Piscine Energetics had harvested its mysis shrimp using traditional trawling methods over 13 years ago, but the company realized in order to be sustainable and catch the shrimp when they are actively feeding at night, a better method was needed to minimize bycatch of the native Kokanee salmon and trout fry.
Harvesting at night when the mysis is 15-20 ft. from the surface of the 400-500 ft. deep glacial lake is the ideal time to harvest the fragile mysis. Piscine Energetics was using more traditional fishing gear with a closed net, also known as a closed cod end. This net worked well at capturing the mysis, however the side effect was a 100% mortality rate of any bycatch also caught in these nets. Needing to ensure they could effectively harvest mysis and preserve the future of the lake’s salmon and trout populations, Piscine Energetics developed a technology that facilitates the live harvest of mysis shrimp and allows for any bycatch to be put back into the lake alive and without the risk of descaling. Because of this technology, Piscene Energetics is the only company issued with a nightime mysis collection permit by the Canadian Ministry of Environment.
In the method developed by Piscene Energetics, if any bycatch do not get ejected at the beginning of the fluid conduit, the bycatch and mysis are transported alive (without the risk of any descaling to the fry) to our catch vessel that is towed behind the trawling vessel. Once there, PE ensures the bycatch fry are acclimated and then reintroduced to the lake alive.
This is one of the main reasons why Piscene Energetics has a fresher, higher quality frozen mysis product. Since they are able to fish at night, they eliminate having to bring the small and fragile shrimp to the warming daytime lake temperatures where the surface water can reach over 80 degrees in the summer months and are facing blistering summer daytime temperatures of up to 100 degrees on the vessel deck causing the mysis to become partially cooked. On top of the temperature variables in the daytime, traditional fish methods yields a product that has been dragged around for hours in a net. This can compromise the integrity of the animal from being smashed against a growing biomass during collection and other negative physical impacts.
By fishing at night fishing and bringing the shrimp to the surface in the water temperatures they are both living and feeding in (around 40 degrees), the company is able to yield an end product meeting the quality and standards of Piscine Energetics PE Mysis.