: BioSort AS


The latest in a planned series of new trawlers for the Russian Fishery Company has been delivered by the Admiralty Shipyard in St Petersburg

Mekhanik Maslak sailed from the yard in February for the long delivery trip, taking the southern sea route via the Suez Canal and calling at Busan in Korea before its scheduled first call in Sakhalin in April.

This series of 108-metre long, 21-metre breadth ST192 factory trawlers is designed to operate in the Bering Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk, fishing with pelagic gear for pollock and herring – and replacing much of the Russian Fishery Company’s fleet of well-maintained by elderly Soviet-era tonnage.

A key reason for embarking on this very significant investment, part of the Russian government’s investment quotas initiative intended to boost both shipbuilding and fisheries, is the need to move into more sophisticated processing at sea, not least in producing surimi. The older fleet, dating back to the Soviet era, inevitably becomes increasingly high-cost in terms of maintenance, while having also reached the limits of what can be achieved by upgrading factory decks and facilities on board.

Increased capacity

Each of the new series of larger and higher capacity vessels is expected to replace several older vessels, and to be able to harvest around 60,000 tonnes each annually, with facilities for producing 60-80 tonnes of conventional frozen fillets per day, as well as having production capacity for surimi, fishmeal and fish oil onboard, with zero-waste as everything is processed at sea.

A pair of freight elevators and a freight conveyor take frozen production to the 4,250-cubic metre refrigerated fishroom. There are also 400 and 600 cubic metre holds for

fishmeal, packaging and other products, and a roughly 100 cubic metre fish oil capacity in two stainless steel tanks. Designed for extended operation, Mekhanik Maslak has gantries and cargo booms for transhipment at sea into reefers, plus there are 8t/17m and 8t/8m deck cranes. Accommodation is for 40 crew in single- and two-berth cabins, and there is accommodation space for up to 99 factory crew single- double-and four-berth cabins. Mekhanik Maslak has separate mess facilities for officers and crew, and it fitted out with its own cinema, gym and sauna.

For the latest news and analysis go to APRIL 2023 | 17 NEWBUILDS
8 Mekhanik Maslak has been completed by the Admiralty Shipyard in St Petersburg for the Russian Fishery Company 8 Mekhanik Maslak has been completed by the Admiralty Shipyard in St Petersburg for the Russian Fishery Company

Russian optimism

Mekhanik Maslak follows the first vessel of its kind built at the Admiralty yard, Kapitan Vdovichenko, which was delivered in early 2022. This was preceded by Vladimir Limanov, built to the same ST-192 design, but constructed at the Tersan yard in Turkey as a forerunner to the Russianbuilt series.

Two more trawlers, Mekhanik Sizov and Kapitan Martynov, are under construction at the yard in St Petersburg, but there is some doubt about the remaining vessels planned for the series as there are indications that RFC and other fishing companies have put newbuilds on hold due to the sanctions that prevent access to the almost exclusively western systems that have been installed onboard newbuilds so far. This includes main and auxiliary engines, processing systems, deck equipment, electronic systems, fishing gear and more, and there is a real prospect that further newbuilds for the Russian fleet will have to be re-engineered practically from the keel up to accommodate alternative technologies.

Despite this, official sources in Russia remain upbeat about the rounds of new vessel on the way and during Mekhanik Maslak’s handover ceremony Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Viktor Evtukhov announced that around 92 high-tech fishing vessels are currently being built at Russian shipyards, with 19 of these expected to be delivered this year.

“Our main concerns were related with the lead trawler of the series,” said the yard’s chief designer Ruslan Kasimov.

“We can safely say that Kapitan Vdovichenko has successfully confirmed its capabilities both during field trials and during operation. We also expect an excellent result from Mekhanic Maslak. I am confident that the trawler will cope with the trials just as efficiently, confirming the design specifications and once again demonstrating the high quality of the Admiralty construction.”

8 The press were given an opportunity to view the new trawler before it sailed for the Far East


It’s only a few years since the owners of Kvitholmen took delivery of a new seiner – and now that vessel has been replaced with a new one from the same builder

The new vessel has a 14.99-metre length and a 7-metre beam, and this makes a big difference, allowing for an 80-cubic-metre fishroom, compared to the previous Kvitholmen’s 50 cubic metres. There’s also more space for the crew and the deck layout, and everything is larger, including the high-capacity pump for transferring catches from the gear, Kvitholmen has a 750hp Volvo Penta main engine, designed to minimise consumption and emissions, and driving a larger propeller than the older vessel had. The deck equipment layout is also more powerful, and the new seiner has winches with a 12-tonne pull, providing more power than the old vessel’s 3-tonne winch system.

The previous 12.95-metre LOA, 5.9-metre breadth Kvitholmen was delivered to fishing company Kvitholmen AS in June 2018 and has fished successfully with seine net gear, but the owners soon became aware that carrying capacity in particular was limited.

They went back to the Skogsøy Båt yard in southern Norway and placed an order for a larger, aluminiumhulled seiner, which was delivered at the beginning of this year and headed north to fishing grounds off the north of Norway.

Rigged to fish with seine net for groundfish or purse seine gear for pelagic species, new Kvitholmen has been built with a new hull design, optimised for these fishing methods. Sea trials prior to delivery showed the same turn of speed fully loaded as empty.

18 | APRIL 2023 For the latest news and analysis go to NEWBUILDS
8 Kvitholmen on sea trails before heading for the north of Norway 8 Kvitholmen’s deck equipment and fishroom capacity are much greater than those of the boat it replaces
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How automation is elevating end-product quality

Optimising at-sea processing through innovation

Getting Europe back on track and adding value

Canada looks to digitalisation

New tech for full-fish utilisation

World Fishing & Aquaculture


In Canada, work is underway to help seafood processors digitise their data in real time. Hopes are high that this will improve the profitability and sustainability of a critical player in the global seafood supply chain, writes Bonnie Waycott

Amidst unprecedented consumer demand, the need for the global seafood value chain to scale up productivity is becoming increasingly important. One way in which it can do this is by incorporating technology such as analytics software, robotics or artificial intelligence (AI) to boost performance in quality control and improve efficiency, traceability and transparency.

Canadian artificial intelligence firm ThisFish Inc. is working to digitise seafood processing with its new software Tally. According to CEO and Co-Founder Eric Enno Tamm, Tally was born as a result of gaps in the seafood supply chain, particularly among processors.

“I would describe seafood processors as a linchpin in the supply chain,” he said. “There are millions of farmers and fishermen on one side, and millions of retailers, restaurants and consumers on the other. In the middle, there are around 23,000 processing firms engaged in

global trade, but most are still analogue and not very digitised at all. If you are going to have a transformative effect on the global seafood supply chain, the best place to start is the seafood processor.”

Data collection improvements

Tamm and his family have been in the commercial fishing industry in Canada for years. Having grown up in a small fishing village on the west coast of Vancouver Island, Tamm himself worked as a buyer of fish and in seafood processing plants.

Over the years, he saw first-hand the challenges involved in providing high quality seafood to the end consumer. In 2017, Tally was developed to help seafood processors reduce the cost of data collection and management, strengthen process control and improve compliance through strong traceability.

8 Tally provides real-time control over the many processing steps

For the latest news and analysis go to APRIL 2023 | 23
Photo Credit: ThisFish

Customers can use it to digitise the unloading of fishing vessels, conduct quality control checks and digitise lab quality control and shipping logistics, Tamm said.

“One of Tally’s benefits is more efficient data collection,” he said. “A quality control manager may spend a couple of hours at the end of the day taking paper records, converting them into Excel and managing Excel records to produce reports. With Tally, everything is automated. Press a button and a record is generated.

“Also, if you don’t have strong traceability and can’t meet MSC or ASC requirements, you will lose opportunities to sell in particular markets, where often very strong

that can be embedded in Tally for automating processes, predictive analytics and computer vision.

TallyBot can be programmed with standard algorithms for cost accounting, data validation and other calculations, and analyses the large datasets created by Tally to help processors maximise yields, improve quality and reduce data errors and non-compliance.

ThisFish has also developed a machine-learning algorithm for yield prediction in a tuna cannery and salmon processor. Based on the raw materials that each processor purchases and their previous production, the algorithm can predict what their yields will be and help them understand how they are performing each day, whether they are above or below the predicted amount of yield and by how much.

While hoping that this type of algorithm will mitigate low yields and waste as a way to improve sustainability, Tamm and his team are looking forward to the launch of their next product, Tally-Vision, at the Boston Seafood Show in March 2023.

