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Title:
APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR BATCHING AND TRACING FISH
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/185790
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention relates to a method, a system and an apparatus for tracing fish through batching, bleeding and cooling fish for later processing. Such apparatus and method may, for instance, be used to facilitate the bleeding process of freshly caught fish after slaughtering in a batch on board a fishing vessel and providing a cooling process of a batch as a whole.

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Inventors:
ARNASON, Ingolfur (Soleyjargotu 14, IS-300 Akranes, IS-300, IS)
Application Number:
IS2018/050002
Publication Date:
October 11, 2018
Filing Date:
April 05, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
SKAGINN HF. (Bakkatuni 26, IS-300 Akranes, IS-300, IS)
International Classes:
A22C25/04; A22C25/00; B07C5/342; G06Q10/08
Domestic Patent References:
WO2016135758A12016-09-01
WO2005052704A22005-06-09
WO2015170350A12015-11-12
WO2000038530A12000-07-06
WO2014174535A12014-10-30
WO2015170350A12015-11-12
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ARNASON FAKTOR (Gudridarstig 2-4, IS-113 Reykjavik, IS-113, IS)
Download PDF:
Claims:
ims

A method for tracing fish through batching and cooling, the method comprising : transporting fish on a feeding conveyor,

obtaining one or more image of each fish by an imaging device as the fish are transported on the feeding conveyor by the imaging device,

processing said one or more image to determine at least one characteristic property of each fish by a computing means,

assigning an ID for the image data and at least one characteristic property of each fish,

determining the destination of each the fish based on the characteristic property of said fish, and

transporting and batching the fish into a bleeding device,

assigning an ID for the batch

bleeding a whole batch of fish in the bleeding device,

ejecting a whole batch of fish from the bleeding device into a cooling device, cooling the batch of fish in the cooling device separated from other batch of fish, storing the batch of fish in a storing receptacle,

assigning label specific for each storing receptacle,

wherein the ID for the image data and the at least one characteristic property of each fish in the batch and the ID of the batch is paired with the label of the storing receptacle and the paired data is stored in a database.

The method according to claim 1, wherein the computing means processes imaging data to obtain information on the characteristic property of the fish based on the directly after the information has been obtained and stores it in a database or a cloud, where controllers can access the date in real-time or at a later time point.

The method according to claim 1, wherein an image or images of a fish are processed and data from the processing is used to assign a fish to a batch, wherein the assigning of a fish to a batch is based on colour, size or weight, species of the fish or a combination thereof.

The method according to claim 1, wherein the bleeding step comprises using a bleeding device with one or more bleeding units, each bleeding unit further comprising one or more compartments for collecting a batch of fish for bleeding a whole batch of fish.

The method according to claim 4, wherein the bleeding device comprises one or more drum like bleeding units, the method comprising : a) feeding fish into a compartment in an inner drum-like chamber arranged on an axis within a semi-circular cradle housing when the compartment is aligned with the in-feed opening of the bleeding unit,

b) rotating the inner drum-like chamber to a next position for pumping fluid into the chamber,

c) rotating the inner drum-like chamber to a next position for agitating the

compartment back and forth to move the fish in the chamber,

d) rotating the inner drum-like chamber to a next position for ejecting the fish from the compartment when the compartment is aligned with the out-feed opening of the bleeding unit.

The method according to claim 1, wherein the cooling step comprises diverting a batch of fish into a cooling tank with a spiral shaped blade mounted on a rotation axis to convey a whole batch of fish along the length of the tank, and wherein the batch of fish is directed into a determined space in the spiral shaped blade and the whole batch is transported as a batch through the cooling tank and ejected as a batch from the cooling tank.

