January 30, 2023

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This vessel can "pick" the catch from the sea floor

This vessel can “pick” the catch from the sea floor

On Tuesday this week, Sintef CEO Alexandra Bech Gjørv had the honor of christening the Arctic Pearl vessel at Fiskerstrand Verft outside Ålesund. The ship is a former seismic vessel, now converted into a trawler, and thus the only one of its kind to date.

The ship is the first in more than 30 years to be allowed to harvest rich snail deposits in Norwegian waters. The seabed harvester installed on board is completely new and cannot be compared to other fishing gear currently in use: it can best be described as a shell picker that, through a selective water pump system, gently and contactlessly picks up seafood from the sea floor. The shells are lifted to a harvesting basket that floats above the sea floor, where by-catch and smaller shells are sorted before being raised to the surface.

The cutest fishing boat in the world?

Because of proprietary technology developed by Ava Ocean and Sintef, Norwegian authorities have granted a five-year testing quota for sea snail species. During this period, Ava Ocean wants to prove to the world that it is possible to exploit more and more of the many food resources found on the sea floor, without harming the fragile ecosystems of the sea.

Today, there are no real alternatives to bottom dredging, which is the most popular method of catching bottom-dwelling organisms. Bottom dredging is a highly destructive fishing method that is banned in Norway and many other countries.

Cooperates with the Naval Research Institute

Arctic Pearl will now not only begin to create new fisheries for a seafood delicacy that few of us know about, but it will also work painstakingly and meticulously documenting the impact of seashell cutters on the environment and animals in collaboration with the Marine Research Institute.

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– The goal is to be able to document that we have a tool that can not only efficiently pick seafood from the sea floor, but also not harm the ecosystem in which they live or recruit new shells over time. Only then will it be possible to develop a sustainable, long-term fishery, both from an environmental and economic perspective, says Ava Ocean CEO Oystein Tvedt.

The article was first published on Gemini



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