Strategically, the objective of the research project is to improve key operational aspects within the harvesting, processing and knowledge management operations of the yellowtail flounder fishery to make it more economical and sustainable. Current challenges for the industry include the value of the Canadian dollar against US currency, rising fuel costs, growth in Chinese manufacturing, consolidation of global seafood buyers and producers, the emergence of cheaper products on the market and the reduction of skilled labour. Overcoming these challenges requires improvements in operational efficiency. Dr. Paul Winger will lead a diverse team of researchers at the Marine Institute, including three M. Sc. graduate students, in partnership with supporting organization Ocean Choice International L.P. (OCI) and its international partner Visir hf.
The research will address challenges in harvesting technology, handling and holding practices onboard vessels, operations within the processing facilities, and knowledge management. The research will directly benefit OCI, the broader Canadian fishing industry and the national economy, particularly in rural Canada by: reducing operating costs for harvesting and processing; increasing yields from raw materials; supporting a sustainable fishery through the adoption of better management practices and increasing industry's competitive advantage.