Tally-Vision is a video camera that is integrated into the Tally software and placed over a conveyor belt. The camera photographs every fillet before classifying them according to their size, colour distribution and five types of defects, such as gaping and bruising.

traceability and compliance are required. Tally brings much more transparency to processing.”

It also offers real-time control over the many steps involved in processing.

“In a tuna cannery, for example, if there is a production problem on a Monday morning, this may not be picked up until Tuesday afternoon because paper records are given to someone who works a graveyard shift, digitises the records and puts them into Excel,” said Tamm.

“On Tuesday morning, a manager collects, analyses and puts together the Excel spreadsheets before realising that mistakes were made the previous day. With Tally, digital data goes into the system in real time so that supervisors and workers can spot and flag mistakes as they happen. This real-time nature gives people a sense that their business is under control, that they can see what’s happening in their factories, when and why.”

Optimised, predictive yields

ThisFish has also introduced TallyBot, an AI-enabled app

The number of fillets that have been processed during a certain time period, and how many were defective during that period, can also be checked. The data is then collected and sent to TallyBI, the business intelligence or analytics dashboard.

If yields are shown to have been negatively impacted, data can be sent back to the processor to determine what practices and conditions might have caused this. Tamm hopes that one day, this can extend to aquaculture to improve control over fish feeding and grow-out.

“We would like to take large datasets on fillet quality and link them back to all the data around farm practices, such as feed, farm location, handling during grow-out and any genetic cohort,” he said. “Over time, a machine learning algorithm can tease out what might be causing certain defects and why. Feeding this back to farms will be extremely helpful.”

Top down, bottom up approach

With a growing market and regulatory demand for transparency in seafood products, an increasing number

8 Tally-Vision classifies every fillet according to their size, colour distribution and types of defects, such as gaping and bruising

24 | APRIL 2023 For the latest news and analysis go to SPECIAL REPORT
If you are going to have a transformative effect on the global seafood supply chain, the best place to start is the seafood processor
Eric Enno Tamm, ThisFish Inc
Photo Credit: ThisFish

of consumers want to know more about the sustainability and social responsibility of the products that they buy. Tamm says that for more companies to get on board with software like Tally and improve their transparency, a topdown, bottom-up approach is key.

“If you’re a company president who wants to go digital, but your production manager and quality control manager are resisting, you must convince them of the benefits of the technology,” he said. “You need a common vision of where you want to go. Usability is also important. If workers find the software difficult to use, there will be more resistance, while poor user interfaces can slow things down.

“You also need at least six months to a year’s worth of digital data to get your system working effectively. Determine your core business objective as well. Are there problems with warehouses or cold storage? Does inventory control need to be tighter? Focus on these and keep the scope of initial digitisation narrow to begin with.”

With more companies also using automated machines and equipment, Tamm believes that in future, the demand for data on the uptime and downtime of such machines will rise, leading to potential opportunities in the realm of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the installation of sensors on

factory equipment to determine how efficiently equipment is being used. Going forward, Tamm and his team plan to focus on potential IoT opportunities while continuing to develop Tally with existing customers.

For the latest news and analysis go to APRIL 2023 | 25 SPECIAL REPORT
Over time, a machine learning algorithm can tease out what might be causing certain defects and why Eric
Eric Enno Tamm, ThisFish Inc
8 Tally offers easyto-use software Photo Credit: ThisFish


Europe’s seafood processing sector craves access to more raw materials, writes Jason Holland

As well as being the world’s biggest seafood market, the European Union is also one of its leading processing regions, with a large proportion of an estimated 10.1 million tonnes of raw materials going into the industry ahead of consumption by the EU-27’s estimated 450 million residents.

According AIPCE-CEP, the EU Fish Processors and Traders Association, this volume comprises some 4.7 million tonnes of domestic fisheries and aquaculture production of 4.7 million tonnes (with 1.1 million tonnes going to non-food use) and 9 million tonnes of thirdcountry imports (with the EU exporting around 2.4 million tonnes of products to overseas markets).

135,000 direct employees across Europe,” AIPCE President Guus Pastoor told a recent AIPCE-CEP Webinar.

“We are talking about a lot of economic activities and a lot of participants,” he said.

For its part, AIPCE-CEP represents around 3,300 European processor and trader enterprises that have a combined annual turnover of €31 billion, and which directly employ 116,000 people, including many in rural areas. This makes upholding and growing European seafood processing a priority for the association, and an economic value driver for communities and regions.

“If we didn’t have these processing and logistics networks, then where would the seafood go that’s produced by Europe’s fishers and aquaculture businesses?” asked Pastoor. “There are many with a mutual interest in this business.”

Diminishing self-sufficiency

In maintaining a healthy trading and processing industry, EU’s reliance on third-country imports is increasing, explained Mike Turenhout, Fisheries and Trade Expert at CEP and the Dutch Fish Federation (Visfederatie).

“The economic value of seafood processing in Europe and the trade is large – larger than many people think –with a direct value of €25 billion based on present prices. And if we count the multipliers of services, logistics etc it increases to €35 billion. It’s also a big employer with

In 2019, this dependency stood at 59.3% but had climbed to 65.4% in 2021, he said. As for key species, the EU is sourcing 99% of its salmon – or more than 1.41 million tonnes – from third-countries, alongside 95% (891,000 tonnes) of its cod and 100% (808,000 tonnes) of its Alaska pollock.

The EU’s increased seafood import dependence has increased in part due to the Ukraine-Russian conflict, which has driven up fuel costs for the European fleet. Indeed, many vessels haven’t been going to sea, Turenhout

8 Europe’s seafood processing sector has an estimated direct value of €25 billion

26 | APRIL 2023 For the latest news and analysis go to SPECIAL REPORT
Our joint ambition is to keep and grow seafood processing in Europe. The main restricting factor to this is not the output to the market; it’s the input of raw materials
Guus Pastoor, AIPCE

advised the webinar. Another major diver has been the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, with prices for species that feature prominently in the foodservice sectors dropping dramatically during lockdown measures.

Added to this, Brexit and the UK’s withdrawal from the EU on 31 January 2020 has unsettled the market, with the country becoming a third-country and its vessels having an important share of certain European quotas, and new tariff barriers being implemented, he said.

Specifically with regards to the Ukraine war, and in addition to the increased fuel and energy prices, the sanctions imposed on Russia have created large shift in the marketplace, said Turenhout. In the UK, for example, there is an additional import tariff of 35% on Russian seafood, while the US market has imposed a complete ban on imports.

“This has meant that those market’s whitefish products such as cod and pollock have had to be sourced from elsewhere. This has driven up the price of other products, such as Norwegian cod.”

Pre-conflict, Russia was the eighth-largest seafood supplier to the EU market, involving some 391,000 tonnes of seafood.

Supply utilisation opportunities

With regards to its outlook for 2023, AIPCE-CEP believes the current inflation level in the EU will decrease its purchasing power. In 2022, this stood at around 10%, resulting in increased costs for production and processing, while the purchasing power of the region’s consumers decreased.

The processing sector is therefore expecting a slight decrease in seafood consumption in the EU in the shortterm but that this will grow again over the longer-term, said Turnhout.

Looking ahead, he added that the EU’s focus should be on improving its own seafood production, said Turnhout. According to AIPCE-CEP’s own analysis, the region utilises just 75% of the EU’s total available fishing quota.

“We need to find a way to optimise this utilisation and to get more raw materials to the EU’s processing industry. Another thing is that we need to invest in EU aquaculture production.

“I believe the EU is really pushing to increase aquaculture growth. There’s a strong focus there.

“Alongside this, there’s a need to simulate favourable EU trade policies, including new trade agreements and ATQs (autonomous tariff quotas), where we can bring in more raw materials with zero import duties for EU processing. Furthermore, we need to look at ways to further optimise and reduce logistics and storage costs.”

Ensuring future-readiness

New technologies will also have an important role to play in Europe’s seafood processing future, Turnhout told the webinar.

“I think that smarter processing lines and new technologies will help the processing industry to produce more seafood, especially when it comes to adding more value to products and optimising the various parts of the products and by-products.”

The Secretary of the FAO Subcommittee on Fish Trade, Marcio Castro de Souza, agrees.

“An issue that’s important not just from a European perspective but globally is that Industry 4.0 can facilitate the traceability of products. This is still a very important and challenging aspect in many countries. So, as we incorporate more technical and logistical information in the value chain, we can trace back the products through the value chain. That can be a very important element in terms of the prize of reaching more markets because of sustainability.

