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Live cod specimens hauling on board the boat. (Photo Credit: Bjørn Tore Forberg/Nofima)

Capture-based aquaculture cod has better quality: Nofima

Click on the flag for more information about Norway NORWAY
Thursday, May 23, 2013, 22:50 (GMT + 9)

For the first time in history, cod of “live quality” is hanging on the drying racks, since it has been shown that the quality of this species becomes even better thanks to live storage.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing the quality of stockfish based on cod from capture-based aquaculture. This is the future. We will get this fish on the menu of Ristorante Frosio in Bergamo in Italy,” says Halvor Hansen of Halvors Tradisjonsfisk AS.

Along with Nofima Mat, the Norwegian Institute of Food, Fisheries and Aquaculture Research, and Lofoten company Nic. Haug in Ballstad, he is part of a research project involving live storage of cod.

Both Helge Haug from Nic. Haug and Halvor Hansen are pleased that white quality cod originating from live storage is hanging on the drying racks to become stockfish. The pair already has soaked quality stockfish on the menu at Ristorante Frosio, which has one star in the prestigious Michelin Guide.

A third player is fishing boat owner André Reinholdtsen from Myre in Vesterålen. Reinholdtsen has collaborated with Nofima on capture-based aquaculture for a decade. He is now supplying top quality cod via Ballstad and Tromsø to Italy.

“Kloegga” prepares to harvest live cod after 30 days in a holding cage.
(Photo: Bjørn Tore Forberg - Copyright: Nofima)

Modern 1000-year-olds

“It is very exciting that in collaboration we are modernizing a 1000-year-old product through concentrating on cod that is captured and kept alive right up to the time of production,” says Nofima Senior Scientist Kjell Midling.

The research is being performed in collaboration with the Norwegian Seafood Research Fund (FHF).

Double 50 per cent bonus

“Today we have a solid Danish seine environment from Lofoten/Vesterålen to Båtsfjord in Finnmark that practices capture-based aquaculture from the most hectic cod fishery in the spring for sale to the industries at times of the years when there is little access to raw materials,” says Midling.

He provides an example of a fishing boat owner keeping 100 tonnes of cod captured in April alive until June by practising capture-based aquaculture. If the minimum price per kilo of gutted/headed cod is NOK 15 (EUR 2), the fish would be worth NOK 1 million (EUR 133,674) if they were delivered in April.

In practice, it has proven to be the case that in July it is possible to achieve the same price for round as for gutted/headed fish, consequently NOK 1.5 million (EUR 200,511). In addition, there is a bonus for capture-based aquaculture of cod of a 50 per cent increase in quota. As such, it is possible to achieve a double 50 per cent bonus.

Cod that just a day earlier was in live storage in a holding cage at Myre is hung on drying racks at Ballstad by Bjørn-Willy Stensen.
(Photo: Bjørn Tore Forberg - Copyright: Nofima)

Minister’s target

“In recent years 700 – 1500 tonnes of cod have been moved from the hectic spring season to the autumn,” says Midling. “But there is still a way to go to achieve the target set by the Minister of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs, Lisbeth Berg-Hansen, of 30,000 tonnes of cod transferred to capture-based aquaculture from the spring until the autumn.”

Source: Nofima

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