The method according to claim 1, wherein the cooling step comprises bringing the batch of fish to an under-cooled state performed in at least two steps of: i) placing the fish in first salt-controlled and temperature controlled solution having a salt concentration in the range from 0,1 to 10% and a temperature in the range from + 1 to -3°C, where the salt concentration and set temperatures of the salt-controlled and temperature controlled solution brings the homogenous temperature of the fish to +2 to -1°C, and

ii) transferring the fish to a second salt-controlled and temperature controlled

solution having a salt concentration in the range from 1 to 20% and a

temperature in the range from -1 to -12°C, where the salt concentration and set temperatures of the salt-controlled and temperature controlled solution brings the homogenous temperature of the fish to -0.1 to -3°C.

An apparatus for tracing fish through batching and cooling, the apparatus comprising : a feeding conveyor comprising diverting means,

an imaging device positioned at or above the feeding conveyor for obtaining one or more image of each fish,

computing means for determining at least one characteristic property of each fish obtained by the imaging device, bleeding device for bleeding a whole batch of fish, wherein the batch is created based on the characteristic property of each fish,

cooling device for cooling the batch of fish separated from other batch of fish, storing receptacle for storing the batch of fish,

characterised in that the computing means assigns an ID to the image data and the at least one characteristic property of each fish, in that the computing means batches the fish based on the characteristic property of said fish and assigns an ID to each batch of fish, and in that the ID for the image data and the at least one characteristic property of each fish in the batch and the ID of the batch is paired with a label assigned to each storing receptacle and the paired data is stored in a database.

9. The apparatus according to claim 8, the apparatus further comprising :

- a first takeaway transport means for transporting a batch of fish from the

bleeding device to the cooing device, and

- a second takeaway transport means for transporting a batch of fish from the cooing device to the assigned storing receptacle.

10. The apparatus according to claim 8, wherein the feeding conveyor has a v-shaped conveyor belt, a horizontal conveyor belt or a combination of both.

11. The apparatus according to claim 8, wherein the imaging device is a selected from digital imaging means, line scanner, x-ray device etc.

12. The apparatus according to claim 8, wherein the bleeding device comprises one or more drum like bleeding units, each bleeding unit further comprising

- a semi-circular cradle housing , further comprising

o an in-feed end,

o an out-feed end,

o an axis, and

o a fluid inlet

- an inner drum-like chamber arranged on the axis within the semi-circular cradle housing 1, said inner chamber 6 comprising at least three clove shaped compartments wherein openings 12 are formed in the curved surface of the drum like chamber to feed fish in and out of the bleeding unit.

13. The apparatus according to claim 8, wherein a receiving chamber 11 is positioned in front of the in-feed opening of each bleeding unit.

14. The apparatus according to claim 8, wherein the cooling device comprises one or more cooling tanks with a spiral shaped blade mounted on a rotation axis to convey the batch of fish along the length of the tank.

15. A system for tracing fish through batching and cooling, the system comprising :

a feeding conveyor comprising diverting means for transporting fish,

an imaging device for obtaining one or more image of each fish by as the fish are transported on the feeding conveyor by or under the imaging device,

- a computing means for:

- processing said one or more image to determine at least one characteristic property of the fish by,

- assigning an ID to the image data and the at least one characteristic

property of the fish,

- determine the destination or batch receptacle of the fish based on the

characteristic property of said fish, and

diverting means on the feeding conveyor for diverting each fish into batch receptacle,

a bleeding device for bleeding a whole batch of fish,

- transporting means for transporting a batch of fish from the bleeding device, means for ejecting a whole batch of fish from the transporting means into a cooling device,

a cooling device for cooling the batch of fish separated from other batch of fish, transporting means for transporting and batching the fish from the cooling device, - storing receptacle for storing the batch of fish, wherein the computing device further assigns an ID for each batch and a label specific for each storing receptacle, and wherein the ID for the image data and the at least one characteristic property of each fish in the batch and the ID of the batch is paired with the label of the storing receptacle and the paired data is stored in a database.

