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FISH-LIVER-HARVESTER (FLH) Project - an automated fish liver harvesting machine

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - DeLiver (FISH-LIVER-HARVESTER (FLH) Project - an automated fish liver harvesting machine)

Reporting period: 2018-08-01 to 2019-06-30

Publishable Summary
Using FishLiverHarvester, a machine for automatically harvesting fish livers it-is possible to separate the fish livers from the guts without using manual labor. This gives an increased quantity of raw materials and will increase the income for boat owners and crew.
One of the drawbacks with manual harvesting of fish livers is that it is labor intensive and only gives small extra incomes compared with the required labor. In Faroe Islands only 2%-7% were harvested during the period from 2014-2018 and in Norway only 5%-10% of the livers are harvested.
The liver machine is patented in Denmark, Faroe Islands, Greenland, Norway, Iceland, USA, China and Russia.
The advantages using FishLiverHarvester:
1. Using substantially fewer working hours than manual harvesting.
2. Increased revenue by harvesting the livers.
3. It is possible to utilize the livers from small machine gutted fish.

The only manual work using the FishLiverHarvester machine is to change the bags (packing material) when they are filled, except from common cleaning of the machine.
The goal segment for FishLiverHarvester is boat owners with boats fishing cod fish. In Faroe Islands there are about 80 fishing boats in the goal segment. In Iceland there are about 175 fishing boats in the primary goal segment. In Iceland a big part of the fish from small fishing boats is landed ungutted. Probably there is a demand for liver machines for the landbased operations. In Norway there are about 250 fishing boats in the goal segment and in Denmark about 183 boats are above 50 GRT. In Sweden there are about 100 boats in the goal segment.
The investment for a trawler in a FishLiverHarvester machine is about € 40.000 for the machine plus the installation costs of about € 8.000. The plan is that the company Nomatek will produce the machines in Torshavn. We also investigate the opportunity to produce the machine in Denmark in cooperation with Seagain ApS.

The objective of the FLH project was to amend the fish liver harvesting protype into new improved model and to test the machine during real life trawler fishing. The construction of the improved model was performed in the Nomatek factory in Torshavn. The tests were performed onboard the trawler Hamranes.
The results from the tests showed that the machine was suitable for the purpose, harvesting fish livers otherwise wasted. The test showed that with manually gutted fish the machine separated a substantial part of the livers from the rests of the guts, but the tests showed also that there could be a need for a bigger machine, to handle the really big fish.
The tests harvesting livers from machine gutted fish showed that the machine worked well, separating the livers from the rests harvesting a substantial amount of livers. The testing was performed in the period July-August, which is the worst period for fish liver harvesting because of low yield of liver and liver oils. There will be performed some small amendments.
1b. Fesability study of Fishliverharvester.
1. Overview of the work done.
Task 1. Adapt and test FLH machine.
Based on the tests with Fishliverharvester prototype 2, a new model was designed with a complete new set of working drawings.
The construction and welding work were performed by Nomatek in Torshavn.
On-sea testing was performed onboard the trawler Hamranes. The machine was installed onboard the trawler in May 2019. The first test was performed first in June. The test showed that there had to be made some adaptions to get a higher output moment on the pump for pumping the guts. The pump was uninstalled, and the necessary adaptions were made. The pump was installed again onboard the trawler and the machine was tested during fishing. The results showed that the FLH worked well especially with machine gutted fish, and could separate substantial amounts of liver. When working with manually gutted fish, the tests showed that the machine could separate livers from the rest, but there is need for a bigger machine, because the guts from the big fish have a big volume which require more space for separating more efficiently.
Task 2. Final technical feasibility study.
Prototype 3
Prototype 3 was based on the experiences we made with prototypes 1 and 2. The design was improved with an extra space for better separation of the livers and the rests of the guts. We also designed a new outlet from the machine, and included better separating sieves in the outlet channels. The electrical control and gearmotors were changed with more corrossion resistant gearmotors, and the electrical control system was completely renewed and the frequency regulators were changed with better quality frequency regulators. The fundament under the pump was renewed with a complete stainless-steel foundation.

By using the liver machine it is possible to separate the livers automatically and therewith increase the quantity of raw material. This gives an increased income for boatowners and the crew. Untill now the harvesting of the fish livers has required manual work which is labor intensive and not cost effective. In Faroe Islands and e.g. in Norway only 5-10% of the livers are utilized.
Estimating the increased revenue using the liver machine, the pair trawler F/V Hamranes can harvest approximately 100 -130 ton livers per year. This gives an extra income to the trawler of approximately DKK 500.000. This gives a pay back time for the machine in less than a year.
The liver machine is patented in Denmark, Faroe Islands, Greenland, Norway, Iceland, USA, China and Russia.
The advantages using the liver machine are:
1. Using less working hours when harvesting the livers.
2. By using less hours for harvesting the livers, the machine makes it possible to create an income from the livers.
3. It is possible to harvest livers from even small machine gutted fish.
The only manual work the machine requires, is changing the poly bags livers are collected and packed in.
Final machine construction amendments have been made and a complete set of electronical working drawings have been designed, prepared for computer aided production. All included components have been identified and priced.
FishLiverHarvester prototype 3 onboard Hamranes