“That’s something for the global scale this technological approach towards the sector can definitely bring more benefits, particularly in the approach of net-to-plate that is still missing in many countries around the world,” Castro de Souza said.

Turnhout also stressed the “high importance” of raw materials coming into Europe from third-countries.

“We have the ATQ systems, we have the free trade agreements, and we also have the IUU (illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing) system that prevents illegal fish from coming into the EU. These systems fit our processing industry, because we want to process as much seafood as we can in the EU and keep the focus on that. And not have a system or situation whereby it’s more beneficial to do the processing outside of the EU.”

Pastoor emphasised this point, adding, “Our joint ambition is to keep and grow seafood processing in Europe. The main restricting factor to this is not the output to the market; it’s the input of raw materials.

“With the EU’s low self-sufficiency, we need to provide the right circumstances for its production. Seafood imports are needed now and in the future.”

With the right platform – one that encompasses environmental and social sustainability, exploits the full potential of EU fisheries and aquaculture, and facilitates international trade – the long-term aspirations of the industry can be ensured, Pastoor insisted.

“If we can achieve all that, the market for seafood in Europe will surely grow and can provide more consumers with our nutritious, healthy and sustainable products now and in the future,” he said.

For the latest news and analysis go to APRIL 2023 | 27 SPECIAL REPORT
8 The EU sources 99% of its salmon from third-countries


Through new tech, seafood processors are able to meet the changing needs of consumer markets, writes Bonnie

Quality control is key to ensuring fresh seafood. Historically, this has been done by processing staff who use their senses and experience to examine the condition of gills and eyes, the firmness and smell of flesh and the colour of skin to distinguish between a fresh product and one that is not of good quality. But now, machines are helping seafood processors to supply retailers and consumers with top quality products, quantifying the freshness of seafood to meet food quality and safety regulations.

Torill Østingsen of Digital Industries Siemens insists that this type of automation is key to guaranteeing consumers the best-quality seafood.

Processors are one part of the supply chain where automated processes are crucial

“For Siemens, the food and beverage industry is a very important one to do business with,” she told WF. “Fisheries and aquaculture obviously fall within this industry, and we are seeing that aquaculture is becoming increasingly important as the oceans are dramatically overfished and more than 100 million tonnes of fish are consumed worldwide. If we are to protect the oceans while also meeting the demand for seafood, we will need automated processes across the seafood supply chain.

“Processors are one part of the supply chain where automated processes are crucial, because they must guarantee that retailers and consumers only receive top quality seafood. At Siemens, our focus is to help our customers obtain good quality, profitable food that has been produced in a sustainable way.”

Hyperspectral analysis

Because of the natural variability of fish and other seafood, producers often find it difficult to conduct physical measurements to determine quality or predict production outcomes such as yields.

During seafood processing, ice-covered seafood is delivered in large crates, taken out manually by warehouse staff, weighed and repacked. But this can result in a higher possibility of human error, or differences in interpreting results. For example, on a scale of one to 10, one person may interpret a result as three, while another interprets it as two. As it turns out, however, this is a perfect problem for machines and AI, which can take over the roles that people with specific knowledge have been responsible for, and produce the same results based on the same assumption, helping seafood supply become more predictable and profitable.

Efforts by researchers at Siemens to automate seafood processing have resulted in a range of potential solutions such as hyperspectral analysis, an optical analysis method that uses AI to ensure fish quality, and robotic fingers that can grip and repackage slippery items, making handling procedures more efficient.

Hyperspectral analysis is currently being used to analyse the surface of fish skin. When fish are slaughtered, the skin goes through a biochemical ageing process,

8 Digitalisation being used to improve controls at a fish farm in Asia

28 | APRIL 2023 For the latest news and analysis go to SPECIAL REPORT
Photo Credit: Siemens

losing elasticity and forming a thin layer of mucus. Proteins on the skin also break down and new chemical substances form, which can be easily detected by the human nose. Hyperspectral analysis involves irradiating with electromagnetic waves with wavelengths between 900nm and 1,700nm in the infrared spectrum.

Researchers then observe how much of the different wavelengths is absorbed by surface molecules on the skin and infer which molecules are present in what quantity. Fresh and not-so-fresh fish have been used to train an AI algorithm, which can evaluate the absorption pattern of a specific fish and state whether it is freshly caught, edible or of substandard quality.

Flexibility in AI

“Siemens, together with several machine builders and system integrators, is involved in several aspects of seafood processing,” said Østingsen. “We have a huge portfolio of equipment and solutions that range from software, automation, monitoring, networks, cybersecurity and process instrumentation to control products. In general, AI is still in the early stages in all industries, even though we have been talking about digitalisation for a while. But there is a lot of flexibility with it, and it can be used in several areas of seafood processing to help the sector reduce maintenance, increase production and earn more money.”

With industries like aquaculture becoming more and more important for global food production, Østingsen said seafood producers will have to be open-minded and be able to share information, collaborate with technology suppliers and spend time and money on new technology in order to improve efficiency, product quality and overall productivity.

“Aquaculture, seafood processing and other industries are curious about technology such as AI, cutting-edge soft sensors, digital twins, and are focusing on it a lot,” she said. “These solutions can accurately detect the level of freshness and overall visual quality and reduce food waste. Our next steps are to understand our customers’ needs and help them grow, stay profitable and competitive. We aim to use our vast know-how and experience in various industries to share information and collaborate in order to accelerate digital transformation.”

The 24th edition of Europe’s largest commercial marine and workboat exhibition, is a proven platform to build business networks.

Seawork delivers an international audience of visitors supported by our trusted partners.

Seawork is the meeting place for the commercial marine and workboat sector.

12,000m2 of undercover halls feature 500 exhibitors with over 70 vessels, floating plant and equipment on the quayside and pontoons.

Speed@Seawork on Monday 12 June at the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes offers a sector specific event for fast vessels operating at high speed for security interventions and Search & Rescue.

The European Commercial Marine Awards (ECMAs) and Innovations Showcase.

The Conference programme, chaired by industry experts, helps visitors to keep up to date with the latest challenges and emerging opportunities.

The Careers & Training Day on Thursday 15 June 2023 delivers a programme focused on careers in the commercial marine industry.

For the latest news and analysis go to APRIL 2023 | 29 SPECIAL REPORT
8 Fish globe being used in Norway contains Siemens Equipment solutions Photo
JUNE 20 23 Southampton United Kingdom 13 15 TO
Credit: Siemens
more information visit: contact: +44 1329 825 335 or email:


Automating quality provides the platform for seafood processors to reach new levels, seafood software specialist Maritech tells Jason Holland

Ensuring product quality is of paramount importance to seafood value chains, and to meet the growing demands and expectations of consumers, companies are increasingly adopting new quality control procedures, with many turning to smart, connected automated solutions.

As far back as 2016, leading seafood software provider Maritech AS saw the potential for data-rich IoT (Internet of Things) technologies as a means to transform the processing sector and to make it a lot smarter. In order to get a good head-start in the space, the Norwegian firm acquired a company that was focusing on the development of both a software platform and sensors. It was also around the same time that Maritech became involved in the development of a new quality measurement technology – in a project with the Norwegian Institute of Food, Fisheries and Aquaculture Research (Nofima) and Norsk Elektro Optikk. This hyperspectral camera solution was detecting blood and nematodes – or roundworms – from whitefish fillets.

In November 2020, and following a four-year R&D project that has focused on building it into a system that could fit into the commercial processing environment, the finalised solution called “Maritech Eye” was delivered.

Maritech Eye is an industry enabler, Maritech EVP Technical Solutions, Per Alfred Holte, told WF. It works by scanning fish (red- and white-fish species – whole fish and also fillets) early on in the production process and at industrial speeds.

Not only has it been designed so that seafood companies can automate their quality assessments, offering much greater precision and efficiency than can be achieved through manual evaluations and sampling, it also provides the means through which price premiums can be achieved for the best cuts, while the rest of the fish can be used optimally in other product.

This in turn can help reduce waste and advance companies’ sustainability credentials, Holte said.

Multi-purpose solution

To come up with a tool that’s as practical as it is innovative, Maritech Eye has undergone a number of design adjustments. It has also been made capable of fitting in both onshore facilities and also in large factory vessel settings.

“This was important for us as a bigger share of the quotas are being fished by larger vessels, many of which have onboard processing opportunities,” Holte said.

