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In the research project PresiSkjell, the partners Ava Ocean, Scantrol and SINTEF will develop a method for computer-aided precision harvesting of arctic scallops that is sustainable and non-damaging for vulnerable seabed environments.

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In Norway, arctic scallop dredging has been banned for the last three decades to protect vulnerable arctic marine ecosystems. In the 1980s, the large scallop populations in the Svalbard zone were almost depleted due to overfishing using destructive scallop scraping methods in search of delicate arctic food resources.

Ava Ocean's arctic scallop harvester; Arctic Pearl. Foto: AvaOcean

Almost 30 years after the imposed ban on shell scraping, the scallop population in the Norwegian arctic zone has recovered, and Ava Ocean has been given a trial permit for sustainable scallop fishing with their newly developed and gentle harvesting method. This harvesting method does not impact the seabed with heavy equipment, but rather sucks the scallops into a sorting mechanism.

In parallel with the testing of this new harvesting method, the partners in PresiSkjell will develop and test a method for computer-aided precision mapping of scallops. This mapping method will be based on advanced computer vision algorithms for determining the presence of scallops from hydroacoustic measurements and high-frequency still images of the seabed.

The arctic scallop is considered a delicacy among gourmets. Photo: AvaOcean.

The PresiSkjell method will enable more efficient and profitable scallop harvesting, reduce the number of fishing days required to fill the given quota, and further limit emissions and harmful impacts on vulnerable marine ecosystems. In the future, technology export of this efficient and sustainable harvesting method for benthic food resources can lead to significant value creation and revenues from a large and growing international market for sustainable utilization of marine food resources.


Key Factors

Project duration

2022 - 2024

Facts about PresiSkjell
Ava Ocean
SINTEF Ålesund

Funded by The Research Council og Norway's IPN-program
- Innovation Project for the Industrial Sector