Regal Springs opts for stunner technology that improves global welfare standards for Tilapia
August 31, 2022
By Maryam Farag
Regal Springs, a tilapia producer, has collaborated with aquaculture technology specialists Ace Aquatec to introduce in-water, high welfare stunning solutions into their main processing facilities in the coming months after trials in Mexico.
The white fish producer was looking for a stunning solution to both harvest their tilapia and address the growing demands consumers have for responsibly sourced aquatic foods.
Two years in the making, the project began after Ace Aquatec was awarded £1 million in funding from the Humane Slaughter Association to provide pilot stunning equipment to farms that had no humane harvesting in place for finfish.
Ace Aquatec approached Regal Springs on a trial basis, collaborated with Nautilus Collaboration and The Centre for Responsible Seafood (TCRS), to provide full EEG results to certification bodies, validating the unconsciousness of fish and helping to provide regulators with the evidence to advocate for welfare improvements across the supply chain.
“This is a huge step forward from thermal stunning to a more humane and controlled stunning process, and with this towards better fish welfare. As a side effect also process and quality parameters improved: reduced bruising, better quality of the fillets, better working conditions for staff,” said Emily McGregor, Regal Springs sustainability manager. “This supported Regal Spring’s decision to move from pilot trials to immediate uptake of the equipment, and proliferation across their business.”
The pilot Humane Stunner Universal System for Tilapia allowed Regal Springs to experience first-hand the huge improvements that high welfare in-water stunning of fish can bring.
“We are now working with Barramundi farms in Australia, prawn farms in Europe, and the trout sector in Canada as consumers and regulators insist upon more humane farming processes,” said Nathan Pyne-Cater, CEO of Ace Aquatec. “We’ve been able to demonstrate that when farms take a welfare first approach, they can see real economic gains in their business. This is critical if the mission to see all fish humanely harvested worldwide is to be achieved.”
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