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Improving the bottom line

A new report is calling on the fishing industry to invest in new net technology to reduce the impacts of bottom-trawling.

Net Positive: Disruptive Seafood was supported by Seafish through the Strategic Investment Programme and delivered by Espersen, Icelandic Seachill, and Nomad Foods.

The report follows a workshop, hosted at FAI Farms in Oxford, which brought together seafood industry actors, scientists and technology developers from across a variety of disciplines, with the goal of creating and building support for innovative selective harvest design concepts, with the potential to transform the wild-caught seafood sector.


"The challenge is clear; to ensure a sustainable future for our fisheries, oceans and fishermen’s livelihoods we must think beyond todays trawling technology. We need clever, selective harvesting techniques that target sustainable stocks, avoid by-catch and minimise environmental impacts," Øistein Thorsen, FAI Director, observed.

Ideas for integrating technology into the fishing industry that emerged from the workshop ranged from autonomous catching devices to improved processing at sea. The report hopes to attract partners and investors – public, private and philanthropic – that can provide the capital needed to take these concepts from the drawing board to common practice in the industry.
Alex Olsen, Head of Sustainability at Espersen, reflected: "It is vitally important that as an industry we address the negative impact of bottom-trawling. It is amazing that we can put a man on the moon but that we have not developed lower impact fishing techniques. In order to address this issue, we felt that modern technology needs to be integrated into fishing."

“Through the FAI workshop, we were able to bring a wide range of partners together and share knowledge to come up with concepts that could help maximise yield, while minimising impact on the environment. We now need investors and other partners to help us move these concepts forward.”

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the Fish Site Editor

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