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Title:
APPARATUS AND METHOD TO FACILITATE BLEEDING OF FISH
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/173078
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention relates to a method and a device for bleeding fish. Such apparatus of method may, for instance, be used to facilitate the bleeding process of freshly caught fish after slaughtering in a processing line on board a fishing vessel. For instance, the bleeding method may be used to increase the value of the fish.

Inventors:
ARNASON, Ingolfur (Soleyjargotu 14, IS-300 Akranes, IS-300, IS)
Application Number:
IS2018/050001
Publication Date:
September 27, 2018
Filing Date:
March 26, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
SKAGINN HF. (Bakkatuni 26, IS-300 Akranes, IS-300, IS)
International Classes:
A22B3/08; A22C25/00
Domestic Patent References:
WO2000038530A12000-07-06
WO1996014751A11996-05-23
WO2000072689A12000-12-07
WO2011025384A12011-03-03
WO1996014751A11996-05-23
Foreign References:
GB2405073A2005-02-23
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ARNASON FAKTOR (Gudridarstig 2-4, IS-113 Reykjavik, IS-113, IS)
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Claims:
Claims

An apparatus for bleeding fish, the apparatus comprising one or more drum like bleeding units, each bleeding unit comprising

- a semi-circular cradle housing 1, further comprising

- an in-feed end 2,

- an out-feed end 3,

- an axis 4,

- a fluid inlet 5 in the semi-circular cradle housing 1, and

- an inner drum-like chamber 6 arranged on the axis within the semi-circular cradle housing 1, said inner chamber 6 comprising at least three blades 7 extending from the centre and towards the inner surface of the chamber, and characterized in that at least three blades divide the drum-like chamber into at least three

compartments wherein openings 12 are formed in the curved surface of the drum like chamber 6 to feed fish in and out of the bleeding unit.

The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the apparatus comprises two or more bleeding units arranged side by side.

The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the blades are attached to the inner surface curved surface and the circular sides of the drum-like chamber 6 and to the centrally arranged axis 4.

The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the blades are attached to the centrally arranged axis 4 by a connection member 8.

The apparatus of claim 1, wherein a receiving chamber 11 is positioned in front of the in-feed opening of each bleeding unit.

The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the apparatus further comprises an in-feed and/or distribution means 16 for feeding fish into the receiving chamber(s).

7. The apparatus of claims 7, where the in-feed and distribution means is a conveyor 16.

8. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the blades 7 are made from perforated material.

9. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the inlet 5 for pumping liquid into the compartment of the inner drum-like chamber 6 is in the downward facing side of the semi-circular cradle housing 1.

10. The apparatus according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the inner drum-like chamber 6 comprises a scraper 21 on the outer surface of the curved surface of the drum like chamber to remove any solid material blocking the fluid inlet 5 of the semicircular cradle housing 1.

11. The apparatus according to any of the preceding claims, wherein each two blades of a compartment in the inner drum-like chamber 6 are connected with a sealing plate 22 limiting the flow of fluid out of the compartment.

12. A method for bleeding fish in an apparatus according to claims 1-4, comprising one or more drum like bleeding units, the method comprising the steps of:

- 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,

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

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

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

- 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.

13. A method according to claim 12, wherein the fish is collected as a batch in a receiving chamber positioned in front of the in-feed opining of the bleeding unit, wherein the batching is determined by taking images of the fish during transportation to the in- feeding device.

14. The method according to claim 13, wherein sorting/batching fish into two or more receiving chambers is based on size, species, weight etc.

15. The method according to claim 12, wherein the drum is rotated back and forth from 10-25 degrees from the level of the axis.

Description:
APPARATUS AND METHOD TO FACILITATE BLEEDING OF FISH

Field of the invention

The invention relates to a method and a device for bleeding fish. Such method and device may, for instance, be used to facilitate bleeding freshly caught fish after slaughtering in a processing line on board a fishing vessel. For instance, the bleeding method may be used to increase the value of the fish.

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.

In many cases the processing is done on land, which requires storing the fish at sea and during transport to the factory. In this case the time period from when a caught fish ends up on the deck of a fishing ship and to the time the fish starts cooling process needs to be as short as possible as all handling and transport has effect on the quality of the fish.

One of the parts of the processing fish is the bleeding step. In a processing line where speed is of essence, one of the problems is that after the fish is bleed and gutted the fish will bleed into the meat. This will have an effect on the colour of the meat and thereby the price which can be obtained for the final product.

WO2011025384 discloses a system for automatic bleeding of fish. The system includes an endless transport belt for transporting living, anaesthetized, a detection unit for determining accurate bleeding point for living, anaesthetized fish and a bleeding mechanism for automatic bleeding of the transported, living, anaesthetized fish. WO 96/14751 discloses a bleeding and cooling tank designed as a horizontal and cylindrical tank with separating panels to separate the tank into chambers. A lifting panel having the same shape as the chambers lifts the fish out of the chamber when the chamber is positioned above the lifting plate.

Summary of the Invention The present invention provides an apparatus and a system to facilitate bleeding of whole slaughtered fish before processing or cooling. The system of the present invention provides a device comprising a bleeding chamber with means to generate a mechanical movement of the bleeding chamber or a part of the bleeding chamber resulting in a movement of the content in the bleeding chamber. This will result in the fish bumping into each other and rubbing up against each other, which will facilitate bleeding of the fish and with an addition of fluid to the bleeding chamber will result in rinsing of the flesh of the fish an in the bleeding chamber. The system of the invention provides a device comprising of a bleeding unit having one or more bleeding chambers. Optionally the device can be set up to have a number of bleeding units arranged side by side for increased throughput or to enable batching into the bleeding device for batch bleeding and to continue with processing of the fish in a batch. The apparatus can be set up having a number of bleeding units arranged side by side. The one or more bleeding units have a drum-like or cylindrical shaped chamber arranged vertically in a cradle like housing, where each chamber is divided into a number of compartments. The apparatus of the present invention can be set up to collect fish into batches, where the whole batch is bleed and then ejected as a whole batch onto a take-away means or into a new collection receptacle. Each bleeding unit has at least 3 compartments where different positions of each compartment facilitate; i) in-feeding/collection of batch, ii) filling the compartment with fluid, iii) bleeding by agitating or moving the compartment back and forth a few degrees of a circle, and iv) ejecting the batch of fish from the compartment after bleeding. Continuous agitation of the compartment when the compartment is in bleeding position creates a tumbling and circulation of fish and fluid in the container, which together with the fact that each fish is constantly bumping into another fish or rubbing up against a plurality of fishes facilitates the bleeding or rinsing blood from whole fish. A new compartment can be filled as another compartment is being agitated or rocked. This is facilitated by having the opening in the curved surface of the drum like chamber in the second half of the curved surface for each compartment. Therefore it is possible to maintain the water/fluid level in the compartment and above the rotation point of the device, i.e. where the axis penetrates the drum, using a fluid seal between the edge of the opening formed in the curved surface of the drum like chamber and the inner surface of the semi-circular cradle housing. By being able to fill one chamber during agitation of another chamber and emptying the newly agitated chamber while rotating the third chamber into an in-feed position provides efficient and speedy device and method which is mandatory when a large amount of fish is being processed and cooled. Furthermore a mechanical movement of the drum-like chamber around an axis is provided to agitate the mixture of fish and fluid. The new device uses fresh fluid/sea with every new batch of fish, but not a continuous flow of fluid through the device. This means that less amount of fluid is required for the bleeding and opens up the possibility of using temperature regulated seawater in the bleeding process without an enormous cost. 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 bleeding of fish after slaughtering and/or gutting and/or gilling fish. It is one preferred object of the present invention to provide a device with a simple and robust design in order to facilitate bleeding and washing blood off slaughtered fish. Moreover, it is a preferred object of the present invention to provide a fast method and device, preferably designed as a set of bleeding units arranged side by side. Another preferred object of the present invention is to provide a device having a design where a fish is transported in batches in a compartment in a drum-like bleeding unit through the bleeding process to facilitate the bleeding and rinsing blood from whole fish before processing to increase its value. It is also a preferred object of the present invention to provide a device with an improved operability to be placed in a processing line between slaughtering and cooling and or further processing to increase the value of the fish. 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 an apparatus for rinsing fish and/or facilitate bleeding of whole fish after slaughtering and or gutting. Preferably the apparatus comprises one or more drum like bleeding units, where each bleeding unit comprises a semi-circular cradle housing with an in-feed end, an out- feed end, an axis, and a fluid inlet. The apparatus further comprises an inner drum-like chamber arranged on the axis within the semi-circular cradle housing, where the inner chamber comprises at least three blades extending from the centre and towards the inner surface of the chamber. The at least three blades divide the drum-like chamber into at least three 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 apparatus comprises two or more bleeding units arranged side by side.

In an embodiment the apparatus drum-like inner chamber is divided into at least three clove or sector like compartments, where the curved surface of the drum like chamber is connected to the axis by plates or blades every 120° with three 60° openings in the curved surface. When the drum like chamber is being turned clockwise, the opening is in the after portion of the curved surface of the drum like chamber. In an embodiment of the present invention the blades separating the chamber into compartments are attached to the inner surface curved surface and the circular sides of the drum-like chamber and to the centrally arranged axis. The blades may be attached to the centrally arranged axis by a connection member. In a further embodiment the blades are made from perforated material.

In an embodiment of the present invention the semi-circular cradle housing 1 comprises an inlet for fluid.

In an embodiment a receiving chamber is positioned in front of the in-feed opening of each bleeding unit. The receiving chamber is separated from the infeed opening by a lid or plate, which closes the in-feed opening while there is no chamber to feed fish into, but it is still possible to collect fish for the next chamber in the receiving chamber. When an opening in the bleeding unit is aligned with the receiving chamber the lid can be opened and fish will flow into an empty compartment in the bleeding unit.

In an embodiment of the present invention the inlet for pumping liquid into the compartment of the inner drum-like chamber is in the downward facing side of the semicircular cradle housing.

In an embodiment of the present invention the inner drum-like chamber comprises a scraper on the outer surface of the curved surface of the drum like chamber to remove any solid material blocking the fluid inlet of the semi-circular cradle housing. In an embodiment of the present invention each two blades of a compartment in the inner drum-like chamber are connected with a sealing plate at the connection point to the axis of the chamber thereby limiting the flow of fluid out of the compartment.

Accordingly, the set-up of the apparatus may involve apparatus as a part of a processing line or rinsing fish before sub-chilling fish. Preferably the device is designed having a number of bleeding units, where each bleeding unit preferably comprises a receiving chamber for collecting fish before bleeding the fish in batches as well as a drum-like bleeding chamber divided into at least three compartments. Preferably, the apparatus in such a processing line is arranged after an in-feeding device and/or distribution conveyor. Preferably, the compartments within each bleeding unit are formed by dividing a drum-like inner chamber into at least three clove or sector like compartments, where each compartment has an infeed opening in its curved surface. Although the

blades/plates dividing the drum into compartments are perforated, water seals along edges between the cradle housing and the drum-like chamber ensure that most of the fluid is kept within the compartments. Preferably, slaughtered and gutter fish transported on an infeed conveyor are transported under an image means for determining

characteristic properties of the fish, such as size, weight, colour or species.

In an embodiment fish can be batched into one of several receiving chamber for one of the bleeding units from the distribution conveyor, based on the characteristic properties of the fish.

Thus, at least one of the preferred objects of the present invention is solved by a method for bleeding fish in the apparatus of the present invention having one or more drum like bleeding units. 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 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 compartment, c) rotating the inner drum-like chamber to a next position for agitating the compartment back and forth to move the fish in the compartment, and 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 method further comprises collecting the fish as a batch in a receiving chamber positioned in front of the in-feed opining of the bleeding unit, where the batching is performed by taking images of the fish during transportation to the in-feeding device. In an embodiment of the present invention the sorting/batching of fish into two or more receiving chambers is based on size, species, weight etc.

In an embodiment of the present invention the drum is rotated back and forth from 10- 25 degrees from the level of the axis.

A method for rinsing fish and/or facilitate bleeding of whole fish after slaughtering and or gutting is provided. Preferably the method comprises the steps of feeding fish into to a receiving chamber through an in-feed opening, transferring the fish to a first bleeding compartment through an in-feed opening by rotating the drum-like inner chamber of the bleeding unit so that the opening in the curved surface of the inner chamber into one of the compartments is aligned with the lower rim of the reclining bottom plate of the receiving chamber, filling the compartment with fluid, such as seawater, rinsing the fish by agitating the inner chamber, and transferring the fish from the compartment through the out-feed opening of the bleeding unit.

Accordingly, the set-up of the apparatus may involve a device with multiple bleeding units to facilitate rinsing and bleeding of freshly slaughtered and gutted fish, where each bleeding unit of the device is positioned in a semi-circular cradle housing with an in-feed end, an out-feed end, an axis, and a fluid inlet. The bleeding units further comprise an inner drum-like chamber arranged on the axis within the semi-circular cradle housing, where the inner chamber comprises at least three blades extending from the centre and towards the inner surface of the chamber. The at least three blades divide the drum-like chamber into at least three compartments, where openings are formed in the curved surface of the drum like chamber to feed fish in and out of the bleeding unit. Each bleeding unit then delivers a batch of fish to be cooled down or processed.

Alternatively or additionally the present invention provides an apparatus for rinsing a batch of fish and/or facilitate bleeding of whole fish after slaughtering and or gutting. Preferably the apparatus comprises one or more drum like bleeding units, where each bleeding unit comprises a semi-circular cradle housing with an in-feed end, an out-feed end, an axis, and a fluid inlet. The apparatus further comprises an inner drum-like chamber arranged on the axis within the semi-circular cradle housing, where the inner chamber comprises at least three blades extending from the centre and towards the inner surface of the chamber. The at least three blades divide the drum-like chamber into at least three 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 such alternative or additional apparatus, the apparatus comprises two or more bleeding units arranged side by side. Furthermore, the drum-like inner chamber may be divided into at least three clove or sector like compartments, where the curved surface of the drum like chamber is connected to the axis by plates or blades every 120° with three 60° openings in the curved surface. When the drum like chamber is being turned clockwise, the opening is in the after portion of the curved surface of the drum like chamber. Also, the blades separating the chamber into compartments may are attached to the inner surface curved surface and the circular sides of the drum-like chamber and to the centrally arranged axis. The blades may be attached to the centrally arranged axis by a connection member. In a further embodiment the blades are made from perforated material. In an additional embodiment the semi-circular cradle housing 1 comprises an inlet for fluid. In an embodiment of such alternative or additional apparatus, a receiving chamber is positioned in front of the in-feed opening of each bleeding unit. The receiving chamber is separated from the infeed opening by a lid or plate, which closes the in-feed opening while there is no chamber to feed fish into, but it is still possible to collect fish for the next chamber in the receiving chamber. When an opening in the bleeding unit is aligned with the receiving chamber the lid can be opened and fish will flow into an empty compartment in the bleeding unit. Also, the inlet for pumping liquid into the

compartment of the inner drum-like chamber is in the downward facing side of the semicircular cradle housing. Furthermore, the inner drum-like chamber comprises a scraper on the outer surface of the curved surface of the drum like chamber to remove any solid material blocking the fluid inlet of the semi-circular cradle housing. Also, each two blades of a compartment in the inner drum-like chamber are connected with a sealing plate at the connection point to the axis of the chamber thereby limiting the flow of fluid out of the compartment. This embodiment has major advantages over prior art bleeding devices. Firstly, it can be set up to collect fish into batches, where the whole batch is bleed and then ejected as a whole batch onto a take-away means or into a new collection receptacle. Second, continuous agitation of the compartment when the compartment is in bleeding position creates a tumbling and circulation of fish and fluid in the container, which together with the fact that each fish is constantly bumping into another fish or rubbing up against a plurality of fishes facilitates the bleeding or rinsing blood from whole fish. Also, a new compartment can be filled as another compartment is being agitated or rocked. This is facilitated by having the opening in the curved surface of the drum like chamber in the second half of the curved surface for each compartment. Therefore it is possible to maintain the water/fluid level in the compartment and above the rotation point of the device, i.e. where the axis penetrates the drum, using a fluid seal between the edge of the opening formed in the curved surface of the drum like chamber and the inner surface of the semi-circular cradle housing. By being able to fill one chamber during agitation of another chamber and emptying the newly agitated chamber while rotating the third chamber into an in-feed position provides efficient and speedy device which is mandatory when a large amount of fish is being processed and cooled. Furthermore a mechanical movement of the drum-like chamber around an axis is provided to agitate the mixture of fish and fluid. Furthermore, the new device uses fresh fluid/sea with every new batch of fish, but not a continuous flow of fluid through the device. This means that less amount of fluid is required for the bleeding and opens up the possibility of using temperature regulated seawater in the bleeding process without an enormous cost.

Alternatively or additionally the present invention provides a method for bleeding a batch of fish in the apparatus of the present invention having one or more drum like bleeding units. The method comprises; a ) feeding a batch of 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 compartment, c) rotating the inner drum-like chamber to a next position for agitating the compartment back and forth to move the batch of fish in the compartment, and d) rotating the inner drum-like chamber to a next position for ejecting the batch of fish from the compartment when the compartment is aligned with the out-feed opening of the bleeding unit. In an embodiment of such alternative or additional system, the method further comprises collecting the batch of fish as a batch in a receiving chamber positioned in front of the in- feed opining of the bleeding unit, where the batching is performed by taking images of the batch of fish during transportation to the in-feeding device. Furthermore, the sorting/batching of fish into two or more receiving chambers is based on size, species, weight etc. Additionally, the drum is rotated back and forth from 10-25 degrees from the level of the axis.

The term "bleeding" is to be understood as the process of removing blood from fish after slaughtering, gilling or gutting. Sliding a knife across the gills of a fish (gilling) and gutting a fish will allow the fish to start bleeding. The process of removing as much blood as possible with washing or rinsing is what is to be understood as bleeding. Therefore, each bleeding unit of the present invention provides an apparatus with a compartment for a batch of fish to be rinsed of blood and debris during transport from workstations and an in-feeding belt to further cooling or processing.

The term "receiving chamber" refers to an object receiver or an in-feed chamber which receives items or fish from an in-feeding means such as an in-feeding conveyor. The chamber may have an open upper surface so that the fish can be diverted directly of an in-feeding or distribution conveyor into the receiving chamber. In case of an apparatus having more than one bleeding units, fish can be diverted into designated receiving chambers based on size, weight, colour, species etc. In this case the apparatus is capable of batch bleeding and can therefore deliver a batch of fish to a take-away transport means for cooling or further processing. A receiving chamber according to the present invention further comprises an out-feed opening or out-feed opening or a lid for transferring fish from the receiving chamber to a compartment of the bleeding unit.

In the present context the term "compartment" or "bleeding compartment" refers to a clove or sector like compartment formed by dividing a drum-like inner chamber into at least three compartments, where each compartment has an infeed opening in its curved surface. By filling each compartment with fluid after fish has been feed into the compartment and agitating the closed compartment the result of the fish bumping into each other and rubbing up against each other which will facilitate the rinsing and bleeding in the compartment.

In the present context the term "agitating" or "rocking" refers to rotating the drum like chamber a certain number of degrees back and forth around a rotation axis.

In the present context the term "means for providing mechanical movement of the chamber to agitate the batch of fish in the chamber" refers to means or components of the apparatus of the invention which operates mechanically with the bleeding chamber/compartment of the invention. This can be obtained by rotating the inner drumlike chamber of the drum bleeding unit disclosed above back and forth for agitating the compartment and the batch of fish in the compartment and thereby to facilitate bleeding and rinsing of the batch of fish in the container by the fish bumping into each other. Accordingly, the method and the apparatus is preferably adapted to facilitate bleeding of single whole fish after pre-processing and prior to batching of whole fish on a fishing ship or at a site near fish farm where farmed fish is being slaughtered. The set-up of the apparatus according to one embodiment of the present invention is designed for a processing line to be placed after the fish has been slaughtered, gilled and/or gutted at workstations and single whole fish is being feed into the rinsing apparatus to facilitate bleeding of the fish. The outcome will be fish meet with less blood contamination with increased value on the market.

Preferably the bleeding apparatus of the present invention receives individual whole fish from an in-feeding or distribution belt and in an embodiment of an apparatus with a number of bleeding units the fish is batched into the receiving chambers of each bleeding unit. After bleeding the fish are ejected at the outfeed opening of the bleeding unit and onto a takeaway means, such as a take-away conveyor and feed the fish onto the next device for further processing or cooling.

All embodiments listed below relate to both the apparatus 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 thus, are not limitative of the present invention, and wherein : FIG. 1 is a drawing outlining the different components of a bleeding unit of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a side transection view of one preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3 perspctive view of the device with multiple bleeding units and an in-feeding device. FIG. 4 is a drawing showing a side view of a bleeding unit of the present invention in an in-feed and an out-feed position. FIG. 5 is a drawing showing a side view of a bleeding unit agitating the fish to facilitae bleeding.

Figure 1 shows a transactional side view of a bleeding unit of an apparatus according to one embodiment of the present invention. The bleeding unit has a semi-circular cradle housing 1 with an in-feed end 2, an out-feed end 3, an axis 4 and a fluid inlet 5 in the bottom portion of the circular cradle housing 1. The bleeding unit further comprises an inner drum-like chamber 6 arranged on the axis 4 within the semi-circular cradle housing 1. The inner chamber 6 has three blades 7 extending from and attached to the axis 4 in the centre of the inner drum-like chamber 6 and towards the inner surface of the chamber. The three blades divide the drum-like chamber into three compartments (I, II, III) where openings are formed in the curved surface of the drum like chamber 6 to feed fish in and out of the bleeding unit as well as to pump fluid into the chamber.

Figure 2 shows a transactional side view (A) and perspective view of a bleeding unit of an apparatus according to one embodiment of the present invention. The drawing shows a frame 9 supporting the semi-circular cradle housing 1, a motor 10 for rotating the inner drum-like chamber 6 and the receiving chamber 11. The bleeding unit further comprises an inner drum-like chamber 6 arranged on the axis 4 within the semi-circular cradle housing 1. The inner chamber 6 has three blades 7 extending from centre of the inner drum-like chamber 6 and towards the inner surface of the chamber. The three blades divide the drum-like chamber into three compartments (I, II, III). In Fig. 2B it is shown how the inner drum-like chamber 6 has openings 12 being formed in the curved surface 13 of the drum like chamber 6 to feed fish in and out of the bleeding unit as well as to pump fluid into the chamber. The bleeding unit is shown in an out-feed position, where the lower blade of the compartment III is in a declining position and aligned with the out- feed opening 3 of the bleeding unit, so that the fish in that chamber will flow out of the chamber through the opening 12 in the chamber and the outlet 3 of the semi-circular cradle housing 1. A fluid inlet 5 is shown in the bottom in the bottom portion of the circular cradle housing 1 and below the inlet a piping 15 is shown to provide fluid into the compartment II. As mentioned above, the in-feed opening is blocked when the drum like chamber 6 of the bleeding unit is in this position. The blades 7 are attached to the axis 4 via a connection member 8 shown as a triangular member in the embodiment shown in Fig. 2. The drawing also shows how each two blades 7 of a compartment in the inner drum-like chamber 6 are connected with a sealing plate 22 at the connection member 8 to the axis 4 of the chamber thereby limiting the flow of fluid out of the compartment. In addition to connecting the blades in the chamber the sealing plate 22 also forms a seal against the circular sides of the drum-like chamber in the corner of the clove like corner near the axis. Figure 3 shows a 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 17 transports fish to the bleeding apparatus of the present invention. The in-feed conveyor 17 has diverting means 18 to divert fish into different bleeding units based on size, species, weight etc. Therefore, the device of the present invention can form a role in a batching process, where fish coming from being gutted are transported by an imaging means before undergoing the bleeding process and fish in the same batching category are collected in the same receiving chamber 11 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 compartment 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 4 shows a transection side view of a bleeding unit where the inner drum-like chamber 6 is in an in-feed position (A) and in an out-feed position (B). In Fig. 4A, the curved and closed surface 13 of compartment I does not block the in-feed opening at the end of the declining bottom plate 14 of the receiving chamber 11. Furthermore, the lid 19 for opening and closing the in-feed opening into the bleeding unit is down so fish 20 will be able to flow from the receiving chamber 11 into compartment I of the drum like chamber 6. Compartment II is being agitated (see Fig. 5). In Fig. 4B compartment II has been turned into out-feeding position and the lower blade 7 of the compartment II is in a declining position and aligned with the out-feed opening of the bleeding unit, so that the fish in that compartment will flow out of the compartment through the opening in the compartment and the outlet of the semi-circular cradle housing. Compartment I is being filled with fluid and compartment III is empty.

Figure 5 shows a transection side view of a bleeding unit where the compartment II is in an upper position (A) and a lower position (B) during agitation of the fish 20 in the compartment. The arrow shows the movement of the inner drum-like chamber 6. A seal 21 is shown in the drawing to keep the seawater in the compartment. The agitation can be about 25° back and forth from the level of the axis. During agitation, the lid 19 for opening and closing the in-feed opening into the bleeding unit is down as well so in- feeding can take place at that time.

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 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.