To ensure it’s multi-purpose in its application, Maritech has also had the help of fish farming and fishing company Lerøy Seafood Group and salmon farming giant Mowi ASA. “They and others have provided very good input to help us design a solution that fits in various settings,” Holte said. “It can be very cool working with cutting-edge technologies and world-class innovations, but when you put them into industry settings there’s always the question of will it work consistently well every day.”

8 Maritech Eye works by scanning fish early on in the production process and at industrial speeds

30 | APRIL 2023 For the latest news and analysis go to SPECIAL REPORT
Within this year, we expect a lot of units to become part of operational processes
Per Alfred Holte, Maritech
Photo Credit: Maritech

He continued, “For the industry to get familiar with what it is and what it’s not, it was important for us to put the equipment out in several settings so they can familiarise themselves with it.”

Some units are now operating on a daily basis in the salmon industry, while in the whitefish space, Maritech presently has three different units on three different calibrations for fillets and whole fish.

Two Maritech Eye units are being placed onboard two of Útgerðarfélag Reykjavíkur´s fishing vessels. Their purpose is to automate the recognition and documentation of species in combination with size and other parameters related to various characteristics of whitefish catch. This information will also be sent to Iceland’s fisheries authorities, who could use it for research and to estimate the stock size. This could be used to optimise Icelandic quotas.

“If you can have the species recognition, size measurements and counting onboard these vessels then you can get a whole new level of insight into the fisheries – creating value for the fishing companies and also for the authorities,” Holte said.

Data leap

Maritech’s Head of Global Marketing Marie Gjære Gundersen told WF that beyond the company’s work track to standardise Maritech Eye’s application within the salmon and whitefish fillets and whole round whitefish sectors, which it has “got far with now”, it is now looking closely at extending its horizons into other processing sectors, with lobster and crab potentially offering the next stages.

“So far, we have focused with salmon fillets going because these are scalable, international operations with companies facing similar challenges, we’re similarly working in Iceland and Norway with whitefish, but there’s a lot more potential for this both inside and outside seafood,” she said.

“Within this year, we expect a lot of units to become part of operational processes. I believe that could be the turning point, whereby others will see that it’s reducing

risks and increasing commercial potential,” Holte added.

“The industry is now seeing the opportunity that comes with transitioning from a situation where just small samples are judged by humans to scanning the entire production in real time. That’s a tremendous leap in the data volume that they can base good decision-making on.”

With regards to quality control in the processing environment, this information can be used objectively by machines to do the sorting tasks, especially for reliably assigning the right fish to the right product or purpose as early as possible, Holte said.

“That resource allocation has a strong connection to traceability and sustainability – enabling companies to make decisions on how to utilise resources in the best possible manner.”

Looking ahead and reinforcing his point that having factory workers make many thousands of quality judgements a day “is not good practice”, Holte believes the next step for automation will be to have vision systems conducting raw material inspections. This, he said, will allow the subsequent sorting to be automated and will be where the main value is generated on the processing side.

“This industry is modernising quickly and becoming more automated. By connecting this information backwards in the supply chain and also forwards into the market will create a lot of value in the top layer. That’s where we also have applications to support purchasing and sales.

“Information alone can be noise, but the right information at the right time, in the right process, in the right context – that’s where there’s huge opportunities. That’s also where we are working together with our clients to create dashboards and application solutions that support processors.

“We are focusing on enabling the value chain because especially whitefish is changing hands a lot of times on its way to end-consumers and so we’re very focused on how to secure traceability along the way and also enabling as much relevant data to flow as possible,” Holte said.

8 Mowi is among the companies that have provided valuable input into the development of Maritech Eye

For the latest news and analysis go to APRIL 2023 | 31 SPECIAL REPORT
Photo Credit: Maritech


Carsoe maintains that when it comes to delivering onboard processing solutions, strong relationships are just as important as the latest factory innovations. Jason Holland reports

Alongside its land-based processing and freezing solutions, Aalborg, Denmark-headquartered Carsoe has become a leader in the provision of onboard fish and shellfish processing equipment. It’s a sector that it became fully-invested in almost 10 years ago with the summer 2013 acquisition of bankrupt Carnitech’s seafood activities.

It’s a move that has paid off. After two years’ mainly conducting overhauls and refits on small vessels, Carsoe took some strategic steps with regards to advancing this new business area and capitalising on the expertise that existed within the former Carnitech team. Today, alongside its considerable Danish operations, the company has also built a strong business in Seattle to support the North American fleets, while its UK and Norwegian production facilities specialise in plate-freezers and palletising and packaging technologies, respectively.

Since 2015, with the core strategy to be a complete factory supplier, it has ensured that the business incorporates as many of the components that such a plan requires, explained Carsoe Group Sales Director Jeppe Christensen.

To this end, Carsoe recently joined forces with fellow

Jeppe Christensen, Carsoe

Danish company Intech, which contributes with a large customer base within shrimp and fresh fish vessels as well as land-based processing. Intech had previously acquired KM Fish Machinery with its strong portfolio of KM fish gutting machines as well as equipment for land-based warmwater shrimp processing.

Of course, the big difference between providing landbased and onboard solutions is space. While land-based processing has the possibility of being able to allocate more square metres to operations as needed, a lot more planning is usually required for operations on the water.

“What’s crucial for vessels is having the ability to combine various processes on production lines in the most energy-effective and logistically-appropriate ways,” Christensen said. “And because these vessels don’t have unlimited power, it’s also key that they can incorporate different energy sources.

“It’s equally important that the factory working environments are as good as they can be for the crews onboard, and that everything runs as efficiently as possible, including utilising all of the space available and optimising the output.”

Market shift

Prior to the Ukraine conflict, the contracts won in Russia had been a major contributor to Carsoe’s growth in terms

of market share and volume. The opening of its Seattle arm also helped greatly in this regard – giving it greater expertise in terms of onboard surimi production in particular.

But a lot has changed in the past two years, Christensen said. A lot of Carsoe’s more recent progress has been in the Norwegian market. “We are seeing quite a few orders there, and we’ve also been strong in the Greenland area –both with Greenland and Canadian vessels, as well as with a few Icelandic ones too.”

Though it’s not every day that a shipowner builds a new vessel (a typical order timeline can take anything between six months and 2.5 years), some of the larger companies have been building a series of new vessels and Carsoe has landed a few such contracts in recent times, including from Polar Seafood, the Russian Fishery Company (RFC) and Royal Greenland.

8 Everything in an onboard factory must run as efficiently as possible

8 Combining automatic palletising, handling and storing is a considerable space saver

32 | APRIL 2023 For the latest news and analysis go to SPECIAL REPORT
What’s crucial for vessels is having the ability to combine various processes on production lines in the most energy-effective and logisticallyappropriate ways
Photo Credit: Carsoe
Photo Credit: Carsoe
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Nevertheless, with a newbuild project, often the period between the first down payment and the first fishing trial being executed is approximately 26 months.

“It’s quite a long relationship that you establish with the customer, and quite a few are returning customers because of that relationship and mutual trust that comes from such projects,” Christensen said. “This is a people business. While you need to have everything in order to be chosen as the preferred supplier – the right products, the right combinations, the right references, a history of successful projects etc., we’re not alone in this business area, so what’s also then crucial is the people – and the track records and longstanding relationships that they have with the customers.”

Innovative solutions

Among its most recent contracts, Casoe is providing the complete factory solution for the combined shrimp and crab processing vessel Ny Frøyanes, owned by Norwegian fishing company Ervik Havfiske. This “unique project” will see Ny Frøyanes haul crab traps through a moonpool, direct to the processing area, Christensen said.

Together with innovative crab cooking equipment that eliminates steam from the factory, the crab line also includes a butchering station, and the grading and cleaning, freezing and glazing of crab legs, while the dual shrimp processing line includes by-catch separators, and grading and cooking, with the cooked shrimp frozen in two IQF freezers. In addition, five vertical freezers ensure a strong capacity for blockfrozen shrimp.

All finished products are routed to a compact solution for automatic sorting. Each product type is then palletised to ensure minimal onshore handling. The factory deck also includes an elevator to the cargo hold as well as an offloading elevator with flexible offloading height towards quayside, compensating for high and low tide.

The incorporation of elevators to move pallets to the cargo holds is saving a lot of space on the factory deck and is

encouraging more vessel types to have palletising onboard, Christensen explained.

“Historically, no company has been willing to give away 10 square metres away to have palletising, but a lot of space can be saved and put to other uses if it can be combined with automatic handling and storing.”

