Precision Seafood Harvesting

Precision Seafood Harvesting (PSH) is a PGP programme that seeks to develop a new wildfish harvesting technology that will result in more precise catches, allowing fish to be landed fresher, in better condition, and of higher value.

The shareholders of PSH are Aotearoa Fisheries, Sanford, and the Sealord Group. The fishing companies involved in PSH hold between 30 and 60 percent of the quota for the nine top species fished in New Zealand waters.


Traditional fishing nets catch a wide variety of fish sizes and species, meaning a catch can include high proportions of undesired fish or undersized fish, which cannot be processed.

Fish can also be damaged in the process of being loaded onto the deck.

The solution

PSH has developed a prototype harvesting system that can target specific species and fish size, as well as enabling fish to be landed in much better condition than traditional trawls.

PSH will also explore methods for holding and on-rearing live fish to enable fresh fish to be provided on demand.

Under design test conditions, PSH's first trawl prototypes are successfully delivering low-fatigue, low-damage, and high-value fish. Commercial testing will commence in June 2013.

Outcomes to date

  • The post-harvest survival rates for juvenile snapper landed in the new modular harvest systems (MHS - the fishing gear developed by the programme) are significantly higher than those caught using conventional mesh trawls.
  • PSH and MPI are in the final stages of finalising the methodology and analytical processes that will be used to validate these initial survival results.
  • The prototype designs have been further modified for better performance. Larger and stronger designs have been tested on hoki factory trawlers and are now going into commercial test phase.
  • Formal protection of the intellectual property by patent is progressing, in order to ensure that the PSH technology and seafood outcomes are differentiated from standard trawl caught fish.
  • At the recent NZ Innovation Council’s 2014 Innovators Awards, PSH was the winner of the Innovation in Sustainability & Clean Tech award and the Supreme Innovator award.

Outcome Logic Model

Outcome Logic Model for Precision Seafood Harvesting - July 2014

Quarterly Progress Reports

March-June 2014 Executive Summary
January-March 2014 Executive Summary
October-December 2013 Executive Summary
July-September 2013 Executive Summary
April-June 2013 Executive Summary
January-March 2013 Executive Summary
October-December 2012 Executive Summary
July-September 2012 Executive Summary
April-June 2012 Executive Summary

Key facts:

Programme start: April 2012
Length: 6 years
PGP funding: $26 million
Industry funding: $26 million
Crown funding paid out to programme for work done to 31 October 2014: $4,998,993.66
Commercial partners: Aotearoa Fisheries, Sanford and the Sealord Group
Steering Group members: Garry Wilson (Independent Chair), Greg Johansson (PSH), Ross Tocker (PSH), Steve Tarrant (PSH), Jarred Mair (MPI)
Estimated potential economic benefits to NZ: $43.6m per annum by 2025



Last Updated: 14 November 2014

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