RASTECH Magazine

LocalCoho to use hands-free harvest technology from Shinkei Systems

March 7, 2023  By RAStech staff

Shinkei's commercial machine for hands-free fish harvesting using Ike Jime method (Photo: Shinkei Systems)

New-York-based LocalCoho has partnered with a new startup that offers a unique hands-free harvest technology.

Shinkei Systems has developed a robotic harvest system based on the Japanese technique of Ike Jime, revered by sushi chefs and seafood lovers. This rapid slaughter technique is meant to optimize better taste, texture and a longer shelf life for harvested fish. The hands-free, machine learning system is also meant to increase efficiency and reduce waste. As part of the Shinkei partnership, it has exclusive use of the technology for Coho salmon production.

Shinkei’s pilot machine deployed live on a boat (Photo: Shinkei Systems)

The start-ups were introduced by FreshDirect, the online grocer that has been selling LocalCoho’s premium Coho salmon since it was first available for market last year. Shinkei is an American R&D startup backed by Y Combinator (voted a TechCrunch Top Company), as well as many prominent Silicon Valley angels and investors.


“There are the ethical reasons why we focus on good harvest practices and we’re always looking to further improve quality. The machine is taking it to a whole other level,” says LocalCoho CEO Michael Fabbro.  “We’re already producing premium quality farmed salmon.  This is a great way to be different and offer a truly superior fresh product.”

The company currently hand harvests its fish. In conventional harvesting the slaughter can lead to high levels of fish stress and subsequent poor flesh quality and shorter shelf life.  Shinkei‘s  process euthanizes the fish instantly using high pressure water jets at the back of the head. An additional water jet creates a tail cut to start exsanguination.

Shinkei’s robotic process achieves the same high quality as the manual Ike Jime technique, Founder Saif Khawaja says. “We’ve built and tested many initial prototypes after long nights in the shop, and we’re excited to partner with LocalCoho for our industrial version.”

LocalCoho is an American salmon company raising Coho salmon in the Finger Lakes Region of New York State.

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