Optimising value

Carsoe has also broken into the Norwegian longline sector with an order to outfit the processing deck of the new Leinebris. For this project, a processing deck has been designed with a flow of raw materials through heading and gutting stations to some V16 freezers.

High-capacity freezers are designed to make the fullest possible use of the space available and the automatic bottom unloading reduces manual labour and streamlines the production flow. Frozen blocks discharged from the freezers are passed to automatic palletising and handling, with integrated offloading elevators allowing discharging direct to the quayside with no need for cranes or additional manpower.

“This is a full-blown system, using all of the relevant automation available on the market in one package,” Christensen said. New Leinebris has been ordered from the Tersan shipyard in Turkey, with the vessel scheduled for delivery in 2025.

As for where factory vessels are potentially heading, Christensen said there’s growing interest in systems capable of providing consumerready packaged products. In the case of shrimp, this hasn’t been easy to implement but there is the “second-best ability” to sort the products onboard the vessels and palletise them accordingly, so that instead of delivering a pallet with a mix of sizes, they can sort onboard so that the vessel owner can sell the products in their grades and sizes while still at sea.

“That saves tremendous time and money, eliminating handling, storage and sorting costs. This sorting and greater levels of it onboard the vessel is something that we’re seeing as crucial on all the newbuilds. Optimising the utilisation of the catch is key in all fields,” he said.

34 | APRIL 2023 For the latest news and analysis go to SPECIAL REPORT
8 Carsoe Group Sales Director Jeppe Christensen 8 Integrated offloading elevators can discharge products directly to the quayside Photo Credit: Carsoe Photo Credit: Carsoe
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Finnish food tech start-up SuperGround has developed a solution that turns the entire fish (bones included) into consumer-familiar foods

8 According to SuperGround, success will come from creating products that consumers are already familiar with

With the exception of the guts, the whole of any fish can be inserted into the new food production machine developed by SuperGround. Thereafter, a patented process softens, heat-treats and grinds fish byproducts such as the bones and other hard tissues, with no mass lost in the process. The outcome is a fish paste that can be used in multiple ways.

Around 15-30% of the resultant mass made from bones and other hard tissues can be added to such products as fish balls without affecting the taste. Similarly, up to 15% can be added to fish fillet products such as fish sticks. It can also be used as broth or sauce. Furthermore, in using hard tissues that naturally include a high volume of vitamins, calcium and good fats, the nutritional value of fish products will be increased.

The new solution was created out of the recognition that often between 20-60% of fish raw material goes unused for food, SuperGround’s Founder and Chief Innovator Santtu Vekkeli told WF.

This was around four years ago, with Vekkeli observing that across the seafood industry after fillets were separated from the fish, usually the rest of the hard tissue (fish bones, skin, scales etc) were either going unused as a production side-stream, or were being turned into animal feeds, or used as fertiliser and biofuel raw materials.

As such, and depending on the fish species, around 2060% of a fish’s net weight wouldn’t be used as food, with the number of unused parts especially high with smaller fish species, such as perch.

“Some processing companies have created excellent side-streams for these raw materials, but many haven’t and these products are going to waste. Ours is a readymade solution for them.”

A prototype SuperGround machine was developed three years ago to turn these hard tissues into a raw material, and Vekkeli estimates the latest units are capable of producing a lot more food in this way. He also points out that humans have a long history of eating fish bones and that now is a perfect time to reconnect with the raw material as a food – but in foods that consumers are already familiar with.

“I have seen so many start-ups that have made perfect products, but most were doomed from the start because they were not in formats that people are used to buying.”

Fast, simple process

From an environmental perspective, Vekkeli said he was keen to deliver “something that mattered” and which could “make a difference”; in this case, to enable companies to utilise the full potential of fish and its nutritious raw materials.

The SuperGround food processing technology and solution can help increase fish food production while also reducing environmental impacts, such as emissions and food waste, he said.

“With this solution, the seafood industry can improve its efficiency and sustainability levels, while consumers will see the fish products that they know becoming more nutritious and tasty.”

Each SuperGround machine can produce between 500 and 650kg of paste per hour, with the whole process of producing the paste taking only around three minutes.

“It’s a very fast, easy-to-use solution,” Vekkeli said. “No enzymes of chemicals are needed. You use any material that you have as long as the bones are included, we need them because our process needs collagen for optimum stability.”

What you put in, you get out, with 1kg of fish by-product mass equalling 1kg of paste, he explained.

36 | APRIL 2023 For the latest news and analysis go to SPECIAL REPORT
Some processing companies have created excellent side-streams for these raw materials, but many haven’t and these products are going to waste
Santtu Vekkeli, SuperGround
Photo Credit: SuperGround

“It’s just removing the collagen and fat from the hard tissue. The bone structure without any protein is soft; there’s no rigidity at all.

“I believe this concept and the possibility of getting 30% more food from the same fish has the potential to change the logic that surrounds using these materials. It could also lead to lower production, or perhaps fish product prices to come down.”

Lessons from poultry

The technology is also tried and tested. Last year, the company launched a very similar solution to utilise chicken bones and their nutritional benefits within poultry-based foods. Vekkeli highlighted that while seafood companies vary very differently in their practices and value generation, poultry processors are extremely alike with “practically identical” factories regardless of location.

“Poultry was perhaps easier because the products are very standardised. Chicken nuggets are very uniform – no matter who is producing them or where in the world you are buying them, they

are virtually the same. But there are probably hundreds of different kinds of fish balls. Also, fish processing plants all have very different philosophies, along with very different raw materials and end-products.

“The way they deal with secondary product streams is also very different,” he said.

While the seafood industry’s reaction to SuperGround has been very positive, Vekkeli believes its launch will go a similar way as it has in the poultry sector, whereby with the concept now proven, a lot of companies are watching to see how the competition utilises the technology and solution and how consumers respond to the end-products.

As such, it’s likely the initial smaller units will soon be introduced in the Finnish fish market, but the first larger unit will go to one of the major overseas processors, he said.

“Our sales process is underway, and we’re now waiting for that first big-scale seafood company that’s willing to take that leap. We’re now talking with a lot of players in the poultry sector and will need to make a decision on industry partners soon…that took about four months. I think it will be the same case with fish.”

For the latest news and analysis go to APRIL 2023 | 37 SPECIAL REPORT
8 SuperGround Founder and Chief Innovator Santtu Vekkeli Photo Credit: SuperGround


Starbound is a 300-foot, 1,042-tonne catcher/processor that harvests Alaska pollock in the Bering Sea and processes it onboard into boneless-skinless filets, mince and surimi

Three years ago, Starbound’s owner, Aleutian Spray Fisheries Inc, decided to cut the then 240-foot vessel in half to expand its processing operations and to add a meal plant, oil plant and two surimi lines. The retrofit was not just on the ship, it was a complete overhaul of the processing operations and required Flottweg Separation Technology. This new equipment is used to separate meat from liquid.

“Before we got the decanters and the tricanter, we only had a recovery line. This means we only took meat off the frame,” Starbound’s Operations Manager Karl Bratvold said. “The tricanter came into play for the fish oil. The two decanters are for our primary and secondary surimi line.”

The Flottweg equipment was needed to increase productivity.

Starbound’s expansion project took 10 months to complete. And while the vessel performed water tests, it was impossible to test production without any fish. This meant that the first real test of the equipment happened at sea on the first fishing trip after the construction was completed.

“That’s the tricky part,” Bratvold said. “You can’t test the facility if you have no fish. We re-did the entire factory. Without testing, this equipment had to work, or there was a wasted fishing trip.”

The performance of the equipment exceeded expectations.

“It went really smooth,” Bratvold said. “We had never used tricanters. The decanters have been great and allowed us to produce even more than we expected. There is a learning curve as you go along, but from start-up it’s been very smooth.”

The factory occupies an entire level on the ship. With about 130 people onboard, the factory staff is about half of

that. The other half is fishing crew, boating crew, cooks and other personnel.

“When we return from a 10-day trip we have a 30-hour offload before going back to sea,” Bratvold said. “When we return to shore, everything has been processed. We do primary- and secondary-grade surimi onboard and use the decanters to make fishmeal. We use the tricanter to separate the solids from the fish oil and then we also make boneless-skinless filets, and mince. When it comes back to the dock it’s ready for market.”

Product is shipped to McDonald’s, Burger King and other major chains worldwide. The meal goes to Asia and most of the oil is used domestically.

How it works

The modular design of the decanter centrifuge means it’s possible to adjust to all kinds of separating tasks.