Description:
APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR BATCHING AND TRACING FISH

Field of the invention

The invention relates to a method and a device for batching and tracing fish. Such method and device may, for instance, be used to facilitate batching and tracing freshly caught fish after slaughtering in a processing line on board a fishing vessel.

Background

A continuous development of food processing, such as processing of fish products is always on demand with the focus on for instance to increase utilization and value of products as well as meeting demands for quality after processing. When handling a large quantity of fresh food products, speed is of major importance.

WO 2014/174535 provides an improved method where whole fish is brought to an under- cooled state by super-chilling before processing. Freshly caught fish is bleed and gutted at a workstation and then each fish is individually transported to a screw blade tank filled with sea water to facilitate the bleeding of the fish and to prevent the meet to be coloured by the blood. During transport to the bleeding tank the fish passes image means to determine the size of the fish. In this manner the fish can be directed into three different lanes for rinsing and subsequently cooling to bring the fish to an under- cooled state by a stepwise cooling process. Tracing in food industry is known and has been used for a long time. WO 2015/170350 discloses a system for tracing food items such as fish in large quantity by obtaining more than one image of each fish as it passes over the top of a cleated conveyor belt with an inclining and a declining portion before the fish is packed. As an image of every fish in each packing is available and stored in a database, it is possible to view the data and see what was packed in each packing. Thereby, the buyer can view and buy a pack of fish and view the content before it is shipped.

Summary of the Invention

The present invention provides a method and device for tracing fish from gutting or gilling through batching and cooling using modern imaging technology and the speed of image and data processing to transport each fish under an image detecting device and obtain images to estimate size, weight, species and condition of fish prior to batching. The present invention provides a solution for tracing fish through batching, bleeding and cooling, where fish is being slaughtered and cooled for later processing. In this context the bleeding and cooling needs to be done directly after slaughtering, so speed and accuracy is of essence. The batch is bled and cooled as a whole and single batch and then placed into a storage container as a single batch. As an image of each fish has been recorded and analysed, a computer can assign an ID to each fish including all relevant data to the fish and therefore collect and store data on all the fish in each batch. The method and device of the present invention uses the image date to determine the destination of each the fish based on at least one characteristic property of said fish after an image has been obtained and processed. The present invention also provides a bleeding device where the fish is batched by directing each fish off a feeding conveyor into bleeding units of the bleeding device which allows for bleeding a whole batch of fish. After the bleeding process a whole batch of fish is ejected from the bleeding device and transported to a cooling device, for lowering the temperature of the freshly caught fish. The cooling device is designed to cool each batch of fish separately. Thereafter the batch is transported to a storing receptacle and an ID or a label is assigned to each storing receptacle. The at least one characteristic property of each fish is registered by the imaging device and the image is given an ID and an ID is created for each batch and paired to the label of the storing receptacle. The paired data is stored in a database providing tracing opportunities for the batched fish, so the buyer can view the

information for each batch on-line and buy a batch of fish while the boat is still at sea and still know the content of each batch. Furthermore, by cooling the fish according to sub-chilling technology using cooling tanks with a spiral shaped blade to convey the batch of fish along the length of the tank, it is possible to transport a whole batch separately through the cooling tank and eject a whole batch from the cooling tank into a storage container keeping every batch of fish separate from other batch of fish through bleeding and cooling to packing/storing.

It is an object of the present invention to overcome and/or ameliorate the

aforementioned drawbacks of the prior art and to provide an improved and/or alternative and/or additional method or device for facilitating the batching and tracing of fish after slaughtering and/or gutting and/or gilling fish. It is one preferred object of the present invention to provide a method and device to facilitate bleeding and cooling of a whole batch of fish in a device where the batch is separated from other batches through the bleeding and cooling process to enable tracing of the fish in the batch. Moreover, it is a preferred object of the present invention to provide a method and device, preferably designed to batch fish based on image analysis and to store and pair the data relating to each fish and the batch. Another preferred object of the present invention is to provide a device having a design where fish is transported in batches in a compartment in a drum- like bleeding unit through the bleeding process and in a screw-conveyor through the cooling process to keep one batch separated from other batches.

The object(s) underlying the present invention is (are) particularly solved by the features defined in the independent claims. The dependent claims relate to preferred

embodiments of the present invention. Further additional and/or alternative aspects are discussed below.

Thus, at least one of the preferred objects of the present invention is solved by a method for tracing fish through batching and cooling. The method comprises; transporting fish on a feeding conveyor, obtaining one or more image of each fish by an imaging device as the fish are transported on the feeding conveyor by the imaging device, processing said one or more image to determine at least one characteristic property of the fish by a computing means, and assigning an ID for the image data and at least one characteristic property of the fish. The method further comprises determining the destination of each fish based on the characteristic property of said fish, transporting and batching the fish into a bleeding device, assigning an ID for the batch and bleeding a whole batch of fish in the bleeding device. Thereafter the method comprises the steps of ejecting a whole batch of fish from the bleeding device into a cooling device, cooling the batch of fish in the cooling device separated from other batch of fish, storing the batch of fish in a storing receptacle and assigning label specific for each storing receptacle. The ID for the image data and the at least one characteristic property of each fish in the batch and the ID of the batch is paired with the label of the storing receptacle and the paired data is stored in a database. By pairing and storing in a database both the image data and at least one characteristic property of each fish in the batch with the ID of the batch and the label of the storing receptacle, tracing of each fish in the batch is possible. This means that the fishery can provide data for the fish in each batch, including an image of each fish in the batch, as well as where and when the batch was caught and during which conditions. When a batch of fish has been caught and sub-chilled under environmentally friendly conditions, leaving less carbon and water footprint, the fishery can provide this information together with the information on the fish in a batch through an access to a database or cloud. Therefore, the buyer can select a batch of fish based on information of the content in a batch as well as information on carbon and water footprint during fishing.

Another preferred object of the present invention is solved by an apparatus for tracing fish through batching and cooling. The apparatus comprises a feeding conveyor comprising diverting means, an imaging device positioned at or above the feeding conveyor for obtaining one or more image of each fish and computing means for determining at least one characteristic property of each fish obtained by the imaging device. The apparatus further comprises a bleeding device for bleeding a whole batch of fish, wherein the batch is created based on the characteristic property of each fish, a cooling device for cooling the batch of fish separated from other batch of fish, and storing receptacles for storing the batch of fish in. The computing means assigns an ID to the image data and the at least one characteristic property of each fish. The computing means further batches the fish based on the characteristic property of said fish and assigns an ID to each batch of fish. Furthermore, the ID for the image data and the at least one characteristic property of each fish in the batch and the ID of the batch is paired with a label assigned to each storing receptacle and the paired data is stored in a database.

The computing means assigns an ID to the at least one characteristic property and image for each fish. Furthermore, the computing means assigns an ID to each batch of fish and facilitates pairing of the ID for each fish in the batch and the ID of the batch with a label assigned to each storing receptacle and stored in a database. In an embodiment of the present invention the ID of a batch and the label of a storing receptacle is the same.

In an embodiment of the present invention the computing means stores information on the characteristic property of the fish directly after the information has been obtained in a database or a cloud, where controllers can access the date in real-time or at a later time point.

In an embodiment of the present invention an image or images of a fish are processed and data from the processing is used to assign a fish to a batch, where assigning of fish to a batch is based on the processed data having determined one or more of, but not limited to colour, size or weight, species of the fish or a combination thereof. In an embodiment of the present invention the batch of fish is transported from the bleeding device into a separated space or compartment of the cooling device.

