The processing of raw materials from fisheries has been an important research element at the institute for more than 30 years. Work in this area concerns not only handling of the raw material once it has been landed, but also catch handling on board the fishing boats. This is to ensure the quality of the seafood is looked after from the moment the fish comes in contact with the fishing equipment at sea.
Another area of research that is directly fisheries-related is capture-based aquaculture, which involves wild fish being caught live, transported ashore, fed out to the desired size and quality at a fish farm and then slaughtered. We are also working on variations of this concept whereby the fish is caught live, given a recuperation period in a purpose-built cage and then slaughtered without being farm-raised.
The gain here lies in the fact that controlled slaughter of non-stressed fish provides better quality raw material, which provides the basis for the production of ultra fresh products which fetch a high price on the market. The theme of capture-based aquaculture deals not only with fish, but also the catching and farming of king crabs, sea urchins and Norway crayfish.
Nofima Marin has long had comprehensive research activity aimed at optimising the slaughtering process for farmed fish. Regarding consequences for the quality of the raw material, there is no major difference whether the slaughtering process is carried out on board the fishing boat or at a land-based slaughterhouse for farmed fish. The authorities and the market are placing increasingly stringent demands that the slaughter of farmed fish occurs under satisfactory conditions with respect to prevention of cruelty to animals and fish welfare. There is reason to believe that the fishing fleet too will in time face stricter demands with respect to the prevention of cruelty to animals during the slaughter of wild fish on board the fishing boats.