The Flottweg decanter has an adjustable impeller. Normally, the clarified liquid runs out of a decanter without pressure. As an alternative, it is possible to transport the clarified liquid away using an impeller. This means it runs out in a closed system under pressure. In Starbound’s variant, an adjustment mechanism alters the position of the impeller. As a result, the liquid can be removed at different diameters, thereby also optimising the separating performance.

An adjustment mechanism causes the position of the impeller to change, therefore changing the separation line of the liquids.

The structure and function of the tricanter are similar to those of a decanter (two-phase separation). The decisive difference between these two machines concerns the way the liquid is discharged. There are two liquid phases in a tricanter: a “heavy” liquid phase (higher density and

8 Starbound catches Alaska pollock in the Bering Sea and processes it onboard into fillets without skin and bones, tartar and surimi

38 | APRIL 2023 For the latest news and analysis go to SPECIAL REPORT

discharged under pressure), as well as a “light” liquid phase (lower density and discharged without pressure). An adjustable impeller discharges the “heavy” liquid phase, which the operator can use to adjust the pond depth of the heavy liquid without difficulty during ongoing operation.

Typical applications for three-phase separation are:

8 Processing of sludges containing oil from refineries, oil ponds etc

8 Extracting animal/vegetable fats and oils

8 Starch manufacture for separating wheat starch and gluten

8 Advantages and customer benefits include:

8 Greatest possible purity of the liquids to be separated (by using the impeller)

8 Other processing steps/separating stages can be dispensed with, or are no longer required, thereby offering cost savings for the plant-owner

8 Adaptation to changing conditions (product in the feed) possible at any time

8 Automation is possible

The results

“We went out to find a decanter and tricanter and found Flottweg,” said Bratvold. “They have been fabulous. I appreciate Flottweg so much — from sales to parts to service. They do what they say they are going to do. They show up, and there’s been a tremendous amount of support.” Bratvold added that Flottweg listens to how the

machine is being used and then adapts and modifies it accordingly.

“We are in a remote atmosphere and only have a limited time, so this is a big deal for us to be able to get the parts and the service and have people respond to us. The technical support has also been great. We have questions, and they answer them quickly. We have lots of questions, so it’s been really helpful.”

8 The Flottweg system is used on Starbound to separate the fish meat from the liquid

For the latest news and analysis go to APRIL 2023 | 39 SPECIAL REPORT GLOBALSeafood Marketplace The
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Fish processing solutions provider Cretel is championing innovation by also focusing on the specific needs of its customers, writes Jason

Supplying the food and fish processing sectors with robust, long-life equipment that’s proven in the field has served 50-year-old Cretel well, but it’s also its ethos of truly listening to its customers that’s paying dividends, the company’s Johan Timmerman and Frank Boels told WF

Flexibility is at the heart of Cretel’s business, Timmerman and Boels explained. So, while most of its machines are manufactured in Belgium – at the new state-of-the-art, CO2-neutral facility in Langerbrugge in the Port of Ghent – the company’s engineers are in constant dialogue with the customer/end-user no matter where they are in the world to ensure the solution they get is ideally-suited to their specific needs.

They say the customer’s decision to invest in a new machine is just the start of the process and that through the exchanges with Cretel’s engineers many details are often altered or adapted during both the design and development stages.

“It’s these little practical improvements that can make

all the difference in the delivery of a solution,” Boels said. Cretel has developed and is supplying high-quality food processing equipment for all types of meat and fish. Including both automatic and manual machines, its product portfolio includes skinners, vacuum packers, fish scalers, pin-bone removers and more, plus essential accessories.

At the same time, it is seeing rising demand from the food and fish processing sectors for its washing and drying systems, which are cleaning and sanitising crates, trays, pallets, trollies, containers etc all over the world.

Cretel’s focus on flexibility is helped by its parent company. In 2011, it became part of ATS Groep, a multi-disciplinary technology group. ATS has four business units: Electrical/automation, HVAC, Distribution and Mechatronics.

Belonging to the Mechatronics unit, Cretel comprises the two divisions of food processing equipment and washing and drying installations. Timmerman is responsible for the food processing side, while Boels heads the washing and drying solutions.

Large group advantages

Belonging to the wider ATS Groep is important to Cretel. Firstly, it facilitates good crossover collaboration, whereby, for example,

the engineers within the automation business unit are able to integrate Cretel’s machines within a fully-adapted, fullyautomated factory set-up. At the same time, it provides strong buying power and the ability to promptly get spare parts, components etc to customers.

Being part of ATS also allows Cretel to innovate. On the processing equipment side, it’s looking to do this by increasing machine versatility, said Timmerman. As such, it is always looking to further optimise its equipment with regards to user-friendliness, ergonomics and hygiene, with equal attention paid to the manual machines used in production lines by smaller-scale fish processors as well as the equipment installed at large, more automated facilities.

“It all depends on the capacity and needs of the customer,” he said. “One of our great advantages is that we can provide custom-made machines for small and large processors, and also for onboard processing activities.”

They are also built to last, Timmerman said. “When you buy one of our skinners, you are not just buying it for yourself, you’re buying it for your grandchildren,” he said.

With regards to supplying larger players, one development is the delivery of automatic skinners with easy-to-use thickness controls that can be used with a wide variety of filleted fish.

Meanwhile, a new type of drier offering excellent drying results has been developed alongside new energy-saving washing and drying installations, said Boels.

“Sustainability and energy consumption are key focus areas for us, alongside continuous improvement,” he said. “With more people turning to fish in their diets, more questions are being asked of seafood companies worldwide –we have requests coming in from all over, so we are well-placed, with more opportunities ahead.”

40 | APRIL 2023 For the latest news and analysis go to SPECIAL REPORT
When you buy one of our skinners, you are not just buying it for yourself, you’re buying it for your grandchildren
Johan Timmerman, Cretel
8 Cretel’s F460A new generation skinner 8 Cretel’s new drying systems have been developed with a strong focus on saving energy Photo Credit: Cretel Photo Credit: Cretel


Finnøy Fiskeredskap is pleased with the investment made in a new, electrically-powered autoline system

8 Vonar has been fishing since last autumn with its Mustad Autoline E-Line longline system

Last year, Norwegian fishing company Finnøy Fiskeredskap invested in an all-electric system for its longliner Vonar. After four months and while into its third trip with the Mustad Autoline E-Line system, skipper/coowner Bjartmar Finnøy and chief engineer Hans Jakob Johansen reported that everything has been working perfectly, and the key advantages seen so far include smooth hauling and reduced noise levels.

“All good; it works just fine!” said Finnøy. “We have a close co-operation with Mustad Autoline that goes way back, and we were never in doubt about our choice of equipment and supplier. When Mustad introduced this new electricallypowered E-Line system, we were ready for it.”

The installation of the new autoline equipment was a smooth process and was supervised by the Mustad team.

Smooth, stable hauling means that we lose less fish off the hooks


“They took good care of us. The professional skills of the Mustad service team were commented on favourably by the electrical company working in connection with the installation. Commissioning and test trip went well, and we have now been in operation for almost four months and three, close to four trips at sea. There hasn’t been a single stop or interruption to fishing.”

Fewer fish lost

Finnøy said the only problems have been with the hook cleaner, and after discussing this with the Mustad R&D department at Gjøvik, alterations have been made to this and

a remodelled version is ready for testing.

“The main immediate difference between the hydraulic autoline system and the electric system is the smooth hauling and the noise level onboard. The difference is huge. Smooth, stable hauling means that we lose less fish off the hooks,” he said.

“We haven’t calculated fuel savings and the effect of the improved hauling process yet, but we estimate a reduction in fuel consumption of 50 tonnes over a full year,” he said, adding that to this can be added the improved catch retention rate due to the smooth hauling, so fewer fishing days are needed to catch the same volume of fish.

“From an environmental point of view, it’s obvious that we use less oil and reduce the risk of oil spills. The reduced noise level improves the working environment on board. It is simply cleaner and easier to handle,” said Johansen.

“There’s no doubt that electrically-powered systems are the future. I assume that all new-buildings from now on will choose to go for this option.”