In an embodiment of the present invention the bleeding step comprises using a bleeding device with one or more bleeding units, each bleeding unit further comprising one or more compartments for collecting a batch of fish for bleeding a whole batch of fish. The bleeding may be performed in a device comprising one or more drum like bleeding units, where the method comprises; a) feeding fish into a compartment in an inner drum-like chamber arranged on an axis within a semi-circular cradle housing when the lower blade of the bleeding compartment which is aligned with the in-feed opening each of the bleeding units, b) rotating the inner drum-like chamber to a next position for pumping fluid into the chamber, c) rotating the inner drum-like chamber to a next position for agitating the compartment back and forth to move the fish in the chamber, d) rotating the inner drum-like chamber to a next position for ejecting the fish from the

compartment when the compartment is aligned with the out-feed opening of the bleeding unit. In an embodiment of the present invention the cooling step comprises diverting a batch of fish into a cooling tank with a spiral shaped blade mounted on a rotation axis to convey a whole batch of fish along the length of the tank, and wherein the batch of fish is directed into a determined space in the spiral shaped blade and the whole batch is transported as a batch through the cooling tank and ejected as a batch from the cooling tank.

In an embodiment of the present invention the cooling step comprises bringing the batch of fish to an under-cooled state is performed in at least two steps of: i) placing the food product in first salt-controlled and temperature controlled solution having a salt concentration in the range of 0.1-10% and a temperature within the range of + 1 to -3°C, and preferably in the range from -0.5 to -3°C where the salt concentration and set temperatures of the salt-controlled and temperature controlled solution brings the homogenous temperature of the food product to a temperature in the range from +2 to - 1°C, and more preferably to a temperature in the range from 0 to -1°C, ii) transferring the food product to a second salt-controlled and temperature controlled solution having a salt concentration of 1-20% and a temperature within the range from -1 to -12°C, where the salt concentration and set temperatures of the salt-controlled and temperature controlled solution brings the homogenous temperature of the food product to a value in the range from -0.1 to -3°C, and preferably within the range -0.5 to -3°C, such as about -1°C, or about -1.5°C. In an embodiment of the present invention the computing means processes information on the characteristic property of the fish based on the imaging data directly after the information has been obtained and stores it in a database or a cloud, where controllers can access the date in real-time or at a later time point.

In an embodiment of the present invention the apparatus further comprises a first takeaway transport means for transporting a batch of fish from the bleeding device to the cooing device, and a second takeaway transport means for transporting a batch of fish from the cooing device to the assigned storing receptacle.

In an embodiment of the present invention the feeding conveyor has v-shaped conveyor belt or a horizontal or planar conveyor belt or a combination thereof. In one preferred embodiment, the feeding conveyor has v-shaped conveyor belt as the fish is transported under an imaging means, but after imaging the conveyor belt is horizontal with diverting means for diverting fish off the feeding conveyor into a receiving chamber or directly into a bleeding unit.

In an embodiment of the present invention the imaging device is a selected from line scanner, x-ray device etc. In an embodiment of the present invention the bleeding device comprises one or more drum like bleeding units, where each bleeding unit further comprises a semi-circular cradle housing , further comprising an in-feed end, an out-feed end, an axis, and a fluid inlet. The bleeding unit further comprises an inner drum-like chamber arranged on the axis within the semi-circular cradle housing, said inner chamber comprising at least three clove shaped compartments, where openings are formed in the curved surface of the drum like chamber to feed fish in and out of the bleeding unit.

In an embodiment of the present invention the cooling device comprises one or more cooling tanks with a spiral shaped blade mounted on a rotation axis to convey the batch of fish along the length of the tank. One of the preferred objects of the present invention is solved by a system for tracing fish through batching and cooling. The system comprises a feeding conveyor comprising diverting means for transporting fish, an imaging device for obtaining one or more image of each fish by as the fish are transported on the feeding conveyor by or under the imaging device, and computing means for; i) processing said one or more image to determine at least one characteristic property of the fish by, ii) assigning an ID to the image data and the at least one characteristic property of the fish, iii) determining the destination or batch receptacle of the fish based on the characteristic property of said fish. The system further comprises diverting means on the feeding conveyor for diverting each fish into batch receptacle, a bleeding device for bleeding a whole batch of fish and transporting means for transporting a batch of fish from the bleeding device. The system also comprises means for ejecting a whole batch of fish from the transporting means into a cooling device, a cooling device for cooling the batch of fish separated from other batch of fish, transporting means for transporting and batching the fish from the cooling device, and storing receptacle for storing the batch of fish. The computing means further assigns an ID for each batch and a label specific for each storing receptacle, and wherein the ID for the image data and the at least one characteristic property of each fish in the batch and the ID of the batch is paired with the label of the storing receptacle and the paired data is stored in a database.

