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Automatic catch handling of whitefish in the Danish seine vessels

Automating the catch handling up until bleeding / instant gutting is identified as one of the most important factors for the improvement of the Danish seine vessels. Automation will ease the workload, increase productivity and improve the the quality of the fish on board.

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Automatic bleeding of anesthetized and alive fish on board will both raise the quality of the fish and remove heavy workloads for the fishermen. In addition, we have seen recently that some of the manufacturing industry has facilitated for gutting fish on land, which has meant that the fishermen can make adjustments when it comes to catch handling. This can provide several benefits including a better fish quality, better maintenance of by-products, simplified arrangements for the capture of catch handling and less work load for the fishermen on board. This project includes Part III of the R & D work that has been launched and aims to increase the degree of automation on board Danish seine vessels.

For the first handling of fish, it is important to look at opportunities to handle large volumes in a cost effective manner. In the case of Danish seine fishing is very difficult to limit the size of individual catches and problems arise when there are large catches: it will be busy on deck and bottlenecks occur. This often means that the quality of fish deteriorates, the consequences may be poor fillet quality, badly bleeding and damage. Prolonged stress of fish can also cause a negative effect on the quality and it is particularly a negative factor regarding animal welfare.

The Danish seine fleet has a need to record the catch weight and sort fish by species, both to report to the countries on type / amount of fish of each species and reporting as required by legislation (see Quality Regulations for Fish and Fish Products). Today is sorted fish primarily manually. It is a laborious job, and may in some cases be a bottleneck. As of today, no automatic weighing and sorting systems are used in the Danish seine fleet.

The Danish seine fleet is a diverse group of boats with great variation in size and with different modes of operation. On board a fishing vessel it is usually little room to spare, regardless of size or form of operation. Along with a tough production environment, with large movements, moist and corrosive environments, this puts great demands on the development of new technology to be installed on board. The physical parameters will set limits on which solutions can be selected.

Main target

To develop automated catch handling processing lines for more efficient processing of fish to ease the workload, increase productivity and improve the quality fish on board.

Secondary objectives

  • establish a set of parameters so that a selected and representative Danish seine vessel should work optimally with the highest possible degree of automated catch handling
  • achieve a gentle storage of living fish prior to slaughter<7li>
  • adapting existing anesthetic methods for wild fish
  • develop concepts for automatic bleeding of wild fish
  • develop weight registration system for fish on board.
  • develop sorting systems per species on board

Expected utility value
The project will greatly benefit the industry in that

  • It includes both old and new vessels through the solutions that the project will develop (2-3 cases)
  • Automation with machine vision and robotics technology in slaughtering wild fish are innovative and can revolutionize the of wild fish fleet
  • It provides a better reputation in the market for Danish seine caught fish by providing fish with a steady and good quality
  • It represents a commitment to automation for the Norwegian fishing industry and is a necessary step to achieve a safe, quality stable and efficient processing of fish on board fishing vessels
  • The establishment of automation systems in the fishing fleet with complete solutions to replace eye, hand and brain with machine vision, computer-controlled flexible manipulators and tools. This is a development that has a significant degree of novelty in the handling and processing of of wild fish
  • It provides knowledge and skills, as well as networking through a close collaboration between the fishing fleet, boat designers, equipment suppliers and R & D
  • It involves the establishment of a knowledge base that the entire fishing industry will take advantage of, also other vessel groups
  • It will help to improve fish quality, profitability, reputation and standing
  • It provides transferability to other fisheries
  • It provides easier workload and less wear damage in fishers
  • It provides a foundation for improved recruitment to the fishery profession
  • It aims to adapt the automation systems for both new construction and remodeling of the vessel, and includes various types of Danish seine vessel, both new and old

Key Factors

Project duration

15/12/2010 - 31/12/2014