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A great start of the 2016 Nutaaq® season


This year’s season for Nutaaq® cod fishery and processing has been off to a good start. Since the startup season in 2015, the process has been fine-tuned and optimized for the process of handling the live cod as well as for the fishermen and the trimming procedure.

A new season with great quality

An early arrival of spring has caused the icy fiords to thaw and the good weather conditions in West Greenland has allowed for an early start of this year's season for cod fishery. Not only has the season started early, but the total amount of cod landed so far exceeds last year's amount by more than one third.

In Maniitsoq, the spring intake that ran until the end of May has been higher than last year. The early start offers cod of a very high quality that have not yet fed on capelin, which is a small and fatty salmon fish that is among the favorite prey of the Atlantic cod. Cod that have fed on capelin usually have a higher content of fat compared to the lean meat of the early season cod.

The main season for inshore pound net fishery peaks during June, July and August and the first indications for intake for most of Royal Greenland's cod factories are on the rise this year, giving cause to believe in a solid intake and promising production for the peak season of Nutaaq® as well.

More careful handling of the Nutaaq® cod

As part of an ongoing process in ensuring the best possible method for fishing Nutaaq® cod, the system is evaluated continuously and adapted accordingly. Since the first season, alterations have been made to create a simpler workflow. The alterations to the fishing system have not only offered a more pleasant journey from sea to factory for the cod, but also offer a more flexible workflow for both the fishermen and the well boat. 

The kick-off to the season has meant a new division of labor between the fishermen and the well boat. In the original design, the well boat collected the cod directly from the fishermen's pound nets, where the fish were lifted onboard the well boat using a small crane. 

In the 2016 season, the local fishermen now deliver the cod straight from the nets to large seawater pools located at several central places off the coast. The seawater pools have been modified with an opening on the side below the water surface, allowing the fishermen to lead the cod directly into the pools from their nets, without the cod leaving the water, resulting in less stress for the fish.

The well boat regularly collects the cod from the seawater pools, leading the fish onboard through a large tube filled with seawater. When the well boat is fully loaded, the cod is transported to the factory in Maniitsoq.

Fine-tuned factory off to a productive second season

At the factory in Maniitsoq, the experience gained from the first season has led to a fine-tuning of the processing systems with small adjustments in order to optimize fast and skilled processing. The second season is already off to a good start and the factory had the new initiatives implemented by the end of June.

Outside the factory, the factory tanks that hold the fish and feed them into the factory have been doubled in size. The upgrade offers the opportunity to hold more fish ready for production in a stress-free environment for the cod and also provides greater flexibility in the processing. As a minimum the cod stay overnight in the tanks to ensure they are calm and free from stress.

The processing begins every morning with a moving barrier gently pushing the cod onto a moving belt and transports them into the factory. Inside the factory the first step in the processing is to stun, slaughter and bleed the cod. As a new initiative, the head is now removed already during the slaughtering of the fish, which makes it possible to bleed the cod significantly faster and more efficiently as most of the blood is located in the head of the cod.

As another newly implemented work process, Royal Greenland is now able to deliver Nutaaq® cod fillets both with and without skin. 

With the fine-tuning and adjustments to both the fishery and the processing, Royal Greenland is ready for another season, aiming to meet as much as possible of the overwhelming demand from  the market.


Do you want to familiarize yourself further with Nutaaq® cod? Click here! 

Next news: A quiet season for lumpfish roe marked by harsh weather conditions