The precision seabed harvesting technology developed by Ava Ocean has enabled the Norwegian government to issue the first quota for Arctic scallops in more than 30 years. The test fishery will commence later this autumn.
“To us, the bottom of the ocean is the most exciting place on earth. A place full of seafood treasures, that if harvested in a gentle, yet effective, manner can be a positive contributor to economic, societal and environmental sustainability,” says Øystein Tvedt, CEO of Ava Ocean.
A name in line with the vision
“Ava means life, and Ava Ocean celebrates life in the ocean and its vast riches we not only have to preserve, but also harvest responsibly, to be able to meet the world’s increasing demand for nutritious food,” says Øystein Tvedt, CEO Ava Ocean.
With Ava Ocean’s unique harvesting technology, developed in collaboration with some of Norway’s most prestigious marine science institutions, the company is on mission to disrupt the seafood industry.
Up until now, human interaction with the seabed has been largely destructive. Commonly used fishing methods such as dredging and bottom trawling wreaks havoc on the fragile ecosystems on the bottom of the ocean.
“There hasn’t really been any viable alternatives, so fantastic resources on the seabed are either left untouched, or worse, destroyed with conventional equipment. Our technology offers a real opportunity to positively disrupt the industry and change it for the better,” says Tvedt.
Aims to change a whole industry
Through rigorous testing and documentation, the Norwegian company was awarded the first quota to fish for Arctic Scallops since the early 1990s. In collaboration with the Norwegian Institute of Marine Science, they have been able to confirm the scallop population in the Barents Sea has recovered from the immense damage caused by conventional shell fisheries in the late 80s and are once more in a condition to be harvested responsibly.
“It is a situation we do not want to find ourselves in again. We know our equipment will be gentle and not harm the environment, and throughout the test fishery we will continue to document and report all our data to ensure the stocks and the impact of our fishing activity is closely monitored,” says Tvedt.
More species and locations on the horizon
The 5-year research quota is for 15,000 tonnes of Arctic Scallops, or Chlamys islandica, per year. The fishery will be operated by Ava Ocean’s specially refitted shell harvesting vessel, the Arctic Pearl. Alongside, the company will continue developing and testing the technology for other species and other geographic areas.
“We are eager to start commercial fishing of Arctic Scallops this autumn, and to prove to the world that there is a better way to treat the seabed whilst at the same time responsibly reaping its riches. We hope that our efforts will help change how the world looks at the seabed as an important part of sourcing sustainable food from the ocean,” says Tvedt.
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