Fishing and processing of live nephros for exportation




Guðmundur Heiðar Gunnarsson

Supported by:

AVS Fisheries Research Fund

Fishing and processing of live nephros for exportation

This was a pilot project aimed at defining conditions for efficient export of live lobsters. The project spanned the process from fishing to lobster marketing in Europe. The project succeeded in defining conditions for bringing live lobster from Hornafjörður to the market in Southern Europe. It was shown that it is possible to catch lobster in trawls for live export if it is ensured that precise quality categories take place on board the fishing vessel. Work processes were defined as minimizing discounts for short-term storage of lobster on land and for transport to the European market. A comparison with comparable Danish studies showed that survival was better in our process or 66% compared to 53%. However, there were higher discounts due to hake during trawling on Icelandic vessels, but this was supplemented by three times higher survival when transported ashore and short-term storage ashore (96 hours). It was shown that lobsters could be kept alive without discounts for up to 48 hours when transported to a foreign market. It was estimated that lobsters would need to live for at least 37 hours. in transit to reach the consumer in Europe. Prices in foreign markets were in line with market analysis. The project has therefore defined a work process that can be built on to start selling live lobster on the market in Southern Europe. However, it is necessary to master the catch of lobster traps in order to increase survival even further and reduce time-consuming sorting work in the process.

This research project was initiated to define conditions for optimized export procedure for Icelandic live nephrops. The project was based on holistic approach spanning the progress from catching nephrops to marketing of the live product in Europe. We were able to define conditions allowing for live export nephrops from Hornafjordur to Europe. We showed that it is possible to export live trawl fished nephrops but only after rigorous quality assessment. We defined workflow allowing for high survival rate of live nephrops during transportation and storage prior to exporting. Comparison with similar Danish project revealed that our setup allowed for higher survival rate or 66% compared to 53%. The survival rate after Icelandic trawl catching was lower than after Danish trawl catching. Survival rate during transportation and short time storage (96 hours) was three times higher in our setup. It was possible to keep nephrops alive for 48 hours in the export packaging, while it was assumed that such export would typically take up to 37 hours. Prices obtained in the pilot marketing tests were in the price range expected based on our marketing analysis. We have therefore defined a procedure suitable for initiating commercial export of live nephrops to Europe. However it is critical to build up capacity for creeling of nephrops in Icelandic waters to ensure higher survival rates and longer storage time of the live products. This would also reduce the extensive quality assessment needed if the nephrops is trawled.

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