Furthermore, one of the preferred objects of the present invention is solved by a method for batching and tracing of whole fish after slaughtering and or gutting. Preferably the method comprises the steps of batching fish into to a bleeding device based on an image analysis of each fish by transferring the fish to a first bleeding compartment. The bleeding is facilitated by rotating the drum-like inner chamber of the bleeding unit so that the opening to the inner chamber into one of the bleeding compartments is aligned with the lower rim of the reclining bottom plate of a receiving chamber, filling the compartment with fluid, such as seawater, bleeding a batch of fish by agitating the inner chamber back and forth and ejecting the batch out of the bleeding compartment. The batch of fish is then cooled in a cooling tank where each batch is separated from other batch of fish and then delivered as a whole batch to a storing receptacle.

In an embodiment of the present invention the bathing and tracing method and system comprises collecting image of each fish and performing data analysis of each image. The data is used to batch the fish right after imaging into a physical batch and then bleeding and cooling the fish as a batch before a whole and single batch is stored in a storage receptacle.

In an embodiment of the present invention an image or images of a fish are processed and data from the processing is used to determine to which batch the fish is assigned. The image and data processing can be colour, size or weight determination as well as determining the species of the fish or a combination of the above.

In an embodiment of the present invention an ID is generated for each fish comprising at least one image of the fish and the processed data relating to that fish. This information is stored in a database. When the batch has been created an ID is created for the batch.

In one embodiment a label, such as a QR code is created for a storage receptacle and this label is stored in a database as well.

In one embodiment the imaging and data analysis of each fish, the creation of each batch, creation of label for each storing receptacle and pairing of data is performed by a computing device.

In one embodiment tracing of each fish in a batch is made where image and data on at least one characteristic property of each fish is stored in a database with an ID and paired to the label of the storage receptacle of the whole batch.

In one embodiment all the data is stored in a database or cloud, so therefore the fishery, a potential buyer, or consumer can obtain information on the fish in the batch through the label of the batch/packing of each batch.

In one embodiment information on a batch of fish can comprise when the fish was caught/slaughtered (date and time), which fishing ground or fish farm the fish was caught/ raised at etc. In one embodiment the apparatus, system and method can be used on board a fishing ship to trace fish in a batch to where and when it was caught and in what condition it was when it was slaughtered or at a fish farm to facilitate tracing of farmed fish back to a cage and slaughterhouse. In the present context the term "under-cooling" or "sub-chilling" refers to the process or method of bringing fish to a desired temperature at or near the phase transition of freezing the fish without freezing the fish, and generally below the freezing point of water (0°C). Furthermore, these terms refer to a fish or fish product being brought to or kept at a desired temperature at or near the phase transition of freezing the fish without freezing the fish, such as a temperature below 0°C (sub-zero conditions), such as preferably at or below -0.2°C, or more preferably at or below -0.5°C, or at or below - 0.7°C, or at or below -0.8°C, such as at or below -1.0°C, such as at or below -1.5°C.

In the present context the term "fish" or "whole fish" relates to a fish which is either freshly caught and unprocessed at all or cut and/or bled and/or gutted and/or washed and/or graded and/or de-headed and/or the tail has been removed or any combination thereof.