42 | APRIL 2023 For the latest news and analysis go to FISHING TECHNOLOGY
WF Media 2015 (A4 landscape)_Layout 1 15/10/2014 10:07 Page 1
8 Mustad Autoline’s service manager Mats Strande (left) with Vonar’s chief engineer Hans Jakob Johansen and skipper Bjartmar Finnøy (right)
Photo Credit: Mustad Autoline Photo Credit: Mustad Autoline
Visit Email Or Call +44 1329 825335 For multiple users or site access, email ENQUIRE TODAY FOR CORPORATE SUBSCRIPTIONS fishing industry professionals around the world Informing over 16,765 For full online access SIGN UP FOR FREE Unlock full access to World Fishing & Aquaculture today with our free website registration. World Fishing is essential reading for vessel owners, fleet managers, and decision makers in every sector of the commercial fishing and aquaculture industry. • Instant access to industry news • Expert opinion • Monthly features • Weekly eNewsletter • Special reports CONTACT DETAILS: GET FULL ONLINE ACCESS! IOTC CRACKS DOWN ON TUNA FADs Viewpoint 3 Insight 12 Opinion 17 Fishing Technology 22 Analysis 24 PRESIDENT PROTECTS ALASKA SALMON the Indian Ocean will be increasingly restricted inaction by the ITOC’s 33 parties with regards ecosystems and harm to non-target species. secret ballot the final hours of the meeting. permitted per vessel from 300 to 250 the first FAD registry, allowing for increased transparency well received by the European Union, which fleet of EU vessels, mainly Spanish- and FrenchWhile the European Commission supportive A Final Determination has been issued by the regarded as the world’s most productive wild Administration is protecting certain waters that “The Bristol Bay watershed vital economic proposal that sought to reduce their use, has impacts on fishers and local communities. It was also highlighted that yellowfin tuna has NEWBUILDS AQUACULTURE 01346 519163 (Fraserburgh) New Builds, Refits + Repairs, Administrator Michael Regan said. “With this an essential Alaskan industry, and preserve the The total economic value, including subsistence resources, was estimated at more than US$2.2 billion in 2019 and results 15,000 jobs annually. WORLDFISHING SINCE 1952 & AQUACULTURE

18 20 TO Smárinn Kópavogur Iceland 2024

We look forward to welcoming you in 2024

The Icelandic Fisheries Exhibition covers every aspect of the commercial fishing industry from locating, catching, processing and packaging, right through to the marketing and distribution of the end product.

For more information about exhibiting, visiting or sponsoring, contact the events team


Contact: +44 1329 825 335 or Email:


Organised by:

Partner: & Awards


Icelandic winch and deck machinery manufacturer Naust Marine is due to ship systems to Spanish shipyards to fit out new vessels currently under construction

The new research vessel being built at Astilleros Armón for the Marine and Freshwater Research Institute (MFRI) in Iceland is designed by Skipasýn and is expected to replace the Institute’s 55-metre, 1970 vintage Bjarni Sæmundsson when it is delivered in late 2023.

Naust Marine is supplying the hardware needed to deploy a variety of fishing gears and sampling and measurement equipment. The new research vessel has been designed with a strong focus on the use of environmentally friendly, leading-edge technology, and every effort has been made to minimise the use of fossil fuels and to conserve and save energy.

Naust Marine is supplying trawl winches, sweep line, gilson winches and a net drum, as well as a complete control system for the trawl gear setup and the research and other

at the Nodosa yard in Marín for the Orion Fishing Company, co-owned by Vigo fishing operator Armadora Pereira.

The design team at Naust and Armadora Pereira’s technical staff have co-operated closely with Nodosa’s designers to develop a complete deck layout for the new 85-metre trawler, which will fish for primarily for squid in Falkland Islands waters.

Experience with the set of winches supplied to Igueldo around a year ago has been a valuable part of the design, as this trawler now has several successful seasons behind it – fishing with its Naust Marine winches in Falklands waters.

Design and production of the Orion trawler’s winch systems is being handled by Naust Marine in Spain, which will deliver the deck systems and ATW winch management system to the yard in late 2023, and the trawler is scheduled to be delivered in time for the early year season in Falklands waters in 2025.

Both Orion Fishing Company and Naust Marine have placed a strong emphasis on energy economy throughout the design process, focusing on minimising the energy footprint, and consequently running costs and associated emissions.

8 The Icelandic Marine and Freshwater Research Institute’s new marine research vessel is being outfitted with Naust Marine deck systems

8 Naust Marine in Spain will deliver a complete set of electric winches for the Orion Fishing Company’s new trawler

winch systems. The Naust Marine package also includes anchor and auxiliary winches, cranes, gallows and blocks.

“It’s an honour for Naust Marine to be able to contribute to reducing the environmental impact by supplying sophisticated electric winches,” a Naust Marine representative commented. “These winches will produce zero emissions so as not to contribute to air pollution, no hydraulic fluid spills or fires, less environmental noise and vibrations, and higher efficiency.”

Falklands trawler

Naust Marine is also supplying a full package of deck equipment for the new Falklands trawler under construction

For the latest news and analysis go to APRIL 2023 | 45 FISHING TECHNOLOGY
It’s an honour for Naust Marine to be able to contribute to reducing the environmental impact by supplying sophisticated electric winches
Bjartmar Finnøy, Finnøy Fiskeredskap
llustration: Skipasýn Illustration: Nodosa


The development of practical, new technologies that enhance fish quality is taking young company Nomapro to new levels, writes Jason Holland

With a strong emphasis on red- and white-fish production across Scandinavia, especially in its native Norway, as well as in Iceland, the United Kingdom and other close markets, marine and aquaculture technology provider Nomapro AS has seen the demand for its solutions increase as the market pays closer attention to driving cost-efficiencies, the company’s CEO Asbjørn Tøssebro told WF.

Established in Norway in 2020, Nomapro AS was started by two companies as a joint-venture to produce two new products. One of these founding firms had developed a new software that very accurately measures the biomass in fish farming systems, while the other had developed the nanoICE technology, which while aimed more at the fisheries sector can also be used in the processing sector, such as with farmed salmon to “supercool” the fish.

Tøssebro was brought in as Nomapro’s CEO and he quickly determined that there were a lot more opportunities in the market. Consequently, a new washing system for

mooring systems and feeding pipes were developed. At the same time, the new business acquired some good partners with different technologies and expertise.

“These have complemented our product portfolio and provided us with additional growth strategies – in both the fisheries and aquaculture markets,” Tøssebro explained. As such, Nomapro’s strategy has shifted, whereby the aim is to be an aquaculture solutions partner – providing the systems supporting fish cage production, whilst also increasing the quality of the fresh fish throughout the value chain through the use of the nanoICE technology.

Advanced tech

There is, Tøssebro said, a strong sustainability effort with all Nomapro products. This is alongside the principle to make life easier for end-users.

“We want to deliver solutions for customers where they can lower their operational costs, and at the same time have a strong focus on health and safety.”

46 | APRIL 2023 For the latest news and analysis go to AQUACULTURE
8 Nomapro’s nanoICE solution offers excellent consistency in the supercooling process for fresh fish and shellfish

With regards to the technologies it is providing, Tøssebro gives the example of Nomapro’s latest feed camera, which makes it possible for fish farmers to feed their fish one-to-two times more within a 24-hour cycle. Needing only 0.0002 lux to be able to see the fish clearly, it provides the scope for increased growth and/or less time at sea in the fish cages.

Its nanoICE solution, meanwhile, delivers ice particles so small that that 150 crystals would fit on the tip of strand of human hair. This, he said, gives “exceptional consistency” in the supercooling process for fresh fish and shellfish.

Another product that it maintains high hopes for is its BIO5000 biomass camera. According to Tøssebro, the software that it utilises is amongst the best in the market to-date.

While the camera’s hardware needs some extra

Market expansion

Northern Europe isn’t the only region to recognise the benefits of the current solutions, and earlier this year, Nomapro signed a Mediterranean distribution agreement with Turkish company OctoAqua. This was after seeing that its nanoICE machines were already being well received in the region.

OctoAqua’s 20 years’ experience selling Norwegian technological products into the marine aquaculture space meant the deal gives Nomapro a faster, lower cost route into this specific market area, while also minimising the risk that comes with a young company entering new regions, Tøssebro explained.

“It is the way forward for us. OctoAqua is able to take care of sales and the production of supplementary products. It will also provide a good after-sales function and service for the products in our portfolio,” he said. “Together OctoAqua



While it epitomises determination and resilience, Ukrainian aquaculture is in an increasingly precarious position due to the ongoing conflict

One year ago, Russian troops crossed the Ukrainian border, triggering the bloodiest conflict the European continent has seen since the Second World War. Since then, Ukrainian fish farmers have sustained tremendous losses, and since the hostilities show no signs of letting up, it’s possible the worst is still yet to come.

