Scientist Oyvind Aas-Hansen, the project manager for the swim tunnel. (Photo: Jon-Are Berg-Jacobsen/Nofima)
Swim tunnel to reveal how fish react to fishing gear
Friday, September 14, 2012, 22:50 (GMT + 9)
Scientists at Nofima Mat, the Norwegian Institute of Food, Fisheries and Aquaculture Research, have built a swim tunnel to measure how fish react to different types of fishing gear.
Fish captured using trawls, Danish seines or purse seines then handled on board the fishing boat are exposed to different forms of physical stress. Exhaustion leads to a reduction in the quality of the fish and in turn, lower prices for the raw material.
During commercial fishing there are limited opportunities to find out what factors have a negative impact on the fish and how to change this. Consequently, Nofima has built a swim tunnel to imitate the conditions the fish experience in the fishing gear, for instance how long and how fast the fish has swum before it is taken on board the boat.
|Oyvind Aas-Hansen beside the 8 metre long tunnel, which has been placed in a tank 11 metres in diameter. (Photo: Jon-Are Berg-Jacobsen/Nofima)
“We can carry out various experiments in the swim tunnel and find better ways to catch and handle the fish. If the tests indicate it is necessary, we may be able to develop better fishing gear and better ways of handling the catch on board the boats,” says Nofima scientist Øyvind Aas-Hansen.
“After we have completed these tests, we hope to acquire knowledge that will help the industry to become more profitable and for consumers to get fish products of better quality.”
The construction of the swim tunnel has been completed at the Tromsø Aquaculture Research Station and the scientists are ready to start the tests. The current, water quality and other variables may be controlled using a control panel beside the tank.
The tunnel forms part of the CRISP (Centre for Research-based Innovation in Sustainable fish capture and Pre-processing technology) project, which is hosted by the Institute of Marine Research and in which Nofima is responsible for quality and value creation. The goals of the project are to optimise the fishery industry’s value creation and product quality.