Útgerðarfélag Reykjavíkur

Customer case – Maritech Eye™

 

Útgerðarfélag Reykjavíkur got two Maritech Eye™ units early in 2023. One of them became the first ever onboard a fishing vessel,  Reykjavik-based Gudmundur i Nesi.

“We currently own only one vessel, but have had more vessels in the past. Over the last few years, we have lost a significant amount of fishing quota, which is why we can now only operate one ship. This circumstance motivates us to explore the path of detecting species onboard to provide data for estimating fish population size,” explains Þorlákur Gudjonsson, Innovation Manager, Útgerðarfélag Reykjavíkur.

Three main purposes

“We have worked closely with Maritech to develop robust algorithms, and we are now prepared to begin collecting statistics on species and quality while continuously enhancing our models.

Our intention is to use the data for three primary purposes:

Firstly, to collect information that can support more accurate estimates of fish populations, aiding the The Directorate of Fisheries, Fiskistofa, in the precise allocation of fishing quotas.

Secondly, to facilitate automated monitoring by fishing authorities.

Thirdly, to improve our onboard quality measurements.”

Click on the image to the left to see our video interview with Þorlákur Gudjonsson.

The results have exceeded expectations

“It has been surprisingly positive to observe how well things have progressed. Naturally, there have been challenges, as we have the first Eye unit that has ever been installed on a fishing vessel. We had to adjust the outer structure of the Eye to ensure it could withstand the conditions on board. However, Maritech responded promptly, so this issue was easily resolved.

We anticipate being able to utilize this technology in various ways. To give a few examples, we can use it to detect species, size, weight, sex, and potentially age, for research purposes as well as our own needs. Furthermore, this technology can be applied to fishing surveillance, where we would scan all the catch on the vessel. Initially, Maritech had reservations about the ability to distinguish between different species lying together on the belt, but the results have exceeded our expectations.

The third aspect involves using the Eye for advanced quality measurements, enabling us to identify issues such as excessive blood after bleeding, detect parasites on the fish, and estimate the firmness of Halibut flesh. We have been able to achieve all of this through the fish’s skin, demonstrating the extensive possibilities offered by this technology.”

Innovation in their backbone

There is a long-standing tradition in Icelandic fisheries of supporting the development of new technology. UR is no exception, ever since they heard about Maritech Eye™ they have been enthusiastic about our technology and exploring its potential applications.

As mentioned above, one of the primary reasons for initiating this project was UR’s experience with fishing quotas being reduced as a precautionary measure due to insufficient data.

“We aim to contribute to the collection of higher-quality data. The initial step involves gathering data and ensuring its quality so that it can be utilized in official fish population measurements, although this has not been finalized at this time. Quite recently, we had the Redfish quota reduced due to the lack of information, which poses significant challenges for us, particularly because Redfish are often caught while fishing for other species,” Guðjónsson says.

Þorlákur Ómar Guðjónsson, Innovation Manager, UR Seafood

We are proud to collaborate with Útgerðarfélag Reykjavíkur, and this partnership represents a big step forward in data-driven, sustainable fisheries management.

About UR Seafood

UR Seafood is a reputable seafood company based in Iceland, responsible for overseeing the operations of the freezer trawler Gudmundur i Nesi RE 13.

At the core of UR Seafood’s mission is the unwavering commitment to ensure that all its fishing vessels are reliable and in optimal condition. The company is dedicated to meeting modern standards for operational efficiency, sourcing high-quality raw materials, and providing top-notch equipment for its fishing crew. Furthermore, UR Seafood places a strong emphasis on environmental sustainability and places a high value on its exceptional human resources in all aspects of its operations.

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