Urchin harvesting in NL is typically a late fall-winter fishery, as that is when roe yields are highest before spawn-out in April-June. That timeframe presents challenges for harvesting, mostly due to the poor weather and water conditions that divers must endure. Coupled with challenging conditions, minimizing bottom time for divers is an important safety consideration. The development of harvesting gear that could speed harvesting activity would not only achieve greater efficiency in the fishing effort, but also significantly improve health and safety considerations.
Miawpukek Horizon Maritime Services (a diversified Indigenous marine services company) partnered with CCFI and Fisheries and Marine Institute researchers to test the effectiveness of a C-Disc harvesting tool developed by C Robotics in Norway that had potential to respond to industry needs.
The unit is designed to increase the catch per unit effort while decreasing the time needed for a diver to be in the water. The equipment performed well in sea trials, giving Miawpukek Horizon Maritime Services opportunity to consider how project results may enhance future harvests.