Improving seafood

More and more seafood has been showing up in the marketplace. Seafood is increasingly seen as a healthy source of animal protein and as an alternative to beef and fowl. Many view pescetarianism (eating seafood but not mammal or fowl) as an ethical food option. With an eye on a larger market- share, the seafood harvesting and processing industries are looking for any technological advancement to improve their products.

The marine animal harvesting industry is changing but it has always been a relatively low-tech, hands-on industry. The technological changes in seafood harvesting and handling have been in areas of inspection, certification, transportation, processing and packaging. The transformation of the seafood industry from capture to aquaculture is part of the change. Controlled aquaculture gives technology a proving ground for standardization and innovation in seafood production, harvesting and processing.

The evolution of aquaculture has brought a shift from net-based sea farming to tank-based hydroponic systems. New marine aquaculture technology uses filtration units that incorporate naturally occurring microorganisms to clean the tank water. This filtration imitates the recurring process that takes place in the ocean. Methane produced by the microbes is captured from the filters and used as an alternative energy source. Pen and tank-based aquaculture has improved the quality of high valued fish like sea bream, sea bass and trout.

Changes in the conventional fishing industries are also driven by consumer demand. For example, bycatch or netting the wrong or non-marketable species has always been a big source of inefficiency for commercial fishers. The BRD or bycatch reduction device is a system of gates introduced into shrimping nets to exclude unwanted species. A new kind of net called a Turtle Excluder Device or TED incorporates an ingenious system of metal bar separators which sorts the underwater catch by size and excludes the larger species. These devices improve the efficiency of the fishery and help to control the degradation of endangered fish stocks. On board equipment for grading, gutting, washing and preserving seafood have been developed for smaller vessels. This kind of equipment improves the freshness of wild caught seafood.

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Technology that makes seafood sustainable

You might think that seafood is plentiful. It’s served in restaurants, and sold at grocery stores. Have you ever thought that you might not see an item on the menu the next day, or on the ice rack at the seafood department in the store? Well, it’s a possibility because seafood needs to be sustainable, and things like overfishing can deplete our seafood resources. For instance, depleting particular seafood and exhausting its supply. They don’t just automatically reproduce the minute it’s drawn from our waters. Can technology help keep our seafood supplies on an even keel? It sure can, there is new technology to keep seafood sustainable.

Did you know that as much as 1/4th of marine life gets caught in traps that they were not intended for. For instance dolphins getting caught in tuna traps, even sea turtles or life as large as whales getting caught in devices, nets, or traps not meant for them at all. Well, new technology to keep seafood sustainable is being developed on a regular basis. Such as an “extruder device”, this lays bars at the bottom of nets that fish and seafood that were not meant to be caught can swim and work their way out of. Unwanted catches, such as seafood or fish that are too small, just get laid to waste. Its technologies such as safe seafood farming that is being developed and products like extruder devices that keeps seafood sustainable. It can live to reproduce, and build up these sources again.

Technology is ever present on boats whose jobs are to catch seafood and bring it in. There are monitors that can show what fish is approaching their fishing area and they can choose if it’s what they are looking for, or to pull up their lines to let the fish continue on. To grow larger populations so we don’t deplete our seafood sources.
Businesses are now searching out eco-friendly companies to get their fish from places that safely farm fish and seafood and don’t put us at risk to over farm seafood which sometimes proves to be done in …