Vessel Oddeyrin modified to catch, conserve and transport live fish ashore

Construction of and installation of new equipment is currently underway in the vessel Oddeyrin EA, allowing the ship to start experimenting with bringing live groundfish ashore for processing. This particular technology and method have not been used on trawlers before.

The vessel, previously named Western Chieftain, is a 45-meter-long pelagic vessel that Samherji acquired and had converted for groundfish fishing with the option of pumping fish on board and store it alive in specially equipped tanks.

Onboard, this method offers:

  • Fish goes into equipped tanks where it is kept alive. This makes it possible to process it later on board or bring the fish ashore alive.
  • Fish is bled/gutted and placed in tanks with refrigerated seawater (RSW) for short term storage. The fish is then transferred into traditional fish tubs and stored in cold storage on board.

The method involves catching fish in a traditional bottom trawl, but instead of taking the bag on deck and pour from it, the bag is moved to the side of the vessel, and then the catch is pumped on board with a vacuum pump system. This method puts less pressure on the fish, handles the catch much better and is well known in the salmon farming industry for the transfer of live fish.

The time between slaughter and processing shortened

We at Samherji are convinced that there are many opportunities for progress in using this method. The time between slaughtering the fish to land processing could be shortened from 3-5 days down to 0-12 hours. Security of supply for land processing is also significantly increased. Storing the fish in cages can compensate for short-term fluctuations when shortages occur due to bad weathers or fluctuations in catch.

The possibilities of entering new markets with fresh fish will also increase due to the longer shelf life of the product and a more stable supply. Samherji's staff have studied this methodology and have put considerable effort into familiarizing themselves with various research projects related to this.

Significant changes made to the vessel

The vessel Oddeyrin EA is undergoing significant changes at Kartensen Shipyard in Denmark to make the vessel ready to bring live groundfish ashore. The ship was lengthened by 10 meters, and a traditional processing deck and fish hold were installed. The original cooling tanks in the ship were kept but were modified to store live fish.

A new deckhouse, which will house sorting facilities, has been set up and work is underway to install catch sorting equipment after fish has been pumped on board. Also, fishfinding and other equipment on the bridge will be upgraded to better suit groundfish fishing.

Samherji recently signed an agreement with Slippurinn Akureyri Ltd. that involves the supply and installation of processing equipment in the Oddeyrin vessel, most notably a new type of washing system and bleeding bins for the catch that will be slaughtered on board. A liquid ice machine from KAPP will also be installed, which will be used both to cool catch during processing and in fish hold. With this equipment and technology, emphasis is placed on the bleeding and cooling of the catch slaughtered on board. However, the aim is that the vast majority of the catch will go live in tanks and be delivered live ashore.