One second stunner
Fish can be rendered unconscious prior to pumping with exciting new technology
Current harvesting techniques require fish to be removed from the water after pumping and to be hit with a pneumatic hammer, or stunned in air with electricity. Ace Aquatec has pioneered the first submerged saltwater electrical pipeline stunner that allows fish to be stunned within the transport pipe. No unnecessary and stressful handling of the fish is undertaken.
Using this method the fish can be stunned as fast as the specification of the pump sucking the fish from the cage. In other words, one stunning line can achieve stunning speeds of 75 tonnes per hour, and several stunning lines can be used – 100 per cent of the fish, regardless of size or species, are guaranteed to be stunned.
Higher cortisol, or stress, in fish leads to poor quality and shorter shelf life. As farmed salmon are often held in the holding pens for a period to reduce stress, the most stressful period prior to slaughter occurs in the transportation pipe, namely when the fish pass through the pumping system.
But what if the fish could be stunned before the pump? To date, no humane slaughter system has been capable of a pre-pump stun.
Now Ace Aquatec’s latest in-water pipeline stunner in combination with Euskan’s suction pump allows the fish to be stunned within one metre of the transport pipe and for the fish to be held in the electric field through the pump and up onto the bleeding table.
In this way a humane stun is guaranteed that does not subject the fish to unnecessary stress. This is good for the fish and good for the customer.
• Pre-pump stunning is achievable only by stunning in saltwater. Highly sophisticated electronics have been developed to cater for high power levels at up to 75 kw. Touchscreen operation and remote data upload enables settings to be updated in real time.
• Pre-pump stunning requires the development of appropriate pumping methods to carry unconscious fish. Ace Aquatec’s solution has been developed with pump expert Euskan to create a solution from cage side to bleeding table that works.
• In water stunning requires novel approaches to reduce power loss through highly conductive sea water. Ace Aquatec has developed water reduction and re-introduction processes within its pipework to solve this problem.
• High power oscillating electric fields can be very problematic for
metal within such a system, and significant resources have been spent developing highly durable electrodes for this application.
• Time and expense has gone into experimenting with different electric fields to create a system flexible enough to stun all commercial fish species, of any size and at production speeds. This electric stunning system has a large range of parameters that can protect against spine damage and blood spotting, while guaranteeing that all fish that pass through it are humanly slaughtered regardless of size.
• This pipeline system can also be incorporated into any commercial farming context with installations on wild fish boats, on shore side or in recirculation factories. The equipment requires very little maintenance as there are no moving parts.
• The system can also be programmed with a stun to recover setting meaning the system could be used in replacement of anaesthetic treatment during vaccinations, saving farms on chemical costs. This system can reduce costs by increasing capacity over other systems, reducing delays due to damage or repair, and requiring less manual supervision.
Above: Pipeline system installed at Abick in Chile; Right: Pre Pump stunner layout courtesy of Euskan
Above: Stunner at Swiss Alpine