In the present context the term "ID" refers to a digital identification of data generated for images or data, where said ID is attached to data in a database or cloud. Assigning an ID to the image data and the at least one characteristic property of the fish refers to the same as assigning an ID to a fish in a batch. Assigning an ID to a batch refers to giving a full batch of fish an ID which can be used retrieve data on all the fish in said batch.

All embodiments listed herein relate to both the apparatus, system and the method of the present invention.

Description of various embodiments The present invention will become more fully understood from the detailed description given hereinafter and the accompanying drawings which are given by way of illustration only, and wherein :

FIG. 1 is an overview of the apparatus components controlling the system and method of the present invention, FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the device with multiple bleeding units and an in-feeding device.

FIG. 3 is a flow chart of the method and the system of the present invention. Figure 1 is an overview of the apparatus and method of the present invention for tracing fish through batching and cooling. The apparatus comprises a feeding conveyor 1 for transporting fish by an imaging device 2 positioned above the feeding conveyor. The feeding conveyor in this embodiment has a v-shaped conveyor belt (la) as it runs under the imaging device 2, but after that and before it leads past the bleeding device, the belt of the conveyor is horizontal lb with diverting means 3. The diverting means 3 divert each fish off the feeding conveyor 1 into batching receptacles, which in this embodiment is a receiving chamber 18 with a lid to control in-feeding of a batch into a bleeding compartment. The apparatus also comprises computing means (not shown). The bleeding device 4 is shown positioned parallel to the feeding conveyor. In this

embodiment, the bleeding device has five bleeding units 5a-e for bleeding a whole batch of fish in separated bleeding compartments. A whole batch of fish is ejected from a bleeding unit 5a-e onto a first takeaway transport conveyor 6, which transports a whole batch away from the bleeding device 5. The first takeaway transport conveyor 6 is shown with a horizontal belt in front of the out-feed end of the bleeding units, and then a climbing conveyor taking batches of fish to a horizontal belt going in the opposite direction, where the horizontal belt has diverting means 7 for diverting a batch of fish in one of the three cooling tanks 8a-c. The cooling tanks 8 have a spiral shaped blade 9 mounted on a rotation axis to convey the batch of fish along the length of the tank 8. Each batch of fish is directed into a determined space 10 in the spiral shaped blade and the whole batch is transported separately as a batch through the cooling tank and ejected as a batch from the cooling tank. In this embodiment the cooling tank is divided into two sections bring the fish to an under-cooled state through a sub-chilling technology. A second set of take-away conveyors l la-c receive the batch of sub-chilled fish and distribute the batch via distribution conveyors 12 to a storing receptacle 13. At the starting end (top) of the drawing workers at processing/work stations 14 are gutting fish. A continuous conveyor belt 15 receives fish from deck on slides 16 providing a flow of fish for the workers at the workstations. When a fish has been gilled and/or gutted it is ejected through an opening in the workstation into a compartment, which delivers the fish onto a V-shaped conveyor (not shown) below the continuous conveyor belt 15. The V-shaped conveyor delivers fish one by one onto a conveyor with separations 17 to transport the fish one by one onto the feeding conveyor 1.

Figure 2 shows a bleeding device with five bleeding units arranged in parallel shown from the in-feeding side (A) and the out-feeding side (B). An in-feeding conveyor 1 transports fish to the bleeding device of the present invention. The in-feed conveyor 1 has diverting means 3 to divert fish into different bleeding units based on size, species, weight etc. The bleeding device functions as a collection device for the batching process, after being run by an imaging means. Therefore, fish in the same batching category are collected in the same receiving chamber 18 and the then bleed in a batch and delivered therefrom in a batch. A slidable plate 19 separates each in-feed opening from its corresponding bleeding unit. Batching into the bleeding unit can be started even if the bleeding unit is not ready to receive fish, but as soon as the lower blade of a bleeding compartment 20 is aligned with the declining bottom plate of the receiving chamber, the plate 19 is lowered and the fish are feed into the next compartment. When the desired amount of fish has been fed into the compartment the plate 19 is raised again.

