Research

Leadership and teamwork: OCI and Marine Institute collaborate in yellowtail fishery research

marine_instituteOCI believes in the values of shared knowledge and collaboration. Working closely with fellow stakeholders is one of the simplest and most effective ways to generate new thinking and new opportunities, and our partnership with the Fisheries and Marine Institute (MI) in investigating the sustainability of the yellowtail flounder fishery is no different.

The project, budgeted at approximately $1.4 million, was a joint venture with complementary funding from the Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, the Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation, NSERC and the provincial government. The overall goal was to improve operational efficiencies of this particular fishery from catch to market, and the work focuses on harvesting, processing and knowledge management.

The analysis and research was carried out by the Institute’s Centre for Aquaculture and
Seafood Development (CASD), where they’re focusing on the following four steps:

  1. A review of literature on the species, and a review of historical data at OCI that is related to quality and yield of the yellowtail flounder catch.
  2. The onboard data collection includes information on water depth, temperature, sea state, location of the trawl, various process times and freezing.
  3. Samples are taken in key areas and, upon returning to port, are examined at MI for various quality attributes.
  4. Assessments will be made related to the quality of the final product, with a review of the final yield and bruising data.

Both the School of Fisheries and School of Ocean Technology at MI were heavily involved with this work.

The yellowtail flounder faces some serious challenges in Newfoundland and Labrador. The centralization of seafood processing to countries with lower wages and production costs can make it difficult for the province’s companies to compete. In addition, by-catch restrictions must also be addressed.

This leading-edge research project was part of OCI’s ongoing efforts to better the quality and diversity of our seafood products. We operate in a competitive global marketplace, so new innovations and improved best practice ideas are crucial to our continued success – and to ensure a more sustainable fishing industry for the future.