First and foremost, this is about fish welfare and the quality of the end product. We aim to help our customers to make fuller use of the raw material, by handling the fish as gently as possible throughout the pumping process.
We have been working on the system for several years and have supplied the pump for use in many installations in the pelagic industry. We have gained invaluable knowledge, and this has helped us to develop the pump so that it can also handle large, live fish.
Patented control system
The pump has a patented control system and operates by suction. It has no impellers, valves or other obstructions that can damage the fish on their journey.
Pressure inside the pump fluctuates from under-pressure to overpressure every 20-35 seconds, depending on the set operating frequency. This gives an even, shallow pressure gradient.
We adecided at an early stage to work with the research community in Norway, to document the pump’s fantastic fish welfare characteristics.
Sintef Ocean and Møreforskning
In June 2020, researchers from Sintef Ocean visited our test plant at Digerneset. They ran tests using sensor fish to measure and analyse any pressure surges and shocks through the pump, but before that we had also run tests using delicate goods such as tomatoes, eggs and cucumbers etc. Throughout testing we have achieved brilliant results - much better than we had ever dared to hope.
We have worked closely and effectively with Sintef Ocean and Møreforskning throughout the project, and all of us have learned valuable lessons. Having these research resources available within easy reach is vitally important if we are to continue to lead the world in handling live fish.
In September Møreforskning and Fylkesnes Fisk joined us for an experiment where we ran live salmon through the pump. To measure fish welfare, blood samples were taken from all the fish and analysed for lactate, which is an indicator of stress. We were again pleasantly surprised by results, which showed how gentle the new pump is with the fish and how little stress it causes. In fact, the report shows that the stress level in the fish was well beneath the recommended threshold.
Fish welfare and sustainable fish handling
We can see enormous potential for operators who want to move fish as gently as possible to achieve maximum quality of end product - in slaughter boats, when transporting smolts or pre-smolts or replacing conveyor belts in a slaughterhouse.
This pump can also usefully supplement other, existing pumping systems where gentle and sustainable fish handling is required.