The Arctic Pearl is the first vessel for more than 30 years to be given the go-ahead to harvest Iceland scallop from the rich habitats found in Norwegian waters.
The seabed harvesting technology installed on board is entirely new and cannot be compared with any other kinds of bottom fishing gear currently in use. It can best be described as a ‘shellfish picker’ that employs a selective water pump system to delicately gather up seafood species without touching the seabed. The selected shellfish are lifted into a harvesting basket that is suspended above the seabed. Here, any by-catch and smaller shellfish are removed before the basket is raised to the surface.
The world’s first sensitive bottom fishing vessel?
The nature of this very special technology, developed by Ava Ocean and SINTEF, has enabled the Norwegian authorities to grant a five-year test catch quota for the species Iceland scallop. (photo: Kristin Holseth/Norwegianscitechnews.com)
Ava Ocean wants to use this period to demonstrate to the world that it is possible to exploit even more of the many food resources found on the seabed without damaging vulnerable marine ecosystems.
Working with the Marine Research Institute
The Arctic Pearl will be joining forces with the Norwegian Marine Research Institute to document the impact of the ‘shellfish picker’ on seabed fauna and habitats.
“The aim here is to demonstrate that we have a harvesting system that not only effectively picks selected shellfish species from the seabed, but which does so without damaging the ecosystem on which the shellfish depend or negatively affecting population recruitment”, says Øystein Tvedt, who is CEO at Ava Ocean.