Heavy fighting against the Russian troops, martial law, regular shelling, power outages, mass immigration and mobilisation put immense pressure on Ukrainian fish farming businesses in 2022. According to research released by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) in January 2023, the combined damages and losses that the aquaculture sector suffered last year stood at $21.6 million, equal to 63% of its annual gross value of sales.

FAO analysts have surveyed farmers to gather firsthand information about the challenges they face. These dialogues confirmed the heavy destruction of fish farms, storage and processing infrastructure like electricity facilities and productive assets, including pumps, refrigerators, boats and fishponds. The destruction has been far more common in the frontline regions, where most of the fighting has been taking place.

There have been several confirmed casualties in Ukraine’s fish farming industry. Donetsk fish factory, one of the country’s largest fish farming companies, reported the loss of 80% of its production capacities due to hostilities in the region, while the Kharkiv-based Pecheneg fish farm, another industrial fish farm used to breed catfish and carp, has been completely destroyed. The list is long.

Furthermore, almost all those surveyed anticipate the financial performance of their operations will steadily deteriorate in the months ahead. Virtually all fish farmers looked at by the FAO indicated the need to receive outside support and assistance to continue with their aquaculture and fishery operations and to avoid the risk of their businesses collapsing.

At a national level, 11% of those aquaculture companies interviewed reported losses related to their production. Again, these were primarily located in the frontline territories, with 37% of the farms reporting effects to production.

Last year’s production was mainly affected by the complete or partial loss of reared fish, reported by 5% of farms at a national level and 21% in the frontline regions. Smaller and similar shares of farms reported losses of fry and broodstock.

48 | APRIL 2023 For the latest news and analysis go to AQUACULTURE
8 Ukraine has started drafting a roadmap for the fish industry’s recovery Photo Credit: Megalodon

On the other side

At the time of writing, nearly 20% of the Ukrainian territory was in the hands of Russia. Currently, it’s unknown how many fish farms ended up in the regions that Russia in September 2022 proclaimed its own. What is clear is that some farmers fled, abandoning their production assets, but others chose to stay and continue their operations where possible.

Farmers in the territories occupied by Russians face multiple challenges, Andriy Dykun, head of the Ukrainian Agri Council, the largest Ukrainian agricultural association told WF.

“Farmers in the occupied territories cannot work properly,” Dykun said, referring to the lack of spare parts of equipment and inputs, as the logistics chain is broken. “There are checkpoints on the roads, constant searches, and threats. The occupiers are constantly putting pressure on farmers to register their farms under Russian law, and recently, they have been demanding that they [the farmers] obtain Russian citizenship.

1950s, this system provides drinking water for roughly 70% of the Ukrainian population, ensuring the operation of hundreds of fish farms in the southern and central parts of Ukraine.

It is not entirely clear why the Kakhovka Reservoir is being drained. In its statement, the Zaporizhzhia Regional Military Administration suggested the purpose may be in part to flood the area south of the dam in an effort to prevent Ukrainian Forces from crossing the Dnipro River to commence a counter-offensive.

The Ukraine hydropower plant operator Ukrhydroenergo expressed a similar opinion, claiming that Russia wants to prevent Ukrainian soldiers from advancing. These claims have been denied by Russian authorities. Whatever the reason, a further fall in the water level in the Kakhovka Reservoir could lead to an ecological disaster, Yatsyuk said.

“There is another context – international. Because of the consequences of water discharge from the Kakhovka reservoir, they will be negative for the entire Black Sea basin for all countries. Here, our neighbours may suffer because the toxins will appear after aquaculture dies in these reservoirs, and it has already begun to die. Pollution transfer processes will occur, and they will threaten neighbouring countries,” Yatsyuk explained.

In the past, Ukrainian scientists raised an alarm that the fights in the Black Sea could threaten fishing and fish farming there.

“All these explosions at sea, flooded ships, oil spills, all this negatively affects bio-productivity. No one can go there and check what really happens, for example, in the place where the [Russian] cruiser Moskva sank,” said Sergey Bushuev, Senior Researcher at the Institute of Marine Biology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.

“The conditions in which Ukrainian farmers are now living are terrible. It is important for us to tell the international audience about this, record the conditions of their stay under occupation and support them with information because they are left face to face with the invader and do not know what tomorrow will be like,” Dykun added.

There are multiple reasons why farmers choose to stay and keep working in such conditions. The Ukrainian Agri Council cites Oleksandr Tkach, a farmer from the Chernihiv region, who disclosed that he continued operations to save people in his local community. “No one could come to us, and in local stores quickly ran out of food. People were saved by my farm,” Tkach said, recalling that he was giving up his products for free.

One of the critical problems fish farmers in the occupied territories have to deal with, however, is chaotic logistics. Currently, there’s almost no way to transport anything via the frontline – meaning that farms operate in partial isolation, without access to aquafeed, broodstock and technologies.

In addition, farmers in the territories controlled by Russia experience problems associated with a labour shortage, Ukrainian Agri Council said.

A deadly threat

Ukraine aquaculture is also threatened by problems with the reservoir of the Kakhovka hydroelectrical power plant. Since early November 2022, water has been gushing out of the Kakhovka Reservoir, currently controlled by Russian forces. Satellite data shows that the water level at the reservoir has plummeted to its lowest point in three decades, endangering the region with floods and jeopardizing even the Zaporozhe nuclear plant.

“Even though the decreased water level does not pose an immediate threat to nuclear safety and security, it may become a source of concern if it is allowed to continue,”

IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi said in a statement.

Mikhail Yatsyuk, director of the Institute of Water Problems of the Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences, explained that the Kakhovka reservoir is interconnected with six reservoirs alongside the Dnipro River. Established in the

Eyeing post-war recovery

Although the end of the fighting is nowhere in sight, the Ukrainian fishery agency recently disclosed that it has started drafting a roadmap for the fish industry’s recovery. Authorities plan to focus not only on rebuilding the lost capacities and infrastructure but also on sorting out longstanding issues.

It is believed that a large share of the Ukrainian fish farms remained in the shadows, by not being officially registered. And there are calls for new legislation to put an end to this practice.

In mid-2022, Ukrainian government officials declared plans to use reparations they plan to get from Russia once the war is over to compensate for all the damages. Under some scenarios, nearly $300 billion of the Russian Central Bank’s reservices are planned to be used to fund Ukraine’s reconstruction programme.

In the meantime, FAO wants to see Ukrainian fish farmers protected, especially in the frontline regions, while there is something to be saved.

“Considering the importance of the sectors to the national supply of animal protein and food security, as well as income generating activities, it is imperative to continue taking stock of the impact of the war and related damages and losses on the sectors while the war continues to evolve in the coming months. Preventive and recovery measures must be undertaken to avoid business failure and the collapse of the aquaculture and fishery sectors, leading to an aggravation of the economic situation and food insecurity across the country, especially for those relying directly and indirectly on the sectors,” FAO said.

Opinion polls indicate that Ukraine is confident the war will end in its decisive victory, involving the liberation of the country’s entire territory within its internationallyrecognised borders. But with some forecasts suggesting the conflict could last for several more years, and given that every day comes with great pain for the fish farming sector, it’s hard to imagine in what conditions its aquaculture will be when the fighting is finally over.

For the latest news and analysis go to APRIL 2023 | 49 AQUACULTURE
Preventive and recovery measures must be undertaken to avoid business failure and the collapse of the aquaculture and fishery sectors

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50 | APRIL 2023 For the latest news
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For the latest news and analysis go to APRIL 2023 | 53 PRODUCTS & SERVICES DIRECTORY
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-we make fishing more profitable VÓNIN LTD

8, Sydhalevej, DK-7680 Thyborøn, Denmark

P.O. Box 19 FO-530 Fuglafjørõur Faroe Islands

P.O. Box 19

FO-530 Fuglafjørður

Faroe Islands

Tel: +298 474 200

Tel: +298 474 200

Fax: +298 474 201

Fax: +298 474 201





Contact: Bogi Non

Contact: Eystein Elttør

Manufacturer of pelagic trawls, semi-pelagic trawls, shrimp trawls, various bottom trawls, purse seine nets, fish farming nets and sorting grids. Vónin is a major supplier to the North Atlantic/Arctic fishing fleet. We have all accessories in stock.

Vónin is a major supplier to the fishing fleet and aquaculture industry with branches in the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Canada, Denmark and Norway. Vónin manufactures pelagic trawls, semi pelagic trawl, shrimp trawls, bottom trawls, sorting grids, crab pots, net cages, mooring systems and net washing systems.

54 | APRIL 2023
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