Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), Ireland’s seafood development agency, has developed a new mobile fish holding unit which enables survivability experiments close to the action in the fishing grounds.
The unit, supported by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, comprises a 40 foot refrigerated reefer with fish holding tanks hooked up to a water-recirculation system.
BIM conducted a full survivability experiment on seine-caught plaice in collaboration with the crew of the MFV Róise Catríona and Galway Mayo Institute of Technology whereby the vessel caught and stored 145 plaice in fish bins with a flow-through of sea water.
The vessel landed the fish adjacent to the new unit for captive monitoring over 15 days. A 71% survival result at the end of this period will be used to apply for a survivability exemption off the south west coast where plaice quotas are low.
The system has been assembled so that it can be easily transported to different locations around the coast. This reduces mortalities and potentially biased results associated with transporting fish over long distances. It also aligns with an increasing need for experiments to be localised to ensure results are representative of the fishery in question.