Better quality with live haddock

There are significant differences in the quality of haddock depending on whether it is killed soon after catching or recuperates in capture-based aquaculture. This is documented in a project carried out by Nofima Marin.

In Norway, most haddock is caught by trawling, mostly as a by-catch. Targeted fishing for haddock using Danish seines takes place in the period from April to June off the coast of Troms and Finnmark.

Quality problems

The catches are often large and much of the quality problem is associated with the fishing gear Danish seines. The haddock is exhausted after the catching process and has, among other factors, a low pH level in its blood and muscle. That is why this fishery presents the greatest challenges regarding quality. There is also the option of capture-based aquaculture or in other words keeping the haddock alive after the catching process.

Capture-based aquaculture offers good quality

Haddock requires considerable time to recuperate, and needs several days in favourable conditions to achieve normal physiological condition. However, the fishing boats using Danish seines that land live haddock the day after the catch supply raw material of an extremely high quality. Danish seines are not a suitable catching method if the haddock are to be kept alive for a period of more than two days.

– The results from these trials don’t come as a surprise and have provided relatively clear answers, says Senior Scientist Kjell Ø. Midling, who is heading the project.

– However, several conditions need to be studied in more detail before we can draw final conclusions."

This was started as a collaborative project between Wild Fish Forum and Fillet Forum and is financed by the Fisheries and Aquaculture Industry Research Fund (FHF).

For more information, please refer to report number 31/08: Live haddock – survival, exhaustion and recuperation of haddock caught with Danish seines. Recuperation and progress of rigor mortis post mortem. (This report is available in Norwegian language only.)

Seafood industry  

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