Figure 3 shows a flow chart of the bathing and tracing method and system of the present invention. By collecting image of each fish and performing data analysis of each image, the data can be used to batch the fish right after imaging and the bleeding and cooling the fish as a batch before a whole and single batch is stored in a storage receptacle. Gutted fish is transported one by one on a transport means with separations to keep one fish from another. Each fish is then transported under or by an imaging means. The image is processed and data from the processing is used to determine into which batch the fish is sent. The image and data processing can be colour, size or weight

determination as well as determining the species of the fish or a combination of the above. A first ID (ID-1) is generated comprising an image and the processed data relating to that fish. This information is stored in a database or a cloud. A transport means, such as a conveyor, transports each fish separately to a bleeding apparatus, where a whole batch is collected and bled as a whole batch. When the batch has been created an ID is created for the batch (ID-2). Both the bleeding device and the cooling apparatus are designed or selected to be able to bleed and cool a batch as a whole batch where the batch is maintained separated from other batches being bled and cooled. When the batch has been cooled it is transported to a storing receptacle. A label, such as a QR code is created for the storage receptacle and this label is stored in a database as well. The imaging and data analysis of each fish (ID-1), the creation of each batch (ID-2), creation of label for each storing receptacle and pairing of data is performed by a computing means (not shown in the flow chart) and store in a data base. The method and the system of the present invention allows tracing of each fish in a batch from catching fishing ground or a specific fish farm/slaughter house. A fish can be traced through a workstation or even worker where image and data on each fish is obtained after gutting and slaughtering, the image and data are stored in a database with an ID, and paired to the storage receptacle of the batch. As all the data is stored in a database or cloud, the fishery, a potential buyer, or consumer can obtain information on the fish through the label of the batch/packing of each batch. Such information can comprise when the fish was caught/slaughtered (date and time), which fishing ground or fish farm the fish was caught/raised at etc. A fishery can decide which batch to sell as a whole and which batch to process by itself as well as what kind of processing to do for each batch of fish. A consumer can obtain a photo from a label (such as a QR code) on a mobile device, such as a smart phone, and get the information indicated above as well as images on the fish in the batch.

As used herein, including in the claims, singular forms of terms are to be construed as also including the plural form and vice versa, unless the context indicates otherwise. Thus, it should be noted that as used herein, the singular forms "a," "an," and "the" include plural references unless the context clearly dictates otherwise.

Throughout the description and claims, the terms "comprise", "including", "having", and "contain" and their variations should be understood as meaning "including but not limited to", and are not intended to exclude other components.

The present invention also covers the exact terms, features, values and ranges etc. in case these terms, features, values and ranges etc. are used in conjunction with terms such as about, around, generally, substantially, essentially, at least etc. (i.e., "about 3" shall also cover exactly 3 or "substantially constant" shall also cover exactly constant). The term "at least one" should be understood as meaning "one or more", and therefore includes both embodiments that include one or multiple components. Furthermore, dependent claims that refer to independent claims that describe features with "at least one" have the same meaning, both when the feature is referred to as "the" and "the at least one". It will be appreciated that variations to the foregoing embodiments of the invention can be made while still falling within the scope of the invention. Features disclosed in the specification, unless stated otherwise, can be replaced by alternative features serving the same, equivalent or similar purpose. Thus, unless stated otherwise, each feature disclosed represents one example of a generic series of equivalent or similar features. Use of exemplary language, such as "for instance", "such as", "for example" and the like, is merely intended to better illustrate the invention and does not indicate a limitation on the scope of the invention unless so claimed. Any steps described in the specification may be performed in any order or simultaneously, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. All of the features and/or steps disclosed in the specification can be combined in any combination, except for combinations where at least some of the features and/or steps are mutually exclusive. In particular, preferred features of the invention are applicable to all aspects of the invention and may be used in any combination.