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Swim Tunnel for Fish Can Improve Quality and Profitability

11 September 2012, at 1:00am

NORWAY - Researchers at the food research institute Nofima have built a swimming tunnel to measure how fish react to different types of fishing gear.

Fish captured using trawls, Danish seines or purse seines then handled on board the fishing boat are exposed to different forms of physical stress. Exhaustion leads to a reduction in the quality of the fish and in turn lower prices for the raw material.

During commercial fishing there are limited opportunities to find out what factors have a negative impact on the fish and how to change this. Consequently, Nofima has built a swim tunnel to imitate the conditions the fish experience in the fishing gear, for instance how long and how fast the fish has swum before it is taken on board the boat.

We can carry out various experiments in the swim tunnel and find better ways to catch and handle the fish. If the tests indicate it is necessary, we may be able to develop better fishing gear and better ways of handling the catch on board the boats, says Nofima Scientist yvind Aas-Hansen.

After we have completed these tests, we hope to acquire knowledge that will help the industry to become more profitable and for consumers to get fish products of better quality.

The construction of the swim tunnel has been completed at the Troms Aquaculture Research Station and the scientists are ready to start the tests. The current, water quality and other variables may be controlled using a control panel beside the tank.

The tunnel forms part of the CRISP (Centre for Research-based Innovation in Sustainable fish capture and Pre-processing technology) project, which is hosted by the Institute of Marine Research and in which Nofima is responsible for quality and value creation. The goals of the project are to optimise the fishery industrys value creation and product quality.

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