Research on the quality of tuna caught by handlines with artificial light in Vietnam

The results presented are initial fi ndings based on limited conditions (time, quantity of experiments and laboratory conditions). Further research should be conducted with time, number of sea trips as well as number of experiments increased so that detailed and applicable solutions can be attained, which could be applied in real situations and transferred to fi shers. Another aspect for future study is the use of electric shock on tuna immediately after the fi sh is hooked. This way, tuna is killed at the hooking time instead of after hauling. As a proposed research area, which had not been conducted in any trials, it however important that the use of electric shock is safe for fi shers, targeted fi sh, and juvenile fi shes.

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Tạp chí Khoa học - Công nghệ Thủy sản Số 3/2014 TRƯỜNG ĐẠI HỌC NHA TRANG • 61 RESEARCH ON THE QUALITY OF TUNA CAUGHT BY HANDLINES WITH ARTIFICIAL LIGHT IN VIETNAM NGHIÊN CỨU ĐÁNH GIÁ CHẤT LƯỢNG CÁ NGỪ ĐẠI DƯƠNG BẰNG NGHỀ CÂU TAY KẾT HỢP ÁNH SÁNG Ở VIỆT NAM Trần Đức Phú1 Ngày nhận bài: 30/7/2014; Ngày phản biện thông qua: 11/8/2014; Ngày duyệt đăng: 13/8/2014 ABSTRACT In Vietnam, the quality of tuna caught by handlines with artifi cial lights seemed to have declined compared with those caught by longlines. In order to determine the main causes of such phenomenon, surveys were conducted by interviewing concerned fi shers while four trials were also conducted on tuna fi shing boats, namely: absolute blooding out of catch, changing lights power, changing lines hauling speed, and fi shers’ normal practice of handling (as control). Catch from the fi rst three trials were compared with the control using chemical indicators as criteria, such as total protein and NH 3 contents, protein oxygenation level, total acid and lactic acid contents, and amino acid level. The paper suggested to reduce line hauling speed, which may improve the quality of tuna caught by handlines with artifi cial light. Keywords: quality of tuna, handliner with artifi cial light, Vietnam tuna TÓM TẮT Kết quả nghiên cứu của bài báo nhằm xác định nguyên nhân chất lượng cá ngừ đại dương bằng nghề câu tay kết hợp ánh sáng giảm so với cá ngừ được khai thác bằng nghề câu vàng truyền thống. Việc xác định nguyên nhân ban đầu được tiến hành bằng cách phỏng vấn ngư dân, những người thu mua, cơ quan quản lý và các nhà khoa học. Nghiên cứu đã tiến thành thực nghiệm trên bốn phương án (1) xả máu triệt để; (2) thay đổi tốc độ thu câu; (3) thay đổi công suất nguồn sáng và (4) khai thác bình thường để đối chứng. Các chỉ số hóa học được phân tích bao gồm hàm lượng đạm tổng số, NH3, tổng a xít, a xít Lactic, Peroxide, TBARS và Histamine. Bài báo cũng đã đề xuất phương pháp làm chậm tốc độ thu câu để cải thiện chất lượng cá ngừ đại dương bằng nghề câu tay kết hợp ánh sáng Từ khóa: chất lượng cá ngừ, câu tay kết hợp ánh sáng, cá ngừ Việt Nam I. INTRODUCTION The tuna handline fi sheries was developed in the central provinces of Vietnam sometime in 2010, especially in the Provnces of Binh Dinh, Phu Yen, and Khanh Hoa where more than 1,000 handliners have been documented (DECAFIREP, 2012). Although tuna handline fi shing with artifi cial lights has been recently practiced, the catch using such gear accounted for a large portion of the total oceanic tuna catch in Vietnam (Phu Yen & Binh Dinh Sub-DECAFIREP, 2012). However, the real situation which should be gleaned is on the quality of the tuna caught by handlines which appeared to be lower than those caught by traditional longlines. As a result, the price of tunas caught by handlines is only one-half of the tunas caught by longliners, while the ratio of tuna reaching the sashimi standards in handline-caught tuna accounted for only 1% compared with 70% of those by traditional longlines (DECAFIREP, 2012). Fisheries researchers, managers and fi shers tried to adapt advance methodologies and share experiences to address this concern, but the quality of tuna caught by handlines has not improved so far. Therefore, the Marine Science and Fishing Technologies Institute of Nha Trang University conducted a case study to investigate the major reasons that led to reduced quality of handline-caught tuna. II. METHODOLOGIES Based on interviews with fi shers and stakeholders, and from the initial results of fi shing trips onboard handline vessels, the main causes of reduced quality of handline-caught tuna could be deduced from the current 1 TS. Trần Đức Phú: Viện Khoa học và Công nghệ khai thác thủy sản - Trường Đại học Nha Trang THOÂNG BAÙO KHOA HOÏC Tạp chí Khoa học - Công nghệ Thủy sản Số 3/2014 62 • TRƯỜNG ĐẠI HỌC NHA TRANG practices of fi shers such as: (1) absolute blooding out of catch not completely carried out before preserving the catch; (2) speed of hauling lines very fast; and (3) intensity of artifi cial lights is too much for the tuna catch. Based on such hypotheses, trials were conducted onboard handline vessels at sea, the results of which were analyzed at the Institute’s Laboratory to compare these current practices with those of the proper handling procedures of tuna catch. The suppositions are described as following: Absolute blooding out: Local fi shers normally kill the fi sh immediately after these are hooked and hauled. The fi sh should be completely bled out, disemboweled (internal organs removed) and cleaned before preserving the catch (fi gure 1). Reducing the lights power: After tuna catch is hauled by local fi shers on board, artifi cial lights near the hauling areas should be turned off or intensity reduced, and as soon as half of the line is hauled, all lights should be turned off before taking all the catch onboard. Changing the hauling speed: In normal practice which had been adapted from in tuna longline fi sheries, as soon as tunas are hooked these are immediately hauled onboard the fi shing vessels. Research team were conducted when tunas are hooked, fi shers drop an extra buoy to the sea and then connect the tuna line to this buoy, in order to link the extra buoy with the vessel, and control the speed of tuna fi shing boat. This should reduce or limit hauling effort of fi shers, but only one effort exists during such time that is the tuna line dragging the extra buoy (fi gure 2). Figure 1. Preparing tuna catch for preservation: (left) letting the blood out and (right) gutting Samples were taken from the tuna catch corresponding to each current practice, and analyzed at the Laboratory of the Marine Science and Fishing Technologies Institute of Nha Trang University. The samples are analyzed based on their: (1) total protein and NH3 contents; (2) protein oxygenation level; (3) total acid and lactic acid contents; and (4) amino acid contents. The samples were compared with tunas immediately collected onboard after hauling and those collected from fi shing ports. The sample treatments had been correspondingly marked as: TUNA1 - absolute blooding out; TUNA2 - changing light powers; TUNA3 - normal practice; TUNA4 - changing hauling speed; Moreover, samples collected immediately after hauling were marked as D, while those collected from fi shing ports by C. For example, TUNA1-D indicates that samples have been taken onboard vessels and bled out; while TUNA1-C indicates samples taken from fi shing ports and completely bled out. Figure 2. Changing of hauling speed by dropping an extra buoy (left) and connecting tuna line with the extra buoy (right) III. RESULTS 1. Protein and NH3 contents Results of the laboratory analysis indicated no signifi cant difference in the total protein contents among the samples analyzed. In terms of NH3 contents, samples taken onboard fi shing vessels did not exhibit any Tạp chí Khoa học - Công nghệ Thủy sản Số 3/2014 TRƯỜNG ĐẠI HỌC NHA TRANG • 63 signifi cant difference, but those collected from fi shing ports had shown signifi cant differences. The total protein contents from samples collected onboard fi shing vessels fl uctuated from 23.27 to 23.50 g/100 g tuna meat, those collected from fi shing ports had protein contents that range from 23.13 to 23.40 g/100 g tuna meat (fi gure 3). As for the NH3 contents (fi gure 4), although samples collected onboard did not have signifi cant differences with values that range from 18.09 to 18.66 mg/100 g tuna meat, those collected from fi shing ports had high contents of NH3 that were signifi cantly different from those collected onboard fi shing vessels. Figure 3. Total protein contents of tuna samples Figure 4. NH3 contents of tuna samples The results also indicated that among the samples collected onboard vessels, TUNA4-C (changed hauling speed) had the lowest NH3 contents (40.35 mg/100g tuna meat) followed by TUNA1-C (43.08), TUNA3-C (47.58), and TUNA2-C (48.36). Considering that NH3 is the toxic form of ammonia in fi sh and the number 1 killer of fi sh, it can be concluded that TUNA4 experiments could have possibly produced better quality handline-caught tuna followed by TUNA1 experiments, while results from TUNA2 and TUNA3 experiments did not show any signifi cant differences. 2. Protein oxygenation level Peroxide and TBARS (Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances) are two of the most commonly used indicators to evaluate protein oxygenation level of seafood. Results of the case study showed that the Peroxide and TBARS values corresponding to the samples collected for the experiments had declining oxygenation levels as follows: TUNA3 > TUNA2 > TUNA1 > TUNA4. This result tends to imply that TUNA4 (changed hauling speed) had lower oxygenation level than the other experiments (fi gure 5 and fi gure 6), and point to the possibility that TUNA4 experiments could attain increased shelf life. Figure 5. Peroxide levels of tuna samples Figure 6. TBARS levels of tuna samples 3. Total acid and lactic acid contents As shown in Figure 7, the total acid contents from TUNA1-D, TUNA2-D, TUNA3-D and TUNA4-D were not signifi cantly different, with values that fl uctuated from 1.023% to 1.043%. However, for the samples taken from fi shing ports, TUNA4-C had the lowest total acid contents (1.044%) followed by TUNA1-C (1.157%), TUNA2-C (1.193%) and TUNA3-C (1.231%). Similar trend was observed for the lactic acid contents of the tuna samples (Figure 8). While the samples collected onboard fi shing vessels did not show signifi cant differences in terms of lactic acid contents, but those collected from fi shing ports had signifi cantly different lactic acid contents, i.e. TUNA4-C had the lowest lactic acid contents (0.980%), TUNA3-C had the highest lactic acid contents (1.133%) followed in descending order by TUNA2-C (1.113%), and TUNA1-C (1.077%). Tạp chí Khoa học - Công nghệ Thủy sản Số 3/2014 64 • TRƯỜNG ĐẠI HỌC NHA TRANG Figure 7. Total acid contents in tuna samples Figure 8. Lactic acid contents in tuna samples Based on the aforementioned analysis, the total acid and lactic acid contents in the tuna samples corresponding to TUNA-4 was the lowest compared with the other trials, although only three (3) experiments per trial could be conducted thus, the results are only preliminary. In order to obtain more conclusive results, more samples should be collected from many vessels, more trials should be conducted, and the time of trial fi shing trips also should be made much longer. 4. Histamine contents Histamine content is one of the most important indicators to evaluate the quality of tuna. Results of the analysis on histamine contents from collected samples have shown that those collected onboard did not differ signifi cantly in terms of histamine contents, although the values fl uctuated from 24.3 to 25.7 mg/kg (fi gure 9). However, samples collected from fi shing ports showed high histamine contents that were signifi cantly different from those samples that were collected onboard fi shing vessels. Figure 9. Histamine contents in tuna samples The results therefore showed that TUNA4-C had the lowest histamine contents (34.1 mg/kg tuna meat) followed by TUNA1-C (38.5 mg/kg tuna meat), TUNA2-C (44.4 mg/kg tuna meat) and TUNA3-C (45.0 mg/kg tuna meat). These results also suggested that tunas produced through speed changing trials and collected onboard vessels were of better quality compared with those produced through the other trials. IV. CONCLUSION AND RECOMMEMDATIONS 1. Conclusion Based on the abovementioned results of the experiments, initial conclusions were reached on the possible reasons for reduced quality of tuna caught by handlines. In general, based on the chemical contents of the samples, namely: NH3, total acid, lactic acid, peroxide, TBARS, and histamine, tuna caught through reduced hauling speed gives better quality tuna compared with the other trials. This also implies that a very quick hauling speed is the main factor that affects the quality of tuna caught by handlines since the quality is reduced immediately as soon as tuna is taken onboard the vessels. Moreover, another factor that should also be considered is the method used to kill the fi sh. As practiced by handline fi shers, once tuna is hauled out of the water, Tạp chí Khoa học - Công nghệ Thủy sản Số 3/2014 TRƯỜNG ĐẠI HỌC NHA TRANG • 65 the killing process is not completely accomplished. In addition, when the fi sh is knocked against the fl oor of wooden vessels, the quality is reduced. Therefore, the two major reasons responsible for the declining quality of tuna catch are the fast hauling speed and killing methods. 2. Recommendations Based on the results of the case study, initial solutions are proposed in order to improve quality of tuna caught by handlines in Vietnam. - Fishing technologies From the aforementioned analysis, the quality of tuna could be improved when the hauling speed is reduced. As observed during the actual sea trips, huge numbers of hooked tuna escape from the handlines, easily accounting for 40% of total hooked tuna, of which 80% was due to jumbled handlines. Therefore, the fi shing technology could be improved by adapting two requirements: reducing the hauling speed and limiting the number of tuna that escape. As soon as tuna is hooked, an extra buoy is dropped and then tuna line is linked to this extra buoy which is connected to the vessel. The buoy fl oat will slower the speed and keep tuna during hooking time. This extra buoy also reduces the hauling efforts of fi shers and minimizes the interaction between tuna and fi shers. This requirement also limits sudden change of sea water pressure on tuna which is usually the case for tunas caught from traditional longline fi sheries. - Preservation technologies The seafood preservation technology on wooden vessels makes use of freeze cellars that use ice to maintain the quality of seafood while the temperature inside the cellars is maintained to minimize the melting of ice. These freeze cellars are used on many tuna fi shing fl eets, especially in Taiwan. This technology could be applied for tuna fl eets in Vietnam but the investment for cellars could be high depending on the structure of fi shing vessels. In this regard, tuna fl eets in Vietnam should be organized into groups, with the big vessels to be equipped with freeze cellars and serve the grouped fl eets, while all products from smaller vessels in the group will be maintained and preserved with the big vessel. 3. Way forward The results presented are initial fi ndings based on limited conditions (time, quantity of experiments and laboratory conditions). Further research should be conducted with time, number of sea trips as well as number of experiments increased so that detailed and applicable solutions can be attained, which could be applied in real situations and transferred to fi shers. Another aspect for future study is the use of electric shock on tuna immediately after the fi sh is hooked. This way, tuna is killed at the hooking time instead of after hauling. As a proposed research area, which had not been conducted in any trials, it however important that the use of electric shock is safe for fi shers, targeted fi sh, and juvenile fi shes. REFERENCES 1. DECAFIREP, 2012. Estimate tuna catches in Vietnam - The 1st technical workshop Tuna Fisheries Management in Western Pacifi c and Eastern Asia Projects - In Vietnamese. 2. Binh Dinh Sub-DECAFIREP, 2012. Report on survey results of longlines, purse seine and gillnet in Phu Yen province since 2010 up to now. The 1st technical workshop Tuna Fisheries Management in Western Pacifi c and Eastern Asia Projects - In Vietnamese. 3. Phu Yen Sub-DECAFIREP, 2012. Report on survey results of longlines, purse seine and gillnet in Phu Yen province since 2010 up to now. The 1st technical workshop Tuna Fisheries Management in Western Pacifi c and Eastern Asia Projects - In Vietnamese. 4. SEAFDEC, 2003. Handbook for Pelagic longline. Training Department. November, 2003. 5. SEAFDEC, 2005. Onboard fi sh handling and preservation technology. Training Department. September, 2005.

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