Scottish Sea Farms team found the Ace electric stunner doubled their harvest rate due to how much easier it was to handle stunned fish.
Scottish Sea Farms installed a second stunner at another processing site shortly after seeing the results of the first installation. -Donald Buchanan, Processing Manager Scottish Sea Farms
SmartAqua has been working on the development of humane harvesting systems since 1994 and led the way for the push towards focussing on this important area of seafood production – and it applies to wild seafood harvesting as well. For aquaculture many companies fail to put appropriate focus on the slaughter process and the harvesting handover from farm to processing is often a weak spot that can have a big impact on fish quality. For wild fish harvesting the weak spot is resistance to change practices that have been traditionally used for many generations – practices that were often focussed on efficient capture and less so on yield preservation and quality – a fact that some new innovative fishing companies are discovering and reaping the rewards of implementing modern harvest methods and technologies.
The majority of production cost in aquaculture (up to 60-75% in many cases) is on feed, and with such a big focus on that part of the operation it can be easy to forget that the slaughter process can have just as big an impact on the end product. A stressful slaughter process can lead to reduced quality, yield and shelf-life, quickly eroding the return on that feed investment.
It can take 20,000-30,000 hours of careful husbandry to produce a fish of around 3-5kg, and less than one hour to reduce that investment to well below cost by saving on humane harvesting technology
Ace Aquatec solution: SmartAqua has been working with Ace Aquatec since 2000 helping with fish trials etc, and they have spent many years refining their product technology to the point where they won the innovation award at the AquaNor Expo in 2017 with a robust, modular and flexible harvest system that can process up to 100 tonnes per hour. Their HSU technology utilises a flexible electronics system that actively protects against spinal damage and blood spotting. It delivers precisely calibrated voltages without removing fish from the water.
It has been setup for many finfish species now ie salmon, trout, yellowtail, sea bass, sea bream, etc and also for non-finfish species like shrimp where it has been shown to significantly improve product quality.
There are other excellent humane harvest solutions available, particularly percussive stunning options from companies like Baader and Stranda, and SmartAqua will always present all the options and help clients work out the best solution for their specific needs.