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Farmed in the EU project a runaway success among school kids Georgia: New legislative framework should boost aquaculture production Arctic Forum highlights the importance of international collaboration More exhibitors, more countries, and more space. SEG expands again!

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Lithuania EUROFISH International Organisation


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August 4 / 2019 C 44346

August 4 / 2019

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In this issue

Lithuaniaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Baltic Sea pelagic catches at 9-year high The Lithuanian fisheries sector has a relatively small number of fishing vessels, but they are active not only in the Baltic Sea, but in distant waters as well. The high seas fleet makes the largest contribution to revenues from the sector. In the Baltic Sea the fisheries for the pelagic species, sprat and herring, appear to be doing well in contrast to the Eastern Baltic cod fishery. Catches of this iconic species slumped to their lowest level ever last year to widespread concern. The cod stockâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s status has been brought about by a range of natural and anthropogenic factors for which there are no quick fixes. Scientists recommend closing the fishery, but the final decision is a political one. In the aquaculture sector production of two of the main farmed species, common carp and rainbow trout has fallen recently, while that of sturgeon and African catfish, has gone up. Farmers are increasingly adding value to their production in the form of gutting, filleting, freezing or smoking the fish, and packaging it to increase shelf life in contrast to selling fresh fish on ice. They also invest in their own shops, or sometimes mobile outlets, in addition to selling through traditional retailers. On the trade side, both imports and exports of fish have been rising steadily as has consumption per capita. Read more on page 29 Baltic Sea Fisheries Forum, Tallinn: Coastal fisheries dominated the discussion at this year Baltic Sea Fisheries Forum. The sector has an important role to play in creating employment in coastal communities, providing healthful nutrition and in maintaining the economic and social viability of the many small harbours dotting the Baltic Sea coasts. With the livelihood of many dependent on the strength of this industry it is imperative to discuss the challenges facing the sector. Employment and income in the sector has declined throughout the region in the past few years, so finding solutions to support these coastal communities is becoming essential. One of the ways in which fisheries administrations in Baltic nations and at the EU are addressing these challenges is through Community-Led Local Development (CLLD) activities. This is a bottom-up approach which, in the case of fishing communities, brings together fishermen, municipalities, business people, and NGOs among others into a FLAG or Fisheries Local Action Group. Today there are 368 FLAGs across Europe that are responding to local needs with support from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). Read more about how FLAGs are supporting communities across Europe on page 16 Aquaculture conference, Verona: Aquaculture is growing at rates faster than any other major food production sector, but growth in the EU lags far behind the pace of the rest of the world. For this reason the International Organization for the Development of Fisheries and Aquaculture in Europe (EUROFISH) in collaboration with the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM), the Italian Ministry for Agriculture, Food, Forestry Policies and Tourism, and the Italian Fish Farmers Association (API), organized an event to discuss the future of European aquaculture as seen by a wide range of stakeholders. Between 1996 and 2016 global aquaculture reached a peak of 80 million tonnes and in Mediterranean and Black Sea countries the sector directly and indirectly employs some 450,000 people. Aware of both the value and importance of aquaculture for this region of the world, administrators, scientists, entrepreneurs, NGOs and association representatives descended on Verona to debate subjects like climate change and its impact on aquaculture and the future direction of the sector. Read more on page 45 Arctic fisheries: As the world warms, melting sea ice in the Arctic is opening this once confined region to human exploitation for the first time. While climate change presents the greatest threat to civilization in all human history, many industries are enticed by the economic opportunities and resources that may be made available through the transformation of the Arctic. Current climate models estimate that by the middle of the century the Arctic could be ice free during the summer months. With the ice gone, the Northern Passage through the Arctic will shorten sea routes for shipping, while oil, gas and mineral resources in the seabed will become accessible. The melting ice also opens the entire region to fishing. When the central Arctic Ocean was still covered with ice throughout the year there was virtually no fishing in this area. The ecosystem in the Arctic is fragile and given the unprecedented nature of this warming scientists are uncertain of how the environment will cope. One thing, however, is certain: cooperation amongst nations like Russia, Canada, Norway, Denmark and the USA will be tested as the management of these new resources and preservation of the Arcticâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ecosystem will require a multinational effort. Read more about how these nations have already started negotiations on page 49 EUROFISH Magazine 4 / 2019

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Table of News 6 International News

Events 16 Third Baltic Sea Fisheries Forum, 15 May 2019, Tallinn FLAGs help preserve coastal ďŹ sheries

18 The Eastern Baltic cod stock is in a precarious state An uncertain outlook prompts calls for action in the Baltic 19 DanFish International, 9-11 October 2019, Aalborg International ďŹ shing industry congregates in Aalborg

23 Seafood Expo Global, 7-9 May, Brussels Records shattered at worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s biggest seafood show

25 Futur Pesca SRL, Italy Products for customers with ill health

20 PolďŹ sh, 29-31 May 2019, Gdansk The consumer was king at PolďŹ sh 2019

24 EUROFISH hosts aquaculture associations from Lithuania and Romania


25 Barlovento, Spain New factory will expand product range and markets

25 Abramczyk, Poland Staying focused on what it does best

26 Terra Do Bacalhau, Norway Portuguese demand for cod keeps Norwegian producer busy


26 Seawell, Denmark Faroe Islands oďŹ&#x20AC;ers salmon production company new ďŹ&#x201A;avour


27 Tag Sensors, Norway Tag Sensors taps into lucrative world market

27 OCM Seafood EE, Estonia Estoniaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leading producer of frozen salmon 28 Orada Adriatic, Croatia Seabass, seabream and blue ďŹ sh 28 Kali Tuna, Croatia Looking to enter the sushi business

Lithuania 29 Lithuania ďŹ sheries and aquaculture Solid growth in Baltic Sea pelagic catches 33 Programme to educate school pupils about ďŹ sh farming is an unqualiďŹ ed success Farmed in the EU 36 Fish & Fish produces eel for the Dutch market New products and expanded markets 38 FishNet produces large trout for Lithuanian consumers Processing facility to open soon 4

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Contents 40 Vasaknos supplies the domestic market with fresh ďŹ sh, and hot and cold smoked products Fully integrated from farm to fork 43 The Vilkauda FLAG supports inland ďŹ shing and pond aquaculture Obligation to create jobs slows implementation of strategy

Aquaculture 45 Aquaculture Today & Tomorrow. Unlock the Potential, 16-17 May 2019, Verona Shaping a vision for European aquaculture development



(CC BY-SA 3.0) Map based on by Hayden120 and NuclearVacuum












 Hungary Italy

Georgia 52 Fisheries and aquaculture in the Republic of Georgia Anchovy and trout dominate production

Technology 56 Big data and artiďŹ cial intelligence in the ďŹ sh industry New methods reduce costs and increase eďŹ&#x192;ciency 59 Technology for the aquaculture industry The belt feeder that requires no electric power

Guest Pages: Brian Thomsen

Worldwide Fish News


49 International Arctic Forum, 9-10 April 2019, St. Petersburg Preserving the Arctic ecosystem requires international collaboration

60 Fresh salmon, safely packed A stainless steel strapping machine from Mosca proves itself at Mowi, Norway



7, 8, 12



6, 10









10, 12



9, 13

62 The future of aquaculture lies in land-based recirculation systems and oďŹ&#x20AC;shore marine farms Prejudice and ignorance must be countered with facts

Service 65 Diary Dates 66 Imprint, List of Advertisers

Scan the QR code to access the EuroďŹ sh Magazine website (www.euroďŹ shmagazine. com), where you can also sign up to receive the EuroďŹ sh Magazine newsletter.

EUROFISH Magazine 4 / 2019




[ INTERNATIONAL NEWS ] Algae bloom kills millions of salmon in Norway In May 2019, over eight million farmed salmon suffocated in northern Norway as a result of a persistent algae bloom. The estimated economic loss from the 10,000 tonnes of farmed salmon is as much as 620 million Norwegian kroner (EUR64m). The enormous algae blooms, which occurred due to warm weather, spread rapidly around Norwayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s northern coast, sticking to fishâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s gills and suffocating them. While wild fish can swim away from the lethal clouds of aquatic organism, farmed fish are trapped at the mercy of the algae. Harmful algae blooms occur when the normally occurring aquatic plants grow out of control due to warm weather. Some are attributing the severity of these algae attacks to climate change. Norway is the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leading exporter of salmon and so the

As many as eight million salmon suffocated in northern Norway when massive algae blooms grew out of control as a result of warm weather. The loss in salmon production could be worth as much as $82 million.

deaths are expected to have a major impact on the world market for salmon. Norway will likely see about half of the expected growth in the salmon industry wiped out

Canada: Meeting on unregulated ďŹ shing in the Arctic The European Union, Denmark, Norway and other major fishing nations like the United States, China and Russian Federation met in Ottawa on 29-30 May to discuss the prevention of unregulated fishing in the Arctic. The aim of the meeting was to begin preparatory work for enforcing the Agreement to prevent Unregulated High Seas Fisheries in the Central Arctic Ocean which was ratified in 2018. The agreement is the precautionary approach by ten countries to manage high seas fish stocks in the Central Artic Ocean. The agreement covers approximately 2.8 million square kilometers, an area roughly equal to the size of the Mediterranean Sea. Climate change has brought this issue into focus by melting 6

the ice that traditionally covered the high seas of the central Artic Ocean year-round. The melting of this ice makes the region accessible to fishing. In Ottawa, delegations agreed to formalise a provisional scientific group to coordinate the work of experts from all the ten countries. The delegations also discussed the integration of indigenous and local knowledge and the participation of representatives of Artic communities during the process of discussion and implementation of the Agreement to prevent Unregulated High Seas Fisheries in the Central Artic Ocean. Delegations from all ten signatories of the agreement will next meet at a

this year as a result, and prices for salmon may rise around the world. Norway exported 1.24 million tonnes of salmon in 2018, up 2.5 percent from 2017, according

to data from Statistics Norway. In 2019 expected growth was projected to be around 4ď&#x2122;&#x201A; but this may change as a result of the algae attacks.

conference in 2020 to take stock of developments and decide on the next steps for enforcing the agreement. The group of

scientists will meet for the first time in February 2020 at the European Commissionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Joint Research Centre in Inspra, Italy.

Flourishing ďŹ shing sector contributes to Estonian growth Estoniaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s economy has grown 4.5ď&#x2122;&#x201A; in the first quarter of 2019 with GDP totaling â&#x201A;Ź6.7 billion. The countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s economic growth has been broad based with expansion of the fishing sector among the contributors to the improving economy. The exports of goods, which grew by 9.6ď&#x2122;&#x201A; in the first quarter, the fastest pace recoded in the past two years, is one of the biggest contributors to the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s healthy economy. Fish processing continues to be a notable industry in Estonia.

In 2017 Estonia processed 51,876 tonnees of fish, mainly frozen saltwater fish but also fish fillets in batter, and canned sardines, sardinella, brisling and sprats. Exports totaled â&#x201A;Ź146 million with the largest markets in Ukraine, Belarus, Denmark and Finland. In 2017 approximately 5ď&#x2122;&#x201A; of Estoniaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s aquaculture production was exported. The species responsible for this export volume were mainly European eel, rainbow trout and European crayfish.

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[ INTERNATIONAL NEWS ] Italy: LifeGate â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a solution to plastic in the Mediterranean? Over 730 tonnes of plastic end up in the Mediterranean each day. The level of pollution in the Mediterranean poses a major threat

to fisheries and ecosystems in the region. Home to over 7.5ď&#x2122;&#x201A; of known marine species, the continued contamination of these waters

The Seanbin is a ďŹ&#x201A;oating garbage bin skimming the surface of the water by pumping water into the device. Seabins have been installed throughout Italy, and most recently they have made a debut in the UK.

could endanger numerous organisms. One organization, however, might have the solution to this plastic crisis in the Mediterranean. LifeGate PlasticLess was launched with the goal of protecting the health of the oceans. The project aims to help reduce pollution in the seas by collecting the plastic waste that accumulates in ports and marinas. The LifeGate PlasticLess Seabin device collects microplastics and microfibers as small as 2mm and 0.3mm respectively. The Seabin is a collection bin that floats in the water and can capture around 1.5kg of waste per day. In a given year a Seabin can remove as much as 500kg of

waste from the ocean. A pump at the bottom of Seabin enables it to filter 25,000 liters of seawater an hour. While Seabins cannot be used in the open ocean because of their dependence on electricity they are extremely effective in areas like ports and harbors which are accumulation points for sea waste. Italy has taken the lead in installing Seabins with the devises installed along the costs of Santa Margherita Ligure, Naples and Genoa. Twenty-five SeaBins are currently operating across Italy. LifeGate PlasticLess hopes to expand its operation across Europe to remove plastic from the seas and prevent the continued contamination of fisheries.


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[ INTERNATIONAL NEWS ] The future of ďŹ sheries and aquaculture in Russia The commercial fishing industry in Russia is undergoing major changes thanks to growing investment from the private sector and the government. At a press-conference organised at the National Pavilion of Russia during Seafood Expo Global in Brussels, Deputy Head of the Federal Agency for Fishery Mr. Piotr Savchuk spoke about the developments, trends and perspectives of the Russian fisheries sector. This past year the total Russian catch amounted to 5.05 million tonnes by means of marine and inland fisheries. These figures put Russia 5th in the world in terms of aquatic bioresources production, a statistic that has suggested to stake holders the expansion of the industry may be necessary. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This year 35 modern trawlers have been put under construction in the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s shipyard along with

twenty additional modern processing vessels that will be able to process up to 1,000 tonnes of fish per day, eachâ&#x20AC;?, said Mr. Savchuk. Total investment in the commercial fishing sector is currently US$5 billion but exports are likely to grow within the next few years. The most important task facing the sector is increasing the volume of fish exports from current US$5.5 to US$8.5 billion by 2024. This will be achieved mainly through high level of value-addition and development of new innovative products. Describing the current state of the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s farming sector Mr. Savchuk pointed out that aquaculture production is planned to grow from 240 thousand to one million tonnes in the next few years. The government is working to establish â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;sea orchardsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; in the Russian Far East where scallops, sea cucumbers, oysters and

mussels are plentiful. In western parts of Russia, RAS aquaculture continues to play a significant role in the local economies, especially with the cultivation of trout, Atlantic salmon and other salmonids. RAS aquaculture production is expected to reach between 50-100 thousand tonnes in the next few years. In the south of Russia, there are good farming conditions for tilapia, African catfish and Australian crayfish. Special focus was given to the logistics issues. The far east of Russia contributes up to 90ď&#x2122;&#x201A; of the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s total catch, but transportation is difficult from this region to the major population centres in Russia and the rest of Europe. Deliveries by roads or by railroad is expensive and inefficient. â&#x20AC;&#x153;A possible solution to this transportation dilemma is the construction of a new transportation hub in

Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, which will enable shipping through the Northeast Passage,â&#x20AC;? explained Mr. Savchuk. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Container terminals and cold storage with a total capacity of 50 thousand tonnes will be built in this new hub to enable the transportation of seafood. For exports to Europe and for deliveries to the central parts of Russia it is planned to create additional transportation hubs in Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg, Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Rostov-onDon.â&#x20AC;? Modern logistics centers will be built in these cities and from there the fish will be distributed to other cities of the Russian Federation. Most of the infrastructure required to support the growth of the Russian fishing industries will be supported by private investors, but in some cases, like creating transportation links to domestic markets, the State will provide financial assistance.

First tins of â&#x20AC;&#x153;responsibly ďŹ shedâ&#x20AC;? tuna reach Spanish supermarkets In June Spanish consumers were able to buy the first tins of tuna bearing the AENOR Conform Responsibly Fished Tuna seal from Spanish retailers' shelves. The logo affirms to consumers that the product comes from a sustainable, socially responsible source. The certification logo only goes on products containing tuna fished by vessels certified under the Responsibly Fished Tuna Standard and belonging to a

Comprehensive Fishery Improvement Program (FIP). The FIP ensures that vessels and their crews maintain the highest standards in environmental conservation. This certificate guarantees that the fish which distributors are marketing and consumers are eating have been caught by companies and vessels held to social, labor and maritime safety standards above what the law currently requires.

The canning companies Garvilla and Salica, which own the Isabel and Campos brands, will be the first to offer products with the new seal. The certified tins will gradually be distributed over the entire country and will contain some of Spainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most popular foods, like canned tuna. Both companies, Garavilla and Salica, anticipate applying for certification for their entire product range soon. The new certificate is

the outcome of a project begun in 2016 by the members of the Spanish tuna fleet that are in the association, OPAGAC. The projectâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s now completed objective is to offer consumers environmentally friendly alternatives at supermarkets. The AENOR Conform Responsibility Fished Tuna seal is entirely voluntary and is open to any tuna vessel or canning company in the world.

Italy: Risk of increased histamine outbreaks across Europe Histamine food poisoning â&#x20AC;&#x201C; also known as scombroid fish poisoning â&#x20AC;&#x201C; could increase in Europe if trading trends continue, according to new research. Histamine food poisoning is akin to an allergic reaction caused by eating fish containing a high concentration of histamine. Scombroid fish like tuna and mackerel are commonly implicated in 8

this type of poisoning. Histamine poisoning typically results in the immediate onset of symptoms after the meal. Symptoms may include headache, hot flashes, rash, nausea, palpitations and diarrhea. Histamine contamination generally occurs because of inadequate refrigeration of fish and can occur at any stage of the food production

chain. Once contaminated the disease cannot be destroyed by cooking, smoking or freezing. European fresh tuna imports have increased by 5ď&#x2122;&#x201A; per year on average between 2011 and 2015. If this trend continues the incidence of poisoning will likely also increase. According to the European Food

Safety Authority and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control histamine outbreaks peaked in 2017 with 117 outbreaks involving 572 patients. The cases occurred mainly in France and Spain. Since 2010 Italy has recorded 10 outbreaks of scombroid poisoning in fish from Spain, Sri Lanka and India.

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[ INTERNATIONAL NEWS ] USA: Warming oceans represent a signiďŹ cant threat to marine life The worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s oceans will likely lose one-sixth of their fish and other marine life by the end of the century if climate change continues its current trajectory, a new study finds. Every degree Celsius that the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s oceans warm, the total mass of sea animals is projected to drop by 5ď&#x2122;&#x201A; according to a comprehensive computer-based study by an international team of marine biologists at the American National Academy of Sciences. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Changes special report on global warming already estimates that as of 2017, human activities were responsible for global mean temperature rise of one degree Celsius above preindustrial levels. Unless reductions are made by the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leading carbon emitters

the world will likely warm by two degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels by 2100. Under business as usual carbon emissions levels, there could be as much as a 17ď&#x2122;&#x201A; loss of biomass in the oceans by 2100. If the world can reduce emissions, losses of biomass can be limited to 5ď&#x2122;&#x201A;. The reason for the loss of biomass stems from warmer oceans producing more acidic waters with less oxygen, a less hospitable environment for most marine life. Tropical waters which are already warm are expected to be impacted the most by climate change. Larger species in the ocean, like lobster and wales are also expected to suffer more than the main building blocks of marine life, plankton and bacteria.





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                        EUROFISH Magazine 4 / 2019

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[ INTERNATIONAL NEWS ] Norway: Skretting investigates using insect protein Skretting, the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest producer of feed for farmed fish, has committed to a deal with insect breeder Protix that could see up to 5.5 million servings of salmon containing insect meat brought to the market per year. Aquaculture production is expected to grow by 30 million tonnes in the near future. Sustaining this growth will require an additional 45 million tonnes of raw materials for feed, creating a potential â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;proteinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; gap between feed production capacity and demand for farm-raised fish. One potential way to bridge this gap is through insect protein. Not only could insects help bridge the protein gap, they will do so

sustainably. A new Protix insect production facility in Bergen op Zoom, the Netherlands, breeds insects that convert vegetable residual flows into sustainable protein, contributing to a futureproof, circular bio economy. Skretting has shown considerable commitment to the development of novel ingredients in recent years, including significant investment in their own Aquaculture Research Center. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is essential for us that these new ingredients are not only safe and sustainable, but also ensure that the end product maintains the nutritional benefits we have

Fish feed could soon derive some of its protein content from insects.

come to expect from high quality seafood,â&#x20AC;? says Dr. Jenna Bowyer, Skretting Project Procurement Manager. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The aquaculture industry is very large and growing, and it is essential for us to

see novel ingredients brought to commercial scale. We at Skretting  support Protix in their developments and we look forward to working with more players in this field.â&#x20AC;?

experiencing increased biological stress.

injury, but big data and AI could transition many farming operations to less labor-intensive operations. The process of automating portions of the fishing industry, however, could prove disruptive, especially in terms of labor practices. The reduction in demand for workers who perform manual tasks could became an issue in emerging economies where people rely on manual aquaculture work as a source of income.

Using big data in aquaculture The use of big data is becoming increasing common in aquaculture with systems like Manolin, XpertSea and Jala offering services that could revolutionize practices within the industry. These platforms aim to offer services that improve the management of farming activities. Within the production process for aquaculture, huge amounts of site and operation specific data is generated, and platforms

like XpertSea offer services that streamline this data. Using big data farmers can obtain health information on the animals they raise, monitor disease outbreaks and water quality and several other pertinent information. Additionally, the use of artificial intelligence may also result in increased productivity with algorithms boosting feed conversion rates and methodologies that can detect when fish are

The use of big data has the potential to change the labor structure within aquaculture. Aquaculture is a traditionally labor-intensive sector where producers must often manually handle the fish, they raise in order to deliver medical treatments or acquire accurate counts as the fish mature. Working on site carries high risk of personal

Turkish company awarded ASC certiďŹ cation Sursan Su Urunleri AS, a fish production company based in Turkey, became one of the first companies awarded Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification for farmed seabass, seabream and meagre. The two farms operated by Sursan share this accomplishment with Nireus, a Greek farm which received ASC certification at the same time. The certification for all four farms were carried out by independent Conformity Assessment Body 10

Acoura. The certification guarantees the products are produced in a socially and environmentally sustainable manner. Since receiving certification on June 5, 2019, producers of seabass and seabream have responded enthusiastically with a strong demand for ASC certified products. High demand for ASC certified products has driven more farms to schedule audits to the new standard. Farms in Turkey, Greece, Spain, Croatia and Albania have

all undergone audits since Sursan received ASC certification. The push for certification by Sursan comes in part because of the growing market to produce seabass, seabream and meagre in Turkey which is trying to meet rising demand around the world. Sursan was founded in 1981 in Turkey and is one of the leading produces of farmed sea bass and seabream in Turkey. Sursan currently employs over

500 people and had â&#x201A;Ź50 million turnover in 2018. Sursan offers a range of farmed seabass and seabream products, including fresh and frozen, whole and gutted fish or fillets. Following the news of the certification Kerem Goksel, Sales Director of Sursan said it â&#x20AC;&#x153;underlines the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s commitment to responsible fish farming and our responsibility to the environment, biodiversity, local communities and employees.â&#x20AC;?

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[ INTERNATIONAL NEWS ] Danish trade with the UK post Brexit Should Brexit come to pass, Danish fishermen might find themselves in a tricky situation. Uf Britain leaves the EU and Denmark loses access to British waters the Danish fishing fleet will lose 30 percent, or about 1 billion kroner, of total annual income, according to a report from the Department of Food and Resource Economics

at the University of Copenhagen. Brexit could have the most negative impact on larger fishing corporations, which would end up losing 61 percent of total income. The Danish government is working towards a scenario in which the Danish fishing fleet will have access to British waters even if the UK leaves the EU. A recent deal between the

Faroe Islands and the UK may set a positive precedent for trade relations between the UK and the rest of Europe in a post Brexit EU. Despite the uncertainty of Brexit, Great Britain recently ratified a trade continuity agreement with the Faroe Islands that will see British businesses and consumers

benefiting from continued trade with the Faroe Islands after Brexit. The new UK-Faroe Islands agreement replicates the existing trading arrangement as far as possible. It will come into effect as soon as the implementation periods ends in January 2021, or in October if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

developers FAKT and energy providers EON are collaborating with the Hungarian government on the project. The new center will be home to a complex of greenhouses for the yearround cultivation of herbs and vegetables such as aubergines and tomatoes. It will also be

the location of Europeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest onshore fish farm, as well as the requisite cold storage and logistics facilities. The settlement will be carbon neutral, meaning that the carbon dioxide produced in its construction and over its lifetime will be offset or eliminated entirely.

Hungary to build large indoor ďŹ sh farm Hungary has revealed plans to build a new carbon-neutral greenhouse-filled farming city that will be powered by renewable energy sources. The farming city will include one of Europeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest indoor fish farming facilities. The â&#x201A;Ź1 billion agricultural center will adjoin the border

between Hungary, Austria and Slovakia. It will cover 330 hectares â&#x20AC;&#x201C; equivalent to 500 football pitches. Hungaryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Minister of Agriculture IstvĂĄn Nagy said the development would herald an â&#x20AC;&#x153;epoch change for agricultureâ&#x20AC;?. German

ticket Buy entrance ed price uc d re at e in onl

A A L B O R G , D E N M A R K - 9, 10 & 11 O C T O B E R 2 019

26TH International Fisheries Exhibition One of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most important exhibitions for equipment and services to the ďŹ shing industry International meeting place and unique forum for networking In 2017, more than 400 exhibitors from 26 countries and 14,135 visitors from all corners of the world Information for visitors, lists of exhibitors, and other details are all available and updated regularly on danďŹ and AKKC app. Contact: Else Herfort + 45 99 35 55 18, Lasse Holsteen Jessen +45 99 35 55 09,

EUROFISH Magazine 4 / 2019

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Turkey's aquaculture exports during this season reached $582.2 million, a 9 percent increase compared to the same period last year according to the Eastern Black Sea Exports Association. Some 118,954 tonnes of aquaculture products were exported between September 1 and April 15, 2019. The Netherlands, Japan and Italy were the leading export destinations for frozen fish fillets from Turkey. The Eastern Black Sea Exporters Association Chairman Saffet

Kalyoncu stressed that Turkey is trying to increase exports to a wider variety of nations. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Turkeyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s aquaculture exports to 76 countries have achieved significant success in terms of diversity,â&#x20AC;? he said. Turkey remains a leading producer of aquaculture products in the Mediterranean Sea. Currently it produces large quantities of European sea bass, gilthead sea bream and rainbow trout. Turkish production extends to the Black Sea, where sea-raised trout and European seabream are cultivated. One of the typical

Kuzuoglu Group

Turkish aquaculture exports increase

Black Sea-raised trout being harvested.

characteristics of aquaculture in Turkey is that it is mostly based on intensive systems of producing carnivorous fish species. The total

production of the Turkish aquaculture sector reached 276,502 tonnes in 2017, and in 2019 this figure is expected to be greater.

Italy: Packaging key to staying sustainable as products move up into premium segment from commodity to premium International food processors and retailers were invited by Sealed Air to the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s brand-new Milan Packforum in June this year for an update on how the market is changing from commodity to premium products and how industry players manage to do so while improving their green credentials. At the event, Rabobank â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a leading international bank with a mission to promote greater sustainability in food production â&#x20AC;&#x201C; showed that adding value to products and following convenience trends are

key factors for retailers to succeed. Rabobank demonstrated this using the example of salmon, which now shows the highest consumption among all proteins thanks to products being innovative, convenient for consumers and packaged for premium positioning. During the event experts from various fields â&#x20AC;&#x201C; product development, circular economy, sales and food safety â&#x20AC;&#x201C; discussed how to define premium concepts and how to take premium to the next level




Live demonstrations in the Technical Hall at Sealed Airâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Packforum.

using a sustainable approach. Key take-aways for the industry are that premium products are driving growth for retail, and consumers are willing to pay more for such goods. However, these products must deliver on their promises of quality, transparency, perfect user experience, and environmental friendliness. The conclusion was that packaging plays a key role in moving products into the premium segment since it can provide all these attributes. A major issue now for the whole food industry is sustainability and finding solutions for the premium segment compatible with the circular economy. In

their quest to reduce waste, producers and retailers can be aided by a life cycle assessment which shows them the environmental impact associated with all stages of a productâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s life: from raw materials to manufacturing, use to the end of life disposal or recycling. Packaging innovations can help reduce plastic, food waste, carbon footprint and in turn improve sustainability of the whole value chain. With 76ď&#x2122;&#x201A; of European consumers saying they would think more highly of food brands using packaging that helps them to reduce food waste, retailers need to revisit their packaging solutions.

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[ INTERNATIONAL NEWS ] USA: Efforts to produce lab grown ďŹ sh and inexpensive sushi Falling fish population across the world are prompting innovators to look to the lab to find new ways at producing inexpensive fish products. Globally, demand for salmon, and other species, has skyrocketed, fueling overfishing and threatening many stocks. Fish and seafood now account for almost a fifth of the animal protein people consume making the need for a solution to a potential seafood shortage urgent. Maynard, United States based AquaBounty Technologies is hoping its genetically modified version of Atlantic salmon, which grows twice as fast as normal salmon, will soon become a top consumer choice. The company raises the salmon in land-based production systems that eliminate the various risks

Wild Type is a San Francisco based biotechnology company attempting to produce laboratory-grown seafood and meat. Wild Type can only produce small pieces of salmon which become too ďŹ&#x201A;aky if heated about 100 degrees Celsius.

to wild fish, humans and the environment posed by farmed salmon. Perhaps a step beyond Maynard, the United States based

company Wild Type is investing in lab-grown fish. Wild Type can currently produce small pieces of salmon that cannot be heated above 100 degrees Celsius. In the coming months the company

hopes to create a salmon product that can withstand heat Laboratory-raised salmon, however, still has a long way to go, with a single piece of Wild Type salmon for a sushi roll costing $200.





EUROFISH Magazine 4 / 2019

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[ INTERNATIONAL NEWS ] Poland: Warsaw food expo to have dedicated seafood section On 12 September over 7,000 food industry specialists from 11 different countries will flock to Warsaw, Poland to see the latest and greatest of the Polish agri-food sector. The Ptak Warsaw Expo, the largest food fair in Poland, is an opportunity for producers to present their food to representatives of the largest retail chains in Poland and foreign purchasing groups in the HoReCa industry. The event aims to promote the Polish food sector both domestically and

abroad by facilitating an opportunity to establish direct business contracts. This year there will be buyers from all over the world with including from Ukraine, Lithuania, United Arab Emirates, China, Tukey and Azerbaijan. In 2019 the expo will be augmented with new subdivisions, including sections dedicated to kosher foods and innovation and inspiration. The fish industry is also expected to receive

special attention at this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s expo. An entire section of the expo will be dedicated to products from commercial fishing and aquaculture thanks to a new partnership with the Fisheries Department in the Ministry of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation. The Polish government is hoping to encourage long lasting economic growth in the fisheries sector by strengthening domestic demand and expanding foreign interest in Polish fish. This year marks the

third edition of the event which runs from 12 to 14 September.

Danish equipment suppliers well represented at Aqua Nor 2019 Twenty-nine Danish suppliers in the fishing, aquaculture and seafood processing industries will travel to Trondheim, Norway for this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Aqua Nor trade show. The companies belong to Fish Tech, the Danish Export Association, the largest group of Danish suppliers in the fishing equipment sector. Martin Winkel, the head of Fish Tech, expects this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Aqua Nor to be especially remarkable because of shifting market forces that demand more sustainable products. â&#x20AC;?This shift

offers great potential for Danish suppliers as they lead the world in developing new technology with a strong focus on high quality, cost-efficiency, and sustainability,â&#x20AC;? he said. Specifically, Mr Winkel believes there will be high interest in long lasting products and solutions at the event. For Lykkegaard A/S, a Danish supplier of pump technology, this is excellent news. Lykkegaard recently developed the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first high-performing corrosion-resistant pump

for aggressive saltwater that offers fish-farmers a long-term solution for pumping water. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Due to challenging conditions in aggressive water with high temperatures and salinity, fishfarmers risk that pumps corrode very quickly. This causes unnecessary downtime and fish death because the water is not being oxidised and cleaned. Made of the extremely durable material HDPE our new pump can give fish farmers a guaranteed 100 percent corrosion-resistant solution and avoid fish death,â&#x20AC;?

Karsten Lykkegaard, Managing Director of Lykkegaard A/S explained. Mr Lykkegaard fully agrees the industry has intensified its focus on the environment and he expects the development of more products which can be repaired rather than replaced in the coming years. The Aqua Nor event will take place on 20-23 August and will include numerous seminars, mini-conferences, lectures, debates and presentations on the latest developments in aquaculture.

Denmark: The future of whiteďŹ sh processing Surviving in a competitive marketplace is increasingly dependent on the effective implementation of information technology for process control and automation. Technology in this sector is evolving rapidly, especially with the recent proliferation of virtual reality. Fortunately, on 25 September, Marel, a supplier of integrated systems and machines for the meat, fish and poultry industries will host 14

the Whitefish Showhow at its Progress Point facility in Copenhagen addressing these themes. The conference will showcase the latest high-tech processing solutions for fish products. Demonstrations of Marel equipment and software will run all day. In addition to live demonstrations, visitors will also be able to experience cutting-edge innovation and technology via virtual reality. The upcoming

event is Marelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fifth edition of the Whitefish Showhow. In the age of industry 4.0, Marel believes the importance of having a hi-tech processing environment, and they will attempt to show this through their own software platform, Innova Food Processing Software, which will feature prominently at the event. The software provides full traceability throughout the

production process. The package includes real-time monitoring of key performance indicators like yield, and throughput quality, which is essentially for optimization and efficiency of the workplace. Attendance to the Whitefish Showhow is open to the public and registration can be completed on Marelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s website. whitefish-showhow/

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25 September 2019



[ EVENTS ] Third Baltic Sea Fisheries Forum, 15 May 2019, Tallinn

FLAGs help preserve coastal ďŹ sheries


he coastal fisheries sector in the Baltic Sea target a variety of species including cod, Baltic herring, perch, flatfish, eel, salmon, whitefish, pikeperch, pike, vendace, burbot among others using a number of different gears, such as trapnets, gillnets, fykenets, and Danish seines. The size and number of coastal vessels and the area where they may operate varies among the eight EU countries that fish in the Baltic Sea, but numerically coastal fishing vessels dominate all Baltic Sea fleets. The sector thus has an important role to play in creating employment in coastal communities, providing healthful nutrition, and in maintaining the economic and social viability of the many small harbours dotting the Baltic Sea coasts. However, the sector is facing challenges caused in part by the decline in income and employment in the sector. The severity of these issues varies across the region with the sector in some countries more affected than in others.

Local development seeks to rejuvenate ďŹ sheries areas One of the ways in which fisheries administrations in many Baltic nations and at the EU level are addressing these challenges is through Community-Led Local Development (CLLD) activities. This is a bottom-up approach 16

which, in the case of fishing communities, brings together fishermen, municipalities, business people, and NGOs among others into a FLAG or Fisheries Local Action Group. Today there are 368 FLAGs across Europe. Each FLAG develops a strategy that responds to local needs and implements it with support from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). Support is aimed primarily at creating employment or new economic activity and improving the quality of life in a community that has been affected by a decline in fishing activities or that seeks to improve its economic status. Aine Soome, Head of the Fisheries Department in the Ministry of Rural Affairs in his presentation spoke of a strategy for the sector that would ultimately lead to more sustainable fishing and improved fish stocks. More immediately, he said, fishermen could increase their incomes by adding more value to the catch, placing greater focus on quality, getting into direct sales, and by diversifying their activities. These are some of the areas that are supported by the EMFF through FLAGs. In Estonia, the Virumaa FLAG for example is renovating and even building ports so that fishermen can sell their fish without having to travel long distances. The FLAG is also supporting projects that provide ice machines at ports which will improve fish quality and extend its shelf life.

Toomas Tuul,

The Baltic Sea Fisheries Forum organised in Tallinn is an event that brings together different stakeholders â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the ďŹ sheries administration, industry associations, Fisheries Local Action Groups, NGOs, the media, and scientists â&#x20AC;&#x201C; to discuss issues concerning ďŹ sheries in the Baltic Sea and ways to improve them. The event is organised by the Fisheries Information Centre of the Estonian Marine Institute of Tartu University in collaboration with the Estonian Fisheries Areas, Estonian Association of Fishery and the Estonian Fishermenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Association. This year, at the third edition of the event, the focus was on Baltic Sea coastal ďŹ sheries, the challenges they face and their prospects.

Aine Soome, Head of the Fisheries Department, Ministry of Rural Affairs, Estonia

Ideas and experience from one region can beneďŹ t others Gilles van de Walle, who heads the FARNET (Fisheries Areas Network) support unit, the team that assists in the implementation of CLLD brought several examples of projects that had been implemented by FLAGs for the benefit of fishing and aquaculture communities. FARNET links the FLAGs in the EU encouraging them to cooperate and exchange experiences and best practice across countries, and regions. As Mr van de Walle acknowledged the challenges facing fishing communities in northern Lapland were different from those fishermen on the Greek islands had to deal with, but emphasised that FLAGs represent a wealth of

experience, ideas, and innovations from which all FLAGs can benefit. In the Baltic Sea region there are about 85 FLAGs and in the 2007-13 programming period these devoted some 37ď&#x2122;&#x201A; of their projects and almost a third of their budgets to the small-scale fisheries sector (SSCF). There were significant variations across the region, however, with 80-90ď&#x2122;&#x201A; of Finnish projects being devoted to SSCF, while in Poland, Latvia, and Lithuania it was less than 20ď&#x2122;&#x201A;. This proportion is of course affected by the number of inland FLAGs a country has as they are unlikely to cover SSCF. In Estonia, FLAGs stand out for having the highest average budget (EUR3.5m) per FLAG in the EU, well above what FARNET considers the minimum necessary (EUR1.5-2m) for the FLAGâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s




Gilles van de Walle, Head of the FARNET Support Unit, Brussels

Helle Breindahl, Coordinator of the Djursland FLAG, Denmark

autonomy and ability to drive and support the local fishing and aquaculture community.

advice at fishing ports to the local fishermen, who traditionally are reluctant to visit the doctor. While another in Denmark set up community gardens â&#x20AC;&#x201C; but at sea. Growing mussels, oysters, and seaweed together engendered a stronger feeling of community, created a wider awareness of the natural resources that the sea could provide and, at the same time, resulted in nutritious and tasty products for consumption or sale.

Projects come in all shapes and sizes FLAG projects for coastal fishers represent ways in which fishermen identify activities that will benefit them or the resources they target and that are also eligible for support under the EMFF. The regulations support different Common Fisheries Policy priorities, for example, value addition, diversification, the environment, social well-being, and governance of local fisheries resources â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and projects are categorised accordingly. In a value adding project in southern Sweden, for example, one fisher first had his fish certified to a national standard for organic, natural production (Krav) and then developed an online platform to sell the fish directly. He has been operating for several years and has been joined by several other fishers from different harbours in the

same area. Other projects Mr van de Walle showed included one from Finland which added value to underused fish species, the development of a fish processing facility on an Estonian island and linking it to a cafĂŠ for tourists, a Polish project that linked nine FLAGs to promote their fisheries heritage. One of the most innovative projects, however, came from Spain. It is the first coral farm in Europe and is run by a woman who breeds coral for private aquariums. The range of projects showed that ingenuity is perhaps the only limiting factor in devising ways of improving the economic prospects of coastal communities. Projects that protect or improve the environment appear in many guises. Switching to renewable forms of energy, monitoring stocks, and using more environmentally friendly gear were among the examples of activities that qualified for support. As an example of a project for quality of life and cultural heritage, a FLAG in England decided to offer free health checks and offer medical

Margus Medell, Coordinator of the Laanemaa FLAG, Estonia

Some challenges faced by FLAGs are common across the EU The Dursland FLAG in Denmark, which is responsible for the community sea garden project, is based on the east coast of Jutland in an area with a declining number of small fishing vessels, ageing fishers, low prices for the catch due to the lack of buyers, and increasing problems with predators like seals and cormorants. Helle Breindahl, who coordinates the FLAG, not only has to tackle these challenges, but also to work with coastal fishermen, who, as she delicately puts it, are rather conservative. The FLAG has been focusing on alternative sales channels including direct sales and the Horeca sector; on using branding to tell a story about the local origin of the fish; on nontraditional species and seaweed; and on better exploiting the potential of tourism. Many of the issues that Ms Breindahl is facing are reflected on the opposite shore of

the Baltic Sea in Estonia. Margus Medell, who heads the Laanemaa FLAG, told the audience that ageing fishermen, a shrinking coastal fishery, and a lack of interest among young people for the trade among other issues were some of the challenges faced by his FLAG. In response the FLAGâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s strategy was to integrate fishing with other economic sectors in the region, devise collaborative activities that integrate economic development with environmental protection, and increase the visibility of coastal fisheries. These initiatives helped move fishing up the political agenda so that local politicians and policy makers included it in official development plans. FLAGs have been instrumental in developing a network of multifunctional ports, and in encouraging the establishment of processing facilities that add value to the fish and increase the range of products. Diversifying fishermenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s activities so that they have additional sources of income, for example, from fishing tourism, is also a significant part of the FLAGâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s support. The FLAGs play an important role in helping coastal fisheries respond to the economic and social changes that are affecting the sector. Where a coastal fishery and active fishermen still exist, the FLAGâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s efforts can make a difference, but as Helle Breindahl from the Djursland FLAG in Denmark warns, unless we act, we will not have a coastal fishery in the future.

EUROFISH Magazine 4 / 2019




[ EVENTS ] The Eastern Baltic cod stock is in a precarious state

An uncertain outlook prompts calls for action in the Baltic The plight of cod was highlighted at both the Baltic Sea Advisory Councilâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (BSAC) Executive Committee and General Assembly meetings, held in May in Copenhagen. At the BSAC theme session on Baltic cod, held during the Executive Committee meeting, two presentations were given, one by Uwe Krumme from the ThĂźnen Institute on the spawning dynamics of Atlantic cod, and one by Margit Eero from DTU Aqua on the status of the Eastern Baltic cod stock.


ccording to Uwe Krumme, many important Atlantic cod stocks have declined as the result of continued fishing pressure, climate change, shifts in ecosystem dynamics, increased natural mortality, reduction in spawning diversity, and other factors. He said that the population structure of Atlantic cod is more complex than previously assumed, apparently involving multiple sub-populations. Cod shows strong spawning-site fidelity, which reduces connectivity between sub-populations and recolonisation of abandoned spawning sites, thus delaying the rebuilding of stocks. The spawning behaviour of cod is quite complex â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the fish often return to the same place to spawn â&#x20AC;&#x201C; where they aggregate â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and show sexspecific, dayâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;night shifts and territorial behaviour.

Spawning closures may benefit the stock

closure should cover all known spawning areas and most of the spawning period. Opening and closing spawning grounds between years should be avoided. During the discussion that followed, a representative from an NGO observed that spawning closures also help prevent the catch of large cod and thus can be an effective management measure. Dr Krumme stated that spawning closures can be effective if they are large enough. He agreed that the Eastern Baltic cod has more than one spawning ground, which complicates the closures. He speculated that cod spawningsite fidelity might decrease eastwards because environmental conditions are more variable in the deeper basins of the Eastern Baltic. Hence, cod should be more flexible in locating spawning sites with appropriate environmental conditions (especially high enough salinity and oxygen).

Dr Krumme suggested that managing cod stocks by TACs alone might not be enough. Implementing spawning closures as a management measure may help to ensure undisturbed spawning, increase reproduction from active spawning grounds, and allow recolonisation of abandoned spawning grounds. The

A fishery representative noted that the 2016 year class is now composed of individuals between 30 and 50 cm, and asked if it was better to use gears that are more selective. Mr Krumme replied that, in the Baltic, only BACOMA and T90 are allowed in the active cod fishery, and gillnetters can use different mesh sizes.


Things are likely to get worse for the Eastern Baltic cod stock before they can get better.

The recent assessment are not currently available due to and continuing declines substantial changes in productivMargit Eero provided an update on the status of the Eastern Baltic cod stock based on the assessment conducted in April 2019. The news is not good. Catches have declined as never before. Cod remain thin and small, and spawn too early. Most of the cod in survey catches are smaller than 40 cm. Now, cod matures already at 20 cm, compared with 35â&#x20AC;&#x201C;40 cm in the past. The Baltic International Trawl Survey (BITS) indicates a further decline in biomass. The recent stock assessment indicates that growth has declined and natural mortality has increased, surpassing fishing mortality, although fishing pressure is lower than ever. Fmsy (fishing pressure that gives the maximum sustainable yield in the long term) is not defined for this stock because the Fmsy ranges

ity, making the stock unique in the Baltic. The biomass of commercialsized stock (longer than 35 cm) is at historically low levels and the number of recruits is declining, which is probably related to the stockâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s poor condition. On the basis of larvae abundance, things look bleak for the 2018 year class. On the positive side, Margit Eero pointed out that, although the 2019 Q1 survey revealed a decline in the biomass, it was somewhat better than the 2018 Q4 survey.

Another view on spawning closures In 2018, the workshop to evaluate the effect of conservation measures on Eastern Baltic cod (ICES WKCONGA) reviewed the effectiveness of spawning closures on recruitment. It



[ EVENTS ] concluded that area closures are complicated, they cause effort reallocation of other stock components, and they risk counterproductive effects. If it is decided to apply spawning closures, a seasonal closure covering most of the distribution

area should be preferred to area closures. Benefits from spawning closures to recruitment might occur, but they are hard to verify or quantify. Margit Eero presented the ecosystem challenges faced by

cod: poor oxygen conditions, large numbers of seals (predators that also harbour parasites that infect cod), and small amounts of fish prey available (especially sprat), indicated by the small amount of food found in cod stomachs. But the relative importance of these

drivers is unclear. In conclusion, she said that the effects of potential management measures affecting these drivers are difficult to quantify. William Anthony,

DanFish International, 9-11 October 2019, Aalborg

International ďŹ shing industry congregates in Aalborg The DanFish exhibition, held every second year in the Danish city of Aalborg, has a ďŹ rmly established place as northern Europeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s primary ďŹ shing industry event.


anFish has always had a strongly international flavour attracting both visitors and exhibitors from around the world. The 2019 event promises to continue this tradition with exhibitors from 28 nations (compared to 23 in 2017). And with the fishing industry in robust health and investments being made in new capacity, shipyards are prominent among the companies taking part.

Demand in Russia is a blessing for European shipyards The European fishing sector has seen a growing optimism in recent years that has triggered a new generation of fishing vessels being built, not least with the surge in construction taking place in the Russian fishing industry, with numerous western companies prominently involved in the design and supply sectors. Total investment in ship building and vessel renovation in Russia has reached USD5bn according to Peotr Savchuk, Deputy Head of the Russian Federal Fisheries

Agency and some of this is benefiting European ship builders. The first new fishing vessels for Russian owners are about to be delivered this year, built to designs from a Norwegian naval architect, and there are new fishing vessels emerging from yards across Europe this year â&#x20AC;&#x201C; many of them incorporating innovative technology. Greenlandic companies have been at the forefront of upgrading fishing vessels, with Niisa Trawl taking delivery of the new Regina C at the end of last year, followed by Qajak Trawlâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new Markus, both delivered by shipyards in Vigo. The new Sisimiut â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the first of two new factory vessels for Royal Greenland â&#x20AC;&#x201C; has just been delivered and is to be followed by its partner vessel later this year, plus a new trawler for Polar Seafood is also under construction in Spain.

Record number of ship builders represented


of performance with our consistent feed solutions for your farm.

Galician shipbuilder Nodosa is among a record number of shipyards at this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s DanFish event. EUROFISH Magazine 4 / 2019






Galician shipyard Nodosa is returning to DanFish this year â&#x20AC;&#x201C; having designed and built a pair of innovative fresher trawlers for German ďŹ shing company KutterďŹ sch.

The yard has a strong track record in building for its home market in Spain, including the first new fishing vessels in many years for the distant water fleet operating in Falkland Islandsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; waters, as well as innovative new fishing vessels for owners in Germany and Holland. Nodosa is returning to DanFish this year and in the words of JosĂŠ RamĂłn Regueira, the commercial director, with the fishing industry doing well, DanFish is one of the most important exhibitions for us as a shipbuilder specialising mainly in

fishing vessels.This is the event in northern Europe that really brings in visitors from all parts of the Nordic region and beyond. This is where we get to meet both our existing and potential customers, and we appreciate the number and quality of the visitors who come to Aalborg, he said.

An important event for Danish ports As always, there will be a strong showing by Danish companies

at DanFish with more than a hundred companies from the Fish Tech Group of the Danish Export Association. Moreover, the Danish ports will again be represented in strength at the event making full use of the opportunities the exhibition offers to showcase what they can do. It is essential for the port as well as for the service industry in Hirtshals that we attend DanFish says Jens Kirketerp Jensen, harbourmaster at Hirtshals, one of Denmarkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s primary fishing ports, and just an hour from Aalborg. We must be where the customers are and DanFish is the place â&#x20AC;&#x201C; thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s absolutely no doubt about this. With around 25 exhibitors at the Hirtshals stand,

there will be great opportunities for visitors to get to know the knowledge and the competences of the cluster in Hirtshals, which will present itself as a one-stopshop for repairs, maintenance and more. DanFish falls neatly into its strategy of raising awareness of what the port has to offer. At DanFish we have the time and the surroundings to discuss larger projects, and we can look into the possibilities that are open to each fisherman and fishing company. Of course, this applies to both the fishermen we already know and to the new business relationships that result from our presence at the DanFish exhibition, says Mr Jensen.

26th DanFish International Place: Aalborg Kongres & Kultur Center, Aalborg, Denmark Date: Wednesday, 9 October to Friday, 11 October 2019 Time: Wednesday and Thursday 10.00-17.00, Friday 10.00 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 16.00 Participants: 400 exhibitors from 28 nations and 14,000 visitors from 50 nations, 100 invited VIP key buyers. Website: www.danďŹ (for tickets at reduced prices) App: â&#x20AC;&#x153;AKKCâ&#x20AC;? on the App Store and Google Play Contact: Ms Else Herfort, tel.: +45 9935 5518,

PolďŹ sh, 29-31 May 2019, Gdansk

The consumer was king at PolďŹ sh 2019 One of the largest seafood exhibitions in Central and Eastern Europe and the only one in Poland, PolďŹ sh opened its doors to over 140 exhibitors representing 13 nations and over 4,000 visitors from 23 countries. Importers and exporters of ďŹ sh and seafood, processors, manufacturers of processing, packaging, and labelling equipment, industrial chemicals, providers of transportation and logistics services, and many more, were at the event to experience the growing and changing Polish market.


ish and seafood consumption in Poland in 2017 was 12,4 kg per capita, or about


half the EU average. There is considerable room for growth, especially among millennials

and other young age-groups. The youth want different seafood products than their parents and

grandparents, products that are easy to prepare (or are already prepared), sustainably sourced,



[ EVENTS ] healthful, and environmentally benign.

Consumption is growing, but get the details right to win customers Companies vie to win these consumersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; hearts, or at least their credit cards, making the Polish seafood market very competitive. Processors are trying to develop new products for a young generation that lives fast and wants to do things quickly. Exhibitors at Polfish offered samples of sushi, readyto-eat meals, and products with no chemicals or synthetic additives, only preserved, for example, by


smoking. Companies are broadening their range with frozen or chilled ready-made meals which only need a few minutes in the microwave to prepare. Poles like to taste local seafood during their trips abroad, and this has influenced seafood producers back home. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When Polish people go on holidays to Spain, or Italy, they try the local fish. And when they get back, they would like to eat it at home,â&#x20AC;? says Juan de Dios Munos, commercial manager of Petaca Chico, S.L., Spain. The company aims to make sure Polish consumers can get authentic Spanish seafood in Poland such as tuna, swordfish,

and octopus â&#x20AC;&#x201D; species that are consumed in Mediterranean countries but not so much in Poland, where herring or salmon are favorites. From Italy, the firm Bonapesca showcased its selection of chilled fish. For 30 years the company has been offering sardines, vongole verace, mussels, and other species harvested by its own fishing boats. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Polish market is very attractive,â&#x20AC;? says Klaudyna Mizerna, the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sales representative, â&#x20AC;&#x153;and Bonapesca delivers straight to wholesalers, retailers, supermarket chains, with its own transport network. People can buy directly from the source. They order one day and receive the next.â&#x20AC;?

The founder of Germany-based DanLachs, Hans Christian Petersen has been importing and exporting seafood since 1973. Some 350 different species, all frozen, are sold throughout northern Europe, including Poland. Operating in the Polish market is a little different. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You need to gain a lot of trust to be able to develop the market here. In Poland, prices are not discussed in the first instance; rather, customers have to look who at who the company is, and the company looks at who the customers are, and the price comes later. Here customers want to learn the seller before they buy.â&#x20AC;? Sinan KÄązÄąltan, vice



Meeting consumer needs for quality, environmental impacts, and new products were some of the big issues discussed at the 15th edition of PolďŹ sh.

president of the Aegean Fishery and Animal Products Exportersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Association, also sees promise in the Polish market. The Association currently exports 10 million euros worth of products to Poland and plans to double that within five years. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Polish people are getting richer. They are demanding more valuable fish.â&#x20AC;? While it was mainly carp and trout in the past, now species like salmon, seabass and seabream are appearing on restaurant menus. â&#x20AC;&#x153;These species are in the higher grade, and this means the Polish people are preferring better fish.â&#x20AC;? The association observes that Poland is now attracting many tourists, and tourists from Europe would prefer species they know.

Three important consumer concerns: environment, environment, environment The Polish seafood market has a lot to offer to consumers, who ultimately dictate everything through their purchasing choices. High product quality is a â&#x20AC;&#x153;must haveâ&#x20AC;? regarding taste, 22

safety, modern technologies. Consumers have become more concerned about health and the environment. They care about ingredients added to seafood products, they care about overfishing, they also care about packaging â&#x20AC;&#x201C; sales of seafood packed in plastic have started dropping compared to the same or similar products packed in glass jars. Some time ago such trends were observed only in Warsaw and other big cities, now the interest is growing in all regions. Another very important concern is sustainability. Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and Global G.A.P. were at Polfish, where they held workshops. Interest was high in both organisationsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; seafood certification programmes. Certification is expensive and certified products cost more, but consumers, especially young people, are increasingly willing to pay for the added assurance of environmentally safe seafood. Processors and wholesalers also are concerned about plastic and its reputation. But for the bulk containers plastic is better than wood or steel. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Plastic is now like a swear word,â&#x20AC;? said Saevaldur J. Gunnarsson, area

sales manager of Iceland-based Saeplast. But â&#x20AC;&#x153;we are producing multiple-use plastic containers and tubs that last 15-20, up to 25 years.â&#x20AC;? It is more economical than steel or wood, which have greater transport costs as well as shorter lifespans. For bulk shipping and storage, Gunnarson says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;the trend is to buy quality products which you will not have to buy over and over again.â&#x20AC;?  

EUROFISH Business Platform returns to PolďŹ sh As one of the services to its member countries, EUROFISH, the International Organisation for the Development of Fisheries and Aquaculture in Europe, facilitates the participation of delegations at trade fairs around Europe. EUROFISH once again hosted a Business Platform at Polfish accommodating companies from Croatia, Lithuania, and Poland. Trenton, a family business from Croatia, promoted its spread from cod â&#x20AC;&#x201C; bacalar bianco â&#x20AC;&#x201C; that it has now replicated with salmon, tuna, and shrimp. The spreads received a positive reaction at the

show and the company hopes to expand production to be able to supply big customers. KSGM from Poland is an exclusive distributor of a Ukrainian seafood producer and offers the Polish market mussels in oil, salads from laminaria, as well as spreads from capelin, Baltic herring, cod and pollock. These products are already known in the US, Canada, Israel, Georgia, Moldova, Germany, and the Baltic states, and now Poland may also be added to the list. Fish&Fish is a producer of smoked eel fillets from Lithuania that sees promise in the Polish market, particularly as it is located right next door unlike the Netherlands, currently the destination for much of the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s production. Monika Pain, director of the Polfish fair, was happy about the results of the show. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Over 4,000 professionals visiting, from Poland and the rest of Europe â&#x20AC;&#x201C; mainly from Spain, Germany, Lithuania and Russia. Exhibitors are happy and we already have a lot of pre-bookings for 2021; they are happy about the quality of visitors, people looking for quality products and a brighter future.â&#x20AC;?



[ SEG REVIEW ] Seafood Expo Global, 7-9 May, Brussels

Records shattered at worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s biggest seafood show


eafood Expo Global saw 29,288 buyers and suppliers from around the world flock to Brussels, Belgium in early May. The huge number of eager consumers were met by an equally ardent assembly of 2,020 exhibiting companies. The number of exhibitors represented a 74 company increase from 2018 and the 89 different countries that these companies hailed from also speaks to another major milestone for this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Expo. In fact, it might be fair to say 2019 was a year of breaking records for the annual seafood event with more exhibit space used than ever before. The expo covered 40,625 square meters of exhibit space, dwarfing 2018â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s record by 1,303 square meters. This new achievement is largely thanks to the host of new exhibiting countries that attended this year, including Angola, Fiji, Greenland, Guyana, Honduras, Ivory Coast, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Madagascar, Mozambique, Solomon Islands, Swaziland, Tanzania, and Uganda. Eighty-nine countries showcased their latest seafood products available on the global market. The success of the event is undoubtedly correlated with the growth in international seafood trade which remains the most traded food product in the world. In 2017 global fish and shellfish trade reached USD153bn according to Rabobank.

There has also been a 20ï&#x2122;&#x201A; growth in consumption of seafood products across the globe. This year, which marked the 27th edition of Seafood Expo Global, could not be complete without the Seafood Excellence Global awards reception; a panel of industry experts in seafood products judged 37 finalists from 12 different countries. The judges were looking out for exceptional taste, originality, practicality, innovation, market potential, and nutritional aspects to derive this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s winners. A Belgian group won the Best Retail product category for its Surimi Noodles Wok Style, while a company from the Netherlands winning the grand prize for Best HORECA for its Dutch Yellowtail. A French team won the best Health and Nutrition award for its Guacamole with Fresh Spirulina while a Malaysian company won the convenience award for its Prawn in Hor Mok Thai Coconut Sauce. Several EUROFISH member countries had pavilions at the show and as usual we have reviewed a selection of companies from there as well as from other countries, their products and activities can be found in the following pages.


Tyler Skow,




EUROFISH hosts aquaculture associations from Lithuania and Romania


s part of its services to its Member Countries, at the SEG show EUROFISH International Organisation facilitates the presence of ministries and associations from the Member Countries which do not have national pavilions at the exhibition. This year the participants of the EUROFISH joint booth were Modern Aquaculture association from Lithuania and the Romanian Fisheries Association from Romania. Modern Aquaculture comprises companies that are growing fish in recirculation aquaculture systems and processing the fish they farm. The association represents companies in local and international markets, it serves as a liaison between its members and the governmental institutions. It also gives advice to new companies intending to start aquaculture activities in Lithuania. One of the main goals of the association is to bring together and represent companies developing environmentally

sustainable, economically viable aquaculture. The main species farmed by the members of the association are European eel (Fish&Fish), African catfish (Ĺ˝uvÄ&#x2014;ja), and rainbow trout (FishNet). Romanian Fisheries Association has 45 members and includes fish farmers, producers of nets and aquaculture equipment, and a research centre. Members are located in different parts of Romania, and the majority of the fish farmers are coming from the Danube Delta region. The association represents, promotes, and supports the economic, technical, and legal interests of its members, strengthening the role and increasing the visibility of the aquaculture sector in the community. Major farmed fish are carp and sturgeon, as well as trout, which are sold both locally and abroad. Visitors to the EUROFISH joint booth enjoyed samples of the

EUROFISH joint booth at Seafood Expo Global 2019.

products made by the members of both associations:  smoked eels provided by Fish&Fish company, smoked fillets of African catfish with different flavours as well as spreads from catfish fillets with various added ingredients like aubergine, olives, carrots and more made by Ĺ˝uvÄ&#x2014;ja, and luxury caviar from variety of sturgeon species produced by Danube Caviar.

Martynas GreviĹĄkis, director of the Modern Aquaculture association and Mariana Munteanu, the president of the Romanian Fisheries Association expressed the opinion that exhibiting at the EUROFISH joint booth was beneficial for showcasing the products, finding customers, extending networks, and promoting the aquaculture sectors of their countries.

Italy well represented at SEG The Italian seafood sector is very diverse, it has a lot to offer both locally and abroad to satisfy almost any taste. Fans of Italian seafood at SEG this year could experience a wide array of different fish species and products showcased by over 60 companies, which came from all over the country to be part of the National Pavilion of Italy. Riccardo Rigillo, General Director in the Italian Ministry of Agriculture, Food, Forestry Policies and Tourism, was at the Italian pavilion networking with representatives from industry and from associations and showing the ministryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s strong support for the sector.




[ SEG REVIEW ] Futur Pesca SRL, Italy

Products for customers with ill health


he increasing awareness of seafood as healthful has contributed to the wave of innovative companies using seafood in products that targeted at people with problems such as coeliac disease, diabetes, or high cholesterol levels. The products are the outcome of research in the field conducted by a university in Italy that looked not only at the health boosting properties

of these products but also at the way they were manufactured. The products combine fish of the highest quality with organically produced vegetables to give a complete meal in a tray wrapped with a plastic foil. The ingredients used are already cooked and the product is frozen. It can be prepared by directly placing the package in the microwave for a few minutes. The recipes behind the products have

been developed keeping in mind the needs of consumers with health issues. The products have no salt but contain special oils and spices that make them particularly beneficial to the target customers as they get a good nourishing meal without it affecting their levels of salt or sugar. The products form a new line that the company is launching at the Seafood Expo Global, but Futur Pesca itself has been on the market

for two decades or so, particularly in Ischia an island off Naples. The company already has a range of products that consists entirely of vegetables, so the new line is intended to complement the existing one. The meals are designed by a chef who considers not only the taste, but also the ingredients that go into the product to ensure that they conform to the requirements of the customers that are being targeted. Although they have only been on the market for seven months Mr Castaldi says that the response has been very positive.

Barlovento, Spain

New factory will expand product range and markets


arlovento produces fresh mussels, live mussels packaged in an airtight tray, and pasteurised mussels that have a fourmonth shelf life. Currently, a new factory is being constructed which will be completed in the second half of the year and will allow the company to extend the range of its products to include mussel meat, frozen mussels, and frozen cooked mussels. The company is fully integrated â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the entire production and distribution process, farming, harvesting, processing, marketing and sales â&#x20AC;&#x201C; are all under Barloventoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s roof. Production amounts to about 5,000 tonnes of mussels a year, which are sold in Spain, but the pasteurised product is also exported to Morocco, Italy, France, Germany, Romania, and Portugal. In addition to mussels the

company is also producing clams and has a small turbot farm on land. Inaki Amatria, the commercial manager, says the turbot is produced in a recirculation system using water pumped from the sea which is a short distance from the farmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s location. Production of turbot amounts to about 50 tonnes annually and the fish is sold fresh in polystyrene boxes. The company is based in Galicia, the region in north west Spain that hosts the lionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s share of the Spanish fishing and processing industry. Galicia is also responsible for three fourths of the farmed fish and seafood production in Spain, so Barlovento comes from a region with a long history and culture of farming seafood. At the new factory frozen products will be manufactured that Mr Amatria is hoping will open access

Barlovento is a fully integrated company specialising in the production and processing of mussels.

to distant markets. Frozen products have a long shelf life and the logistics are much easier than with fresh products, which are highly perishable. Barlovento is already exporting fresh

and live mussels to Hong Kong, but the quantities are small, they are being flown over to gourmet restaurants in Hong Kong, arriving 48 hours after they are harvested.

Abramczyk, Poland

Staying focused on what it does best


bramczyk, a producer and trader of frozen fish and seafood products recently opened a processing plant for fresh fish, which is now producing for Lidl in Poland as well as in a couple of other markets.

Although the factory only opened a couple of years ago it is producing at capacity, according to Katarzyna Stepniewska, the export manager, and the company is therefore already considering an expansion. The factory is used to

Katarzyna Stepniewska, export manager at Abramczyk promotes the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s skin-packaged tuna loin steak. EUROFISH Magazine 4 / 2019




[ SEG REVIEW ] process Atlantic cod and Alaska pollock for the production of loins. The cod is sourced from Russia, while the pollock comes from China. The raw material is frozen and then thawed in the factory, made into portions, and packaged in a special vacuum skin packaging called Darfresh that is produced by Cryovac. Some of the raw material is already processed into loins, so at the Abramczyk

plant it is just defrosted and packaged. Apart from cod and Alaska pollock, the company also processes more exotic species such as pike, says Ms Stepniewska. The companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s products are being exported to several countries in Central and Eastern Europe including, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Hungary however these consignments go through Lidl Poland to Lidl in all

these other countries too. In general exports have been growing â&#x20AC;&#x201C; increasing by about 50% from EUR10m to EUR15m in the last year. Abramczyk has been coming to Brussels for several years now both to meet new and existing customers, but also to seek inspiration for new products. Value addition is becoming increasingly important for processing companies and Abramczyk

too has been experimenting with products and packaging, that, for example, use less plastic film and still manage to show off the product to perfection. For the Polish market the company is deliberating with the idea of ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook products, but at the same time wants to remain focused on what it really does well without having the distraction of a huge product line.

Terra Do Bacalhau, Norway

Portuguese demand for cod keeps Norwegian producer busy


erra Do Bacalhau is a Norwegian company that specializes in selling premium cured cod. The company cures their code in salt for nine months and then packages the products in plastic bags â&#x20AC;&#x201C; dubbed CodBags - which enable easy washing for the customer. Terra Do Bacalhauâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s facilities in Norway cure the code in tubs of salt and then dry them immediately before exportation to Portugal. The company has partners in Portugal that cut and package the cod. Consumers can purchase either shredded cuts of cured cod or

loins with or without bone. The recommended time for soaking loins is between 3-4 days and for shredded cod this time drops to between 12 and 15 hours. Terra Do Bacalhauâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cured cod can also be purchased in cans or jars. The firm, which is based in northern Norway, outsources its fishing to several independent vessels. Fishing occurs in the Barents Sea where stocks are managed sustainably ensuring the company has access to stable levels of cod each year. Terra Do Bacalhau exports all its products to Portugal, where the market for cod is the largest

To use the CodBag tear off the safety protection seal and fill it with cold water up to the indicated line. Then screw the cork in place and refrigerate, changing the water every 24 hours.

in the world. Katrina Rypeng, Digital Brand Manager, explained it is the ambition of the company to expand its market into Norway soon. While cured cod is a less common dish in

Norway than in Portugal, Katrina Rypeng believes through marketing and the unadorned quality of their fish Terra Do Bacalhau will be able to expand on to its domestic market too.

Seawell, Denmark

Faroe Islands offers salmon production company new flavour


eawell is specialized in the production of fresh and frozen salmon products. Unlike most firms in the industry, Seawell produces all its salmon products to meet the specifications of the customer. The company does not maintain any stock, but rather produces specific trimmings and sizes ordered by clients. Jesper Mejer Christensen, Purchases & Sales representative, maintains that despite the inefficiency of not maintaining any stock, making salmon products to order ensures higher quality salmon fillets. Seawell also offers various kinds of packages


including vacuum, skin and bulk packed. The company owns its own smoke house in Copenhagen, thus smoked salmon is an option for customers as well. Both raw materials and end products go through cold storage to ensure preservation. The firm primarily sells its products in Denmark and around the EU, but the company has an export history across the globe. Seawall purchases its salmon from the Faroe Islands and Norway. In comparison to Norwegian, Scottish and Icelandic salmon, Seawell believes the Faroe Islandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s salmon is of superior quality. In

Seawell's produces all trimmings and sizes adapted to each customers request. A variety of packaging is also available, including vacuum and vacuum with cardboard.

2018 Seawell opened a new nitrogen freezer, capable of cooling salmon fillets to below negative 60 degrees

Celsius within 30 minutes. Seawallâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s process of super freezing preserves freshness with no less of quality.



[ SEG REVIEW ] Tag Sensors, Norway

Tag Sensors taps into lucrative world market


AG Sensors produces low cost temperature loggers in the form of stickers that can be attached to temperature sensitive commodities. The sticker is complete with a temperature sensor chip, battery and wireless communication enabling NFC (near-field communication) and RFID connectivity. Whilst temperature sensitive items are in transit, the sensor enables real time statistics which are displayed in an app (when read) developed by the company itself. Clients can set temperature thresholds and if the commodity ever exceeds those thresholds in transit an email notification that includes a report, is sent to alert the customer. The stickers can operate in temperatures between -30 to +50 degrees Celsius and are accurate to within 0.5 degrees Celsius. Tag Sensors was founded in northern Norway but since its partnership with the fast

food chain McDonalds in 2015, the operation has spread across the globe. In 2019, following the improved product quality for McDonald's Norwegian branch the two companies entered a global partnership. TAG Sensors provides temperature logger stickers for McDonald's operations all over the world. The company currently has offices in Norway, the US and the UK but they have plans to open new facilities in Singapore and Barcelona. While McDonald's is no doubt TAG Sensors largest customer, a variety of other food producers and pharmaceutical companies around the world use their technology. We have a goal that over 39,000 McDonald's restaurants should use our technology worldwide. The room for continued growth is immense, explained Ingunn Hilton, Sales and Service Delivery Manager. Commodities that require temperature control during transport

Ingunn Hilton, Sales and Service Delivery Manager, says that his company's temperature loggers have wide applications in the food and pharmaceutical industries among others.

encompass items like medicine, food, flowers, paint and many more, making the industry for temperature sensors a multi-billion-dollar enterprise. Currently, the company outsources its production of the temperature logging stickers, but it is building a state-ofthe-art factory in northern Norway so that the production and assembly process can be fully integrated under one roof and the company can continue to

be a centre of excellence in the temperature logger industry. The new factory will provide 40 jobs and will enable the firm to produce 33 million units per year. Reaching this production will give TAG Sensors two percent of the temperature logging industry. The company's development has been so impressive that it was shortlisted in the Startup World Cup as one of the 12 best startups in the world on 17 May.

OCM Seafood EE, Estonia

Estoniaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leading producer of frozen salmon


CM Seafood is an Estonian fish processing factory specializing in the private label market. The recently renovated factory with cutting edge technology produces salmon based on the specifications from their customers. Trout is also available for purchase, but salmon is the company's primary product. Customers can request any sort of cut of salmon and can choose the packaging style as well. Salmon can be salted or cold smoked and all products are frozen before distribution. OCM purchases its salmon from Norway, Scotland and Iceland. While the vast majority of the salmon OCM acquires comes from Norway, the company has recently

started purchasing more from Scotland and Iceland, partially because of the difference in taste from the regions. Alar Borkmnn, COO, explained the colder water in Iceland and Scotland results in firmer meat with less fat. With these differences in mind, OCM lets their customers select if they would prefer Norwegian, Scottish or Islandic salmon. The company then processes the salmon in their factory and finally sells the processed salmon to private labels. In the last year OCM exported 1,500 tonnes of salmon to Germany, Spain and France. Germany was the primary destination for exports with German supermarkets the principal clients.

Salmon and trout fresh fillets are packed on ice. Frozen fillets are packed in plastic bags or vacuum packed. EUROFISH Magazine 4 / 2019




[ SEG REVIEW ] Orada Adriatic, Croatia

Seabass, seabream and blue fish


rada Adriatic, owner of the Royal Adriatic brand, has over 20 years of experience in fresh and frozen fish trading on domestic and international markets. Orada Adriatic farms European seabass, gilthead seabream,

and processes blue fish. The seabass and seabream are farmed in the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own maricultural facilities located off the islands Cres and Plavnic, both well known for their natural beauty. The farming takes place in waters where the ocean

Orada Adriaticâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s processing plant in the Kukuljanovo industrial Zone is equipped with IQF (Individually Quick Frozen) and MAP (Modified Atmosphere Packaging) technology.

reaches a maximum depth of over 70 meters, which Sinisa Lencovic, business development manager, explained guarantees the superb quality of the fish. Seabass and seabream make up the bulk of Orada Adriaticâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s production, with these two products farmed equally. The company takes pride in the feed they use which does not contain any growth hormones, medicines or antibiotics. The size of fish farmed by Orada Adriatic tends to be relatively small, with the maximum size of fish in their farms weighing 1 kg. The company has contracts with 8 vessels fishing blue fish. Blue fish, anchovies and sardines, are purchased fresh from the vessels. Processing, packaging and distribution of the products are also all under the control of Orada

Adriatic. Production amounts to about 1,500 tonnes of fresh, frozen, whole gutted, and filleted sea bass and seabream each year. Fish is also processed into salted or marinated products. The company controls its distribution with a fleet of thirty vehicles that enable delivery of fresh fish within 24 hours of harvest. The products are sold both domestically and internationally. The companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s foreign markets include Italy, France, Spain, Austria, Switzerland and Germany. In the international market the firm mostly sells whole fish on ice in polystyrene boxes. All international sales are under the brand name Royal Adriatic, and the company does not sell under private labels. The company can also package its products with modified atmosphere packaging to ensure longer shelf life. Moving forward, Sinisa Lencovic sees the future of the company focused on incorporating organic seafood into their product range.

Kali Tuna, Croatia

Looking to enter the sushi business


ali Tuna is a pioneer in the tuna business and so it is no surprise that the company is now looking to break into the sushi market. In 1995 Kali Tuna started farming tuna in the Mediterranean, one of the very first companies to do so. Today Kaliâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s operations have expanded and it is exporting over 1,100 tonnes of tuna each year. Yield is volatile however, and it fluctuates by as much as 300 tonnes per year depending on environmental conditions. The company is fully integrated, controlling its own farms, vessels and processing site. Kali Tunaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s reach is global, with customers all throughout Asia, Europe and the United States. The company sells both frozen and fresh tuna products. Only whole fish is available fresh, 28

and it is transported via air. For frozen products customers can purchase loins and fillets as well as the whole fish. The company freezes the fish at -60 degrees Celsius (super freezing). Processing occurs after the fish is frozen. Current capacity of the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cages is 2,000 tonnes. The companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tuna stock is maintained by catching wild tuna that are at least 10 kg. The fish are then released into the cages by one of the company's nine fishing vessels where they grow for approximately another three years. The companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fleet only catches tuna for one month of the year and for the other 11 months they catch anchovies, mackerel and other fish as feed for the tuna. The average size of one of Kali Tunaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s farmed tuna is 71.5kg. The companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s feed

Kali Tuna was the first tuna farming company in the Mediterranean. When they started processing tuna in 1996, they exported exclusively to Japan. Now they have diversified their exports to include Europe and North America.

is identical to the diet they would have in these waters if they were wild. Kali Tuna operates its own processing plant. from where it can offer sashimi grade tuna products.

Looking to the future Marko Jurin, a member of the sales department, is hoping to expand the exports to restaurants and companies producing sushi.




Lithuania ďŹ sheries and aquaculture

Solid growth in Baltic Sea pelagic catches The Lithuanian ďŹ sheries and aquaculture sector represents a wide variety of activities ranging from catches in various oceans of the world, processing, imports and exports of ďŹ sh and seafood, aquaculture of many different species, and inland ďŹ shing.


espite having the smallest fleet in terms of numbers in the EU, Lithuanian fishing vessels are active in the high seas, the open Baltic Sea and the coast. Of the 144 vessels that constituted the total fleet in 2017, two thirds are coastal boats, a quarter are open Baltic Sea vessels, while the rest belong to the high seas fleet. In terms of gross tonnage, however, the proportions are reversed with close to 90ď&#x2122;&#x201A; of the total GT belonging to the high seas fleet, 10ď&#x2122;&#x201A; to the Baltic Sea fleet and less than 0.5ď&#x2122;&#x201A; to the coastal vessels. According to Statistics Lithuania total employment in the fishing sector declined from 611 in 2016 to 557 in 2017 with all the job losses falling to the high seas fleet, the segment which employs some 40ď&#x2122;&#x201A; of the total. Employment in the Baltic Sea fleet, with 36ď&#x2122;&#x201A; of total employment, and the coastal fleet remained stable. At the national level it is the high seas fleet that has by far the greatest economic impact. Total

The Baltic Sea ďŹ&#x201A;eet targeting the pelagic species, sprat and herring, enjoyed signiďŹ cantly higher catches in 2018 compared to the year before.

Baltic Sea catches (tonnes) 2014



































Source: Ministry of Agriculture, Lithuania

revenue from marine fisheries was EUR60m in 2017 (a 15ď&#x2122;&#x201A; fall since 2016) of which 90ď&#x2122;&#x201A; was generated by the high seas fleet, 8ď&#x2122;&#x201A; by the Baltic Sea fleet and the rest by the coastal segment. In 2017 the high seas fleet was active primarily in the North East Atlantic, the South Pacific, and

the Mauritanian and Moroccan economic zones. In the North East Atlantic the main species caught are redfish and northern prawn, while in both the Mauritanian EEZ and the Moroccan EEZ the most important species are the pelagics â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Atlantic horse mackerel, chub mackerel, sardinella, and sardines. According

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to Statistics Lithuania, overall catches from the different areas in 2017 moved in different directions compared with 2016. Catches of redfish in the North East Atlantic were stable, while those of northern prawn increased by a factor of 6 to 1,200 tonnes. This was, however, not enough to make up for the fall (to nil) in catches of blue whiting and Atlantic mackerel. In the Mauritanian zone overall catches declined by two thirds to just over 15,000 tonnes thanks to substantial falls in catches of all the main four pelagic species. However, catches in the Mauritanian zone have fluctuated wildly in the past too, for example, between 2014 and 2015 they plummeted by almost three quarters to 15,000 tonnes. In the Moroccan zone catches have been more stable. In 2017 they increased slightly to 26,000 tonnes mainly thanks to a big increase in catches of chub mackerel, which more than compensated for a drop in catches of sardines, horse mackerel, and sardinella. However, since July 2018 the protocol under which EU vessels can fish in Moroccan waters is no longer in force. Catches by the high seas fleet are predominantly sold on markets in Mauritania, Morocco, Spain and Norway.

Big increase in Baltic Sea pelagic catches in 2018 Total catches in the Baltic Sea at over 24,000 tonnes in 2018 were over 30ď&#x2122;&#x201A; higher than the previous year. Two thirds of the catch was sprat making it the biggest single species caught while over a quarter was herring. Cod catches at 775 tonnes amounted to 3ď&#x2122;&#x201A;. Compared to 2017 sprat and herring catches increased by over 40ď&#x2122;&#x201A;, while those of cod declined (by 55ď&#x2122;&#x201A;). Other species, of which minor 30

volumes were caught, include flounder, gobies, smelt, garfish, and vimba bream. Most of the catch of pelagic fish is sold to Denmark with smaller volumes going to Sweden, Latvia and Estonia and only minimal volumes landed in Lithuania. The Baltic Sea fleet comprises some 20 vessels owned by 14 companies for many of which cod is the main target species. However, the status of the Eastern Baltic cod stock, the main cod stock targeted by Lithuanian open Baltic Sea fishermen, is in a precarious state, a problem that goes back several years and affects fishers across the eastern Baltic from Poland to Estonia.

Dismal news regarding Eastern Baltic cod In January 2015 the stock was certified by the Marine Stewardship Council, however the certification was abruptly withdrawn again in December 2015 prompting a bitter complaint from the Polish Association of Fish Processors. Fish stocks in the Baltic Sea are monitored by the Baltic Fisheries Assessment Working Group, a group of scientists from around the Baltic that provides the scientific advice on which decisions on total allowable catches (TAC) are based. The group meets each year in April at ICES, the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, to assess the state of Baltic stocks. The latest report by the working group painted a grim picture of the status of Eastern Baltic cod stock leading to calls from NGOs to close the fishery immediately. Eva KjĂŚr Hansen, the Danish fisheries minister also said she would approach her colleagues from Baltic Sea countries to consider reducing the TAC by 70ď&#x2122;&#x201A;. This would effectively stop a targeted fishery on the stock but

allow a bycatch of cod in fisheries for other species. Tomas Zolubas, a scientist at the Marine Research Institute at Klaipeda University, is a member of the Baltic Fisheries Assessment Working Group. Speaking about the Eastern Baltic cod stock he says that catches in 2018 were the lowest ever and that recruitment (the number of fish that grow (and/or migrate into the fishing area) to become vulnerable to fishing gear is the recruitment to the stock that year) in 2017 is estimated also to be the lowest ever. Several indicators suggest that the Eastern Baltic cod stock is in poor shape, among them fish length, condition (weight at length) of 40-60 cm cod, and size at maturity. The number of â&#x20AC;&#x153;fishableâ&#x20AC;? fish, those above 35 cm, is at its lowest level since the 1950s, while the condition factor which shows the weight of the individual for a given length has been falling. Fish are also maturing earlier. In the 90s half the fish in a haul of 35 cm cod would have matured, today however that figure is 20 cm. Another indicator, the spawning stock biomass (SSB), has been below critical limits for the last two years, which is a red light. Taken together these numbers indicate that the stock is stressed which has a bearing on their reproductive potential. Smaller fish have fewer eggs and the quality of the eggs is likely to be lower. Marijus Spegys, a colleague of Dr Zolubas at the Marine Research Institute, points out that with less fish in the sea, each of which is producing gametes of inferior quality and fewer in number, the fish cannot achieve their full spawning potential, because the gametes may be too few and too scattered to unite. Furthermore, if the only fish surviving the fishing effort are the small

fish that are spawning earlier, it sets the stage for a vicious cycle of fish maturing earlier resulting in smaller fish which again mature earlier and produce even smaller fish, and so on. This, says Dr Zolubas, means that even if the fishery is stopped next year, there is a probability that the SSB will decrease again, and this could continue in future years as well. But, he adds, we are dealing with nature here and things can always end up differently from the way we estimate.

Cod must contend with predators, parasites, eutrophication, lack of feedâ&#x20AC;Ś Yet another statistic is that the natural mortality of the fish is significantly higher than the mortality caused by fishing. Factors that have an impact on natural mortality include cannibalism, predation, parasites, a lack of fish feed, and the presence of zones in the sea that are deficient in oxygen, and these factors can have a compounding effect if the fish are small and weak to begin with. Grey seals are significant predators with a preference for cod and their numbers have increased significantly. They carry parasites too, the intermediate stage of which is hosted by cod. It used to be rare to find the parasite in cod livers, but today it is widespread. The lack of oxygen in parts of the Baltic Sea can partly be attributed to eutrophication brought about by the nutrients that are introduced into the water from different sources, but the lack of inflows from the North Sea into the Baltic also play a role. The more saline and well oxygenated water from the North Sea (compared with the Baltic) being denser, sinks to the bottom mixing with the Baltic Sea water in the

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process and oxygenating it. But these inflows have become more infrequent of late contributing to the formation of oxygen depleted zones. The presence of these zones also affect spawning conditions for cod, says Dr Spegys. Cod eggs cannot survive if salinity is lower than 11-12 ppt as the eggs will tend to sink. Oxygen depleted zones are typically near the bottom so if the eggs descend into one of these zones they will perish. On the other hand, if the salinity level is 11-12 ppt, the eggs will float in the water column which is better oxygenated. Stormy weather in spring and autumn which mixes and aerates the water is therefore good for the Baltic Sea, even if fishermen are not so enthusiastic because it hampers their operations. These changes have not happened overnight but have taken decades to come about. Lithuania also has a small quota for cod in the western Baltic, but the area is far and so this is typically

swapped with Danish or German fishers for quota in the eastern Baltic as it is more accessible. Cod preys normally on sprat and herring, but these species have been moving to northern parts of the Baltic Sea. The salinity levels here are lower than in other parts of the Baltic which are not ideal living conditions for cod. It has therefore not followed the pelagic fish contributing perhaps to its â&#x20AC;&#x153;skinnyâ&#x20AC;? state. In this regard, one of the proposals to help the cod stock rebuild has been to stop the fishery for sprat and herring in the ICES subdivisions 25 and 26. Given all these different factors, ICES scientists recommended zero catch in 2020 in all subdivisions 24-32. We have only one tool in our toolbox, explains Dr Zolubas, and that is to change fishing pressure. All the other factors that are impacting the cod stock â&#x20AC;&#x201C; seals, parasites, salinity, temperature, oxygen depletion, feeding conditions â&#x20AC;&#x201C; are natural

ones, which we cannot influence. Smaller fish also means less yield when they are processed. Cod processors are therefore importing cod from the North Sea rather than use Baltic Sea cod. For fishermen this is all bad news, prices are low, relative catches (catches per hour) have dwindled and many would therefore like to switch to fishing pelagic species instead, but do not have the necessary quotas.

Coastal ďŹ shermen target smelt, herring, and cod Of the total fleet roughly 100 vessels are 12 m or below and fall into the coastal fishing category, where they are split between some 55 companies. The coastal zone extends up to a depth of 20 m and is the exclusive preserve of coastal fishermen. Beyond this zone and up to a 12 nautical mile limit is an area where both coastal fishers and open sea vessels can operate. For coastal

Consumers appreciate the boneless ďŹ llets of African catďŹ sh and production of this species is growing.

fishers smelt, which is typically caught in winter, is the most important species, followed by cod, which is normally targeted in autumn and spring. Herring is also targeted by coastal fishers who use trap nets to catch this species. The stock comes to the coastal area to spawn in spring from April to May, the spring spawners, and then in October, the autumn spawners, which may be a different population. In summer there is no cod in the coastal zone partly because the water is too warm, which the fish do not like and partly because they head for their spawning zones in the Bornholm deep and the Gdansk deep. Coastal fleet catches are typically sold on the local market for direct consumption with only very small amounts going to the processing industry.

Farmed African catďŹ sh and sturgeon are increasingly popular among consumers The aquaculture industry in Lithuania has been growing, though very slowly. Data from the Lithuanian SE Agricultural Information and Rural Business Centre shows that from a peak in production in 2015 at 4,450 tonnes it declined successively the next two years, while in 2018 it was stable. In value terms, however, production has been broadly stable from 2016 to 2018 at around EUR12.3m. There are a couple of bright spots in this picture, for example African catfish, production of which has grown from nothing in 2011 to become the second largest produced species in 2018 with 216 tonnes. On the way production has overtaken that of some 10 other species that are also farmed in Lithuania including sturgeon, bighead carp, and rainbow trout. The growth in African

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catfish production can be attributed to its rapid growth rate, the fact that it is a robust species that can tolerate high densities, it is resistant to disease, and, perhaps most importantly, has bone free fillets. Another species that has been showing fairly steady growth in production is sturgeon, which has increased from 52 tonnes in 2011 to 155 tonnes in 2018. Production of common carp dominates output from aquaculture accounting for almost four fifths of the total or 2,920 tonnes in 2018. Production of this species has been falling since 2015 and 2018 was no exception although the decline was significantly smaller than it was in 2017. Volumes of rainbow trout, which increased rapidly in 2015 and 2016, fell 68ď&#x2122;&#x201A; in 2017 to 106 tonnes and was 111 tonnes the next year. The decline has been partly attributed to the closure of two companies, but new companies are coming on stream and production should go up again this year.

Less and less carp is sold live Carp is typically grown in earthen ponds in polyculture with other species such as bighead carp, grass carp, pike, tench, pikeperch, and catfish. The fish feed at

Carp is ďŹ rst ďŹ lleted and then the ďŹ llet is put through another machine to cut the small bones buried in the ďŹ&#x201A;esh.

different trophic levels on what is available in the pond but may also be fed with grains or cereals to augment growth rates. Carp may be falling out of favour with consumers, especially younger ones, who are put off by the numbers of bone it contains, although companies are now using machines to cut the bones in the fillet rendering them harmless. Another factor may be falling carp exports which declined almost 40ď&#x2122;&#x201A; to 780 tonnes between 2013 and 2016 according to the FAO. Carp has traditionally been sold live to

supermarkets as well as directly to consumers, but changes in culture are making this more infrequent. One of the drivers of this change is the retail chains getting rid of their live fish tanks in response to concerns about animal welfare, while another is consumersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; desire for greater convenience â&#x20AC;&#x201C; which precludes wrestling with a live fish in an apartment kitchen. The total volume of basins and canals used for fish production in Lithuania was almost 8,200 sq. m in 2018, a 6ď&#x2122;&#x201A; increase over the year before. Employment in the

Aquaculture production (tonnes) and value (million euro) Species Common carp





2016 3,473.9

2017 2,942.6

2018 2,918.6

North African catďŹ sh






Sturgeons nei






Bighead carp






Rainbow trout










Freshwater ďŹ shes nei Others Total

16.2 196.73 3,844.7



175.69 4,450.2 10.79










SE Agricultural information and Rural Business Center


sector has been falling from 500 employees in 2016 to 417 in 2018. Some of this may be due to the fall in the area of basins and ponds which require more labour and the increasing use of recirculation aquaculture systems which can be managed by fewer people for the production of a given amount of fish. Increasing number of fish farmers are not just selling fresh fish but are establishing processing facilities to add value to their production. This includes primary processing such as gutting, filleting, and freezing, as well as cold and hot smoking, and marinating. Highly value-added products such as salads and pate´s are also being manufactured. These products are often sold at an outlet on the farm, but also in local retailers, or mobile shops which can be parked, for example, at an outdoor market. These efforts may be contributing to Lithuanians steadily increasing consumption of fish, which has shot up from 14 kg per capita in 2007 to 23.6 kg in 2018, a rise of nearly 70ď&#x2122;&#x201A;.

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Programme to educate school pupils about ďŹ sh farming is an unqualiďŹ ed success

Farmed in the EU A project to teach school children about European ďŹ sh farming is part of the EUâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Farmed in the EU campaign to promote the aquaculture sector.


lobally, production from fish farming overtook that from capture fisheries in 2014. In the EU, however, there is still a long way to go before production from aquaculture even nears that from capture fisheries. In 2017 output from capture fisheries was more than four times that from aquaculture. The slow rate of progress is among the reasons that fish farming is being promoted in the EU.

Aquaculture needs to be promoted in Europe to correct misconceptions Globally, aquaculture is the most rapidly growing animal protein sector providing economic, social, and nutritional security to millions. Fish and seafood are nutritious, with healthful fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals and trace elements. And fish farming has less

Lina Golovac, Head of Finance Division of Fisheries Service; Aidas Adomaitis, Deputy Director of Fisheries Service; and Tomas Kazlauskas, Director of Fisheries Service, all under the Ministry of Agriculture of Lithuania. Agne Razmislaviciute-Palioniene, Head of Fisheries Unit; Darius Liutikas, Vice Minister; Adrija Gasiliauskiene, Advisor to the Fisheries Unit; Rimgaudas Peciukevicius, Specialist, all at the Ministry of Agriculture of Lithuania.

of an impact on the environment than most terrestrial animal farming. On the other hand, fish farming has its detractors who claim that farmed fish are full of antibiotics and doused in chemicals and, in the case of salmon, riddled with sea lice that have an impact on wild salmon stocks. Small wonder then that the EU is keen to disseminate factual information about fish farming, encourage the consumption of European farmed fish, and repudiate accusations made against the sector. Paintings, carvings, recipe books, and calendars were some of the artefacts produced by pupils inspired by what they experienced during the Farmed in the EU project.

European fish farming contributes to the development of local

economies particularly in farflung coastal and inland communities and is also a source of locally produced high quality, healthy, and sustainable seafood. About 80,000 people are employed either full time or part time in the sector. In addition, the majority of the seafood consumed in Europe is derived from imports, while only a tenth of European consumption is farmed in the EU. Increasing the share of EU-farmed seafood will reduce pressure on wild stocks, reduce the environmental impact of transporting farmed seafood from distant

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External lecturers were a hit with the pupils

The farmed in the EU project culminated in a prize-giving ceremony at the Dolphinarium, where the children were entertained by a pod of dolphins. For many of the kids it was THE highlight of the project.

destinations to Europe, decrease European reliance on imports and create jobs and growth in local economies. There are thus several good reasons to support the development of the European aquaculture sector. One of the challenges however is to make Europeans more aware of the sector and the benefits it provides, both to inform them about a source of food that is set to become increasingly important, but also to make them less susceptible to passionate but sometimes unfounded arguments against fish farming. The Farmed in the EU campaign seeks to inform consumers about fish farming across the EU and has been adopted at the national level in several countries. These campaigns are targeting school children from 12 (and sometimes younger) to 18 years in age by bringing them closer to the sector and showing them how it affects their local economy, what employment opportunities 34

it offers, and how it contributes to the environment and to food production.

A programme to promote ďŹ sh farming in Europe Among the countries that implemented the campaign in schools is Lithuania, where much of the infrastructure to carry out the project (contacts with the European Commission, drafting legislation, and finding partners) started in 2016. In this pilot project six schools were identified, and some 300 pupils between 7 and 14 years of age were divided into 12 groups. The schools were from all over the country and were largely from small towns and villages rather than big cities. One of the criteria behind selecting a school was that there should be a fish farm in the region, so that the children would not have travel far to visit a farm. The project was split into four phases: lessons for

the kids in the school; visits to aquaculture farms; and visits to professional schools, which provide courses or educational programmes in disciplines relevant to the sector. The school lessons covered several different topics including farming methods, species, and the use of fish as a protein source in consumer diets. The children were expected to use the material they gathered to create a project output, and in the final phase these were judged. To keep it reasonably focused the children were given four broad themes into which their projects could be categorised. These included nutrition and cooking, science and technology, communication, and art. The winners were then presented with their awards at a ceremony held at the national Dolphinarium and attended by all the children. To the pupilsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; great delight, the ceremony was hosted by a TV personality well-known for his childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s shows on television.

The Fisheries Unit at the Ministry of Agriculture under Agne Razmislaviciute-Palioniene was responsible for the planning and execution of the campaign, but other partners were also involved. Two scientists, Dr Egle Jakubaviciute and Dr Justas Dainys, from the Laboratory of Fish Ecology at the Nature Research Centre, a state research institute, were commissioned to give lessons related to aquaculture to the children in the schools. The scientists also introduced them to the Zeimena state hatchery, where salmon and sea trout are bred for restocking. At Zeimena the scientists explained what the different pieces of equipment were used for, how they functioned, and why they were important. In addition, the pupils were taken to a professional training centre, where students spend a year or two, depending on the programme, learning a profession of relevance to the aquaculture sector. Workers on a fish farm, for example, will typically be graduates from the professional training centre, though it also trains people who want to start their own fish farms. The lectures were adapted to two age groups, those for classes 1 to 4 which included a lot of fun and games, and those for classes 5 to 8 which were more serious. But the point was to inform the children about fish farming, the fish species, and the importance of eating fish. The degree of engagement varied, of course, from child to child, as well as from school to school and even from teacher to teacher. Some children were already aware of aquaculture, while for others it was completely new. Dr Jakubaviciute

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and Dr Dainys found that they had to sometimes adapt their lectures to the level of the class, for example, using the more advanced material for the younger children if it was a particularly gifted class. The response to the lectures varied too, with some children showing marked enthusiasm for the topic, while the response from others was more muted. But generally, Dr Jakubaviciute and Dr Dainys experienced that the children enjoyed the variety of being taught something new, by new teachers, and in a new way that included more fun and more activity. The scientists even had an eel and a tench with them in a small aquarium to show the children, who all found it fascinating.

The project was not an eyeopener for the children alone though. For Justas Dainys it was interesting to learn that people in small, remote parts of the country sometimes have quite different social and political values and ways of thinking from people that live in urban centres like Vilnius. Both he and Dr Jakubaviciute were struck by the difference a teacher can make to his or her pupils, who accurately reflect the teacherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s enthusiasm or, in some cases, the lack thereof. Also striking was that it was possible to tell from the children and their responses what sort of background they came from. For most of the children that participated in the project, the interaction was highly rewarding as it exposed

them to something new and interesting and showed them other ways of learning and doing things. So, for some at least, the project was not only about aquaculture and its importance, but also about exposure to new ideas, concepts, and people. The pilot has been a success by any reckoning, says Ms Razmislaviciute-Palioniene. The fact that there were so many outputs (recipe books, wood carvings, calendars, posters, drawings etc.) from the children, suggests that not only were they generally enthusiastic about the project, but also that they roped elder siblings, parents, and grandparents into their endeavours, for example, by getting recipes from them. In fact, children

from the project schools, who were not involved in the project were very curious about what their school mates were doing. The project thus had a wider impact than originally envisaged. As a result, for the school year starting in 2019 the budget has been expanded significantly so that the project can be extended to many more schools. The plan is to also include the private sector so that children can visit a real commercial fish farm and see how that works. Ms Razmislaviciute-Palioniene expects that the next stage of the project will be easier â&#x20AC;&#x201C; not only is the budget bigger, but now there is also a year of experience to build on, she says. In Lithuania at least, aquaculture is well on its way to becoming a household word.

The Vilnius School of Technology, Business and Agriculture

Sparking a long-term curiosity in pupils One of the school to participate in the Farmed in the EU programme was the Vilnius School of Technology, Business and Agriculture, the only school in the country that offers primary, secondary and a professional education, of which the latter qualiďŹ es a student to continue at university or to start a job. The school has pupils from 6 years old and cooperates with a school in Silute which has a programme in ďŹ sheries and aquaculture. Many of the students come from farming or aquaculture backgrounds so participating in the project was particularly interesting for them. Pupils in the age groups 7-11 and 12 years were part of the programme and received lectures about aquaculture, learned about the beneďŹ ts of eating ďŹ sh, drew and modelled ďŹ sh, and, perhaps most interesting of all, cooked a ďŹ sh soup, through which they gained an understanding of the nutritional value of ďŹ sh. The programme involved excursions which entailed a certain degree of shifting around in the timetable, but often the excursion would Pupils from the Vilnius School of Technology, Business and link different subjects, for example, history, geography, or English, to the Agriculture who participated in the Farmed in the EU project. ďŹ sh theme. In the view of the principal, it is important for children to learn Valdas Kazlauskas, the principal of the school is in the middle and about their surroundings. If one can ignite a ďŹ&#x201A;ame in them, they will conthe teachers responsible for the project, Sonata Kiseliauskiene, tinue to explore for themselves, he believes. The pupils themselves were third from left and Janina Velickiene, extreme right. very enthusiastic about the programme and could clearly remember the external lecturers who brought an eel and a tench in a small aquarium which stood on the pupils' desks during the lectures. They felt it was important to eat farmed ďŹ sh to â&#x20AC;&#x153;prevent wild ďŹ sh from becoming extinct,â&#x20AC;? but also for the nutritional content. The activities and, in particular, the excursions were very interesting, but there was universal agreement that the best part of the whole programme was the ďŹ nal ceremony at the Dolphinarium!

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Fish & Fish produces eel for the Dutch market

New products and expanded markets The natural stock of European eel is still suffering from severe depletion. According to ICES, glass eel and yellow eel recruitment declined steeply in the 30 years to 2010. In 2018 annual recruitment of yellow eel to European waters was less than a third of the average level in 1960 to 1979. Willem Dekker, an eel expert, currently working at the Department of Aquatic Resources, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, points to 2011 as a turning point when natural eel recruitment stabilised and small increases began.


he European eel is also a CITES Appendix II listed species, meaning that though it may not be threatened with extinction, trade is controlled. In the EU, international trade of European eel into and out of the EU is prohibited. The reasons for the decline in European eel populations are varied, though most are directly or indirectly caused by human interference, for example, commercial and recreational fisheries, hydropower stations on rivers, habitat modification, and pollution. Climate changes, predation, parasites and pathogens are among the natural factors affecting the European eel stock.

State-of-the-art production facility For eel consumers, therefore, farmed eels are the only alternative

to the wild catch. Eels are cultivated in several European countries. Currently, the only producer in Lithuania is Fish & Fish, a modern eel farm incorporating a state-of-the-art recirculation system producing eels of the highest quality. The eel life cycle is complex and starts as larvae in the Sargasso Sea, an area in the North Atlantic, from where they are carried a distance of some 5,000 km by currents to European shores where they metamorphose in to glass eels. As they enter fresh water the glass eels go through further changes becoming first elvers and then yellow eels. They remain in fresh water for between five and 20 years and then become silver eels which migrate back to the Sargasso Sea to spawn and die. The glass eels form the stock that is used by the eel farming industry to produce eels. They are caught by fishermen in five or six European

Eels resting on the frame are an indication that conditions in the tank and in the surrounding environment are satisfactory and so the ďŹ sh can relax. 36

Andrius Breive, Vice-chairman

countries, but predominantly in France. Martynas Greviskis, Business Development Manager, relates how the company has developed a product for the Dutch market, where eel is popular. The product is a smoked fillet made from an eel that is between 120 and 200 g in size and has been specially created for the Netherlands. This product is made at independent processors who brand the product themselves if it intended for the domestic market, but sell it under the Fish & Fish brand if intended for export. Market preferences for eel tend to vary from country to country. In Germany, for example, the preferred size is 400 to 600 g, and in the Baltic states and Poland consumers want eels that are upward of 800 g in size. Fish & Fish supplies most of its production to the Netherlands from where buyers

send their trucks to pick up live eels. The company is also developing the domestic market in Lithuania as well as exploring opportunities in Poland, both of them growing markets. Mr Greviskis is experiencing that for some potential customers the only factor that counts is the price. And although the import of European eels into Europe is prohibited, cheap imports of other eels species whose quality and taste is not the same do find their way on to the market. At Fish & Fish there is a strong focus on quality and as a result the price is a little higher, making it more difficult to compete with illegal imports.

Eels produced for consumption as well as for restocking The company buys glass eels usually from France though also on occasion from the UK in December

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Fish feed and the glass eels themselves are the two single biggest costs in the production.

and in April. However, the rate of development can be very uneven with some growing much more rapidly than others so that in nine months, they reach market size, while some even after two years are still like baby eels, says Andrius Breive, the vice-chairman. They can also reach a certain size, say 120 g, and then just stop growing, while others will grow to 2 kg or more. Apart from producing for

consumption the company is also involved in eel restocking though it is only a small part of their activities as the company is still young and it is focusing on stabilising the production and developing new markets. One of the challenges, according to Mr Greviskis is, that in the Netherlands retailers will not sell eel saying that it is an endangered species. That is one of the reasons why the company wants to have its production certified to the Sustainable Eel Group (SEG) standard. The SEG is an international body that brings together scientists, conservationists and commercial interests to conserve and manage the European eel. The standard that SEG has developed for industry demands that the eel being traded is responsibly sourced and managed and that the company using the standard is making a positive contribution to the recovery of the population of the European eel. SEG believes that a well regulated commercial eel sector, operating to the highest standards, can make a positive contribution to eel stocks, i.e. eel populations will improve and recover more quickly, by working to this standard than if there was no eel sector at all.

Focus on a more environmentally neutral production

Once they have grown in size and strength eels are moved into tanks equipped with feeders that they learn to operate themselves.

This year the farm was stocked with enough glass eels to reach a full production capacity, which is about 200-240 tonnes of market sized fish per year. The first batch of glass eels this year arrived in January and were about 0.3 g in size. By the end of May, however, many had reached about 10 g in size. The fish are graded at intervals to take into account the sometimes very different rates of growth they exhibit. For this a pipe is connected to the tank through which the fish can swim to the grading system. At the same

time a compressor introduces air into the water in the form of bubbles which float up into the grading system carrying the fish with them. The grader divides the fish into five weight classes. All the fish tanks contain a metal mesh on which the fish can rest. Resting fish are also an indication that they are not stressed, so that the more fish that are resting on the net, the better the conditions in the tank. The water flow through the system is driven by a single pump. Outlet water goes to the drum filter to be rinsed of particulate matter and is then pumped to a height of 15 m from where it flows into the biofilter using the force of gravity. From there it moves to be oxygenated and then goes back to the tanks flowing in both instances due to the pressure of gravity. The farm was designed this way partly to reduce expenses on energy, but also with the broader goal of creating a more environmentally friendly facility. In the same vein, water going out of the system is sent through a heat exchanger that extracts heat from the outgoing water which is at 24-26 degrees to warm up the incoming water from its 8-9 degrees. The parameters of the water are monitored constantly as any changes can have a mortal impact on the fish. Sensors measure the temperature, oxygen saturation, and pH, and the information is displayed on a screen. If the levels go above or

below threshold values it triggers an alarm system that is programmed to call a number. The respondent has to pick up the phone and respond to the call by listening to the message and punching a code in response, otherwise the system will keep calling. Because water quality is so critical it is also monitored manually at every tank. The system used to run the bigger tanks is exactly the same as that running the smaller tanks with the glass eels and fingerlings the only difference being that everything is at a larger scale including the drum filters, biofilter, and oxygen supply. Another difference is that the fish are expected to feed themselves. The feeders are equipped with a rod that, when touched, releases a small quantity of feed and the fish learn to operate this mechanism, so that they can take care of their own feeding requirements. Eels are fed with the highest quality specialised eel feed, which is imported from Denmark. Once the fish have reached their target weight of 140-220 g they are harvested and exported live to the Netherlands. Part of the production is allowed to grow to 1 kg or more and is sold on the domestic, Polish and Latvian markets. The company also sells eels for restocking, though these are usually not larger than 20 g.

Fish & Fish KaĹĄtonĹ&#x; g. 15, SkudutiĹĄkio k., SuginÄ&#x20AC;iĹ&#x; sen. 33322 MolÄ&#x201C;tĹ&#x; r. sav., Lithuania Tel: +370 677 84705 www.ďŹ shďŹ

Business Development Manager: Martynas Greviskis Vice-chairman: Andrius Breive Production: 200-240 tonnes per year Product: Live eel 140-220 g Markets: Netherlands, Lithuania, Poland, Latvia Employees: 6

EUROFISH Magazine 4 / 2019

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FishNet produces large trout for Lithuanian consumers

Processing facility to open soon The production of farmed trout has increased to become the second largest (following carp) in Lithuania. It is produced in raceways as well as increasingly in recirculation systems, which have the advantage of using relatively little water, and equally important, having little or no impact on the environment.


t FishNet, one of the largest producers of rainbow trout using recirculation systems in Lithuania, the fish are grown indoors in large basins and moved into external tanks when they reach between 250 and 450 g. The precise size depends on the buyers, who may prefer bigger or smaller fish within that range. Ultimately, the company will produce fish of 1.5 to 2 kg, though currently, in its first year of production, the largest individuals are 800 g. Most of the buyers are processors who will use the fish as raw material for gutting, filleting, or freezing operations. But FishNet has its own plans for processing, says Ricardas Stuglys, the director, pointing to a construction site a few meters away. This is where a processing facility will be established in autumn, where the company will be gutting and filleting some of the production.

Plans for a three-fold increase in capacity Currently the main market is in Lithuania, but this year the company exhibited at Seafood Expo Global, where they made contact, among others, with processors from Poland and Germany, who represent potential new markets. The company plans to triple its existing production of about 200 tonnes a year. To do this, two more production units will be built taking the total production to over 600 tonnes a year and making FishNet easily 38

the biggest producer of trout in Lithuania, where total production is currently around 500 tonnes annually. The facility today is for on-growing says Egidijus Leliuna, who is responsible for production. The company buys juveniles from Denmark at 20-30 g in size and introduces them into the system. The current batch that has now reached about 800 g is based on juveniles that were introduced into the system in August 2018. The aim is the fish should grow from 20-30 g to 1.5 kg in about 12 months. This may of course vary depending on the temperature of the water. The optimal temperature is 16 degrees C, but in winter the temperature tends to be lower which reduces the rate of growth. The farm uses ground water which usually comes in at a constant temperature of 8 degrees C. As it is used in the production the water gets a little warmer reaching some 13 degrees. Even when the temperature outside is minus 10 degrees the water temperature in the production is never less than 10 degrees, says Mr Leliuna.

The tanks outside are used for the storage of ďŹ sh that is ready for the market. Once the system is fully up and running ďŹ sh for sale will be between 1.5 and 2 kg.

Fine tuning the system will increase the degree of recirculation The water is not free. At the end of each year the company reports how much water has been used and has to pay for its consumption. Most recirculation systems use some degree of fresh water. At FishNet the degree of recirculation is 60ď&#x2122;&#x201A;, that is, of the entire volume of water in the system about 40ď&#x2122;&#x201A; fresh water is added every 24 hours, making it a semi-intensive recirculation

Ricardas Stuglys, the director of FishNet

system rather than an intensive one. The farm is brand new and hence some fine tuning remains to be done, but once everything is running smoothly the aim is to increase the degree of recirculation. Mr Stuglys adds that the tax on the water is not entirely fair because pond fish farmers who use surface water pay 100 times less for the water they use. This has consequences for the competitiveness of recirculation system-produced fish and so forces producers of this fish to increase the degree of recirculation.

Egidijus Leliuna is responsible for the ďŹ sh production

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The system was conceived by a Danish consultant but was built by FishNet using Danish technology and uses methods that are common in Denmark to treat the outlet water, for example. This is first filtered and then flows into a lagoon where plants remove dissolved nutrients from the water which then continues into a canal leading to a river. In the future the company will consider using plants that can be harvested and used for purposes other than just for absorbing the nutrients from the water, but for now the focus is on the fish production and making that as efficient as possible. The sludge from the drum filters is sent to a sludge tank, where the water is evaporated, and the dried sludge can be sold to farmers as fertiliser. The amount is currently too small to be used for bioenergy production, but if production expands using the sludge to generate energy may be viable. The farm is located in 15 ha of area in the Trakai district about 40 km south of Vilnius and a long way from any habitation. The area which is without metalled roads was selected because of its abundant supply of groundwater.

Water driven around the system with an airlift Indoors, the farm has four basins each with about 300 cubic m of water, which circulates in the system using an airlift rather than pumps, something that is relatively new in Lithuania. An airlift uses compressed air to move water and does not use electricity making it very economical to run. They are also used on fish farms in Denmark and Poland, among other countries. Liquid oxygen is used to saturate the water which is contained in the four tanks each of which has a

capacity of 20-25 tonnes of fish. The standing stock amounts there to a maximum of 100 tonnes of fish. But production is more than this because the fish is growing. Density currently is about 70 kg/cubic m, but when the fish grow to the desired 1.5 to 2 kg density will increase to a maximum of 85 kilos per cubic m. The density limiting factor is probably the level of oxygen in the water. The airlift system does not contain the same kind of pressure that can be found in pump-driven systems using oxygen cones and this reduces the amount of oxygen that can be delivered to the water. The fish tanks are equipped with automatic feeders which feed the fish at pre-determined intervals. The fish are graded regularly so that the fish in the tanks are a more or less uniform size. The grader can handle up to 6 tonnes of fish an hour allowing one tank to be graded in a day. Fish do not grow at the same rate so that in each tank there will be some fish that grow slower or faster than the others. Because the production is still in its first year the grading tends to depend on the sales. Once these stabilise, the production cycle will also stabilise, and grading will be a fully integrated step in the overall production. The water within a tank is constantly circulating propelled partly by the system and partly by the fish themselves who by swimming create a flow of water. The bottom layer of the water which contains any uneaten food particles, faecal matter, etc. goes to the back channel which leads to the drum filter. The system is equipped to give real time information on parameters such as oxygen concentration and water levels in the tanks and can send an alarm if they fall below critical levels.

Rainbow trout is the second most produced ďŹ sh in Lithuania after common carp.

The feed used is from a major Danish manufacturer and while the company is satisfied with its performance under the current conditions it will be monitored closely when the density in the tanks increases. The next batch of fish enters the system in July or August depending on how sales are developing.

Biosecurity a priority Thanks to the closed system, the use of ground water rather than surface water, and biosecurity measures, disease has not been an issue on the farm. The fingerlings that are introduced into the tanks too are certified disease free. All possible precautions

are taken, because Mr Stuglys and Mr Leliuna are aware that once disease enters the system it spreads very fast and eliminating it entirely from the system can be a major challenge, particularly as in Lithuania there is currently no education in fish pathology, according to Mr Leliuna. As a result, when necessary, the company consults with veterinarians from abroad, usually those employed by fish feed producers. The aquaculture sector in Lithuania is small but growing; infrastructure such as an education in fish pathology, and facilities for studying fish diseases and their treatment will need to be established if it is to thrive in the long run.

FishNet Tarpupio g. 29, Mamavys 21169 TrakĹ&#x;r. Lithuania Tel.: 370 678 83328 ricardas@ďŹ www.ďŹ

Production: 200-250 tonnes per year Product: Gutted ďŹ sh on ice in 5 kg styrofoam boxes Fish size: Up to 2 kg Markets: Lithuania Employees: 4

Director: Ricardas Stuglys Operations manager: Egidijus Leliuna EUROFISH Magazine 4 / 2019

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Vasaknos supplies the domestic market with fresh ďŹ sh, and hot and cold smoked products

Fully integrated from farm to fork The Lithuanian ďŹ sh farming sector has over the years become increasingly diverse. Pond farms producing freshwater species, carps, pike, Chinese carps, pike perch, and roach among others are the most numerous, but production of rainbow trout has been increasing as has that of some exotic species such as sturgeon, eel and African catďŹ sh. Many farmers combine farming with processing to add value to the product thereby increasing the returns they can expect from their operations.


asaknos is a good example of this. Under Algirdas Siukscius, the director, the company first invested in a processing plant five years ago drawing on support that was available for this kind of initiative from the European Fisheries Fund, the forerunner of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). Today the processing facility processes all the products that are produced on the farm â&#x20AC;&#x201C; carp, trout, and sturgeon.

Processed ďŹ sh is entirely from own production The plant processes a number of species. Neringa Bagdanaviciene, head of production, says different varieties of carp, trout, eel, and a couple of species of sturgeon (Siberian and sterlet) are the main types of fish to be processed. Most of the fish that goes through the processing plant is produced on the farm, except for eel which is fished in the nearby lakes. The Vasaknos farm is located in Zarasai, an area known as Lithuaniaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lake district, as it has over 300 lakes, including four of the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest, and eight rivers. The volume of eel that is processed has increased over the five years that the processing plant has been in operation as demand for the product has grown. However, the dominant raw materials are common carp and sturgeon. The fish is not just 40

headed, gutted, cleaned and cut, but is also smoked in different forms â&#x20AC;&#x201C; whole, butterflied, fillets, or portions. The sturgeon that are processed are male sturgeon between three and five years of age, and, according to Ms Bagdanaviciene, Siberian sturgeon is the best species of sturgeon for this purpose.

Value added products take many forms While certain parts of the processing are done with machines, for example, filleting large trout or carp, most of the primary processing is manual. Vasaknos is aware of the importance of creating employment in this largely rural area as apart from providing the local population with jobs it also gives people an alternative to migrating to cities or abroad in search of work. The benefits cut both ways for if people know that there are jobs available, they will be encouraged to stay on, giving companies like Vasaknos a wider range of options to choose from. The trout that are filleted on the machine are large with an average weight of 1.5 kg though some of the fish weigh up to 2 kg. The headless fish is fed to the machine and comes out at the other end as fillets. The pin bones must be removed by hand, however. Carp can also be filleted in the machine, but because it is a bony fish, the fillets are placed in another machine that will cut the

Algirdas Siukscius, Director of Vasaknos, feels that live ďŹ sh will not be sold in supermarkets for much longer.

small bones that are embedded in the flesh, so they do not bother the consumer. Apart from smoking the fillets Vasaknos has also developed other value-added products. For summer cooking, for example, fillets are marinated

with herbs to create a product that can be grilled on a barbecue. Another item is a shashlik made of sturgeon, where cubes of sturgeon meat are alternated with vegetables on a skewer which can then be placed on a grill.

Filleting is mechanical with the ďŹ nal trimming done by hand. However, manually produced ďŹ llets give a better yield.

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Alder wood chips for colour and taste Before smoking the fish is salted either by placing the fish in a solution or by covering it in dry salt, a process that takes several hours. The dry salting process is used when the product is to be cold smoked or when the client demands it. It gives a slightly different finished product, one that is more reminiscent of a home-made item, than when it is cold smoked. After the salting process the fish is washed and dried, before being introduced into the smoking chamber. Here chips from alder wood are used, the smoke from which gives a distinct colour and taste. The fish is either hot or cold smoked depending on the clientâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s requirements; the difference being one of time and temperature. Once smoked the fish is removed from the chamber and allowed to

The company has a ďŹ&#x201A;eet of four mobile shops that are deployed at open air markets at weekends.

cool for a couple of hours before it is packaged. This takes different forms â&#x20AC;&#x201C; modified atmosphere, vacuum, and also simply in styrofoam boxes for sale at local retail outlets. The smoked products in styrofoam boxes are more popular than the modified atmosphere or vacuum packaged fish, but the latter extends the shelf life of the product and is useful when transporting the fish over long distances. Both the modified atmosphere and the vacuum packaging are used for fresