In order to enhance the sustainable use of marine resources, innovations will also need to be made to the methods of fishing. The problems of fishing methods that destroy the marine environment and bycatch, i.e. the incidental capture of non-target species have been raising concern, and the development of fishing methods that cause the minimum amount of damage to living organisms and the environment has become imperative, for the sake of preventing the marine ecosystem from deteriorating.
The Sealord Group, Ltd. (New Zealand), the Nissui Group company, in partnership with major domestic fisheries companies, Aotearoa Fisheries, Ltd. and Sanford, Ltd. and the research institute, Plant & Food Research, Ltd. which studies sustainable agriculture and fisheries business, has successfully developed the PSH (Precision Seafood Harvesting) fishing method, which reduces bycatch and allows the targeted fish to be caught alive.
The PSH method uses fishing equipment made of flexible PVC which inflates into a tube shape once seawater flows in, allowing fish to be landed live and still swimming, while undersized or smaller species escape through specifically sized holes along the length of the fishing equipment.
Scientific tests have shown that snapper harvested with the PSH system have a 100% chance of survival if they are fished from a depth of 0 to 20 meters. While the survival rates tend to decline with increasing depth, tests have proven that fish caught with the PSH system have better survival rates than those caught using other conventional fishing methods.
Hence, it is believed that the PSH system will be an effective method for studying deep sea organisms and catching fish in the deep depths of the ocean.
The four companies, mentioned above, through repeated trial and error including investigative research over the approximately ten years from the project’s launch in 2005, were finally able to commercialize (practical application) the PSH fishing method in 2016. The Sealord Group, Ltd. is currently expanding the use of the PSH fishing method and making efforts to contribute to the spread of sustainable fishery.
Gorton’s has been forming partnership with New England Aquarium (NEAq), Boston MA. USA, to preserve marine environment and secure sustainable marine resources. The partnership started in 2008 when Gorton’s asked evaluation of its seafood products from scientific and sustainable points of view and marked its 11th year in December 2019.
Along with Monterey Aquarium, NEAq has global knowledge of marine resource research and provides scientific and meaningful advice and support including movement of fishery, aquaculture, fish feed and breeding in the conduct of making efforts to promote sustainable fishery.
In addition, Gorton’s itself developed Sustainability Action Plan, and has been promoting the plan by exchanging opinion with NEAq and implementing progress management by setting KPI.
Based on the strong trust with NEAq until now, Gorton’s, member of the Nissui Group, will make efforts toward sustainable usage of resources and preservation of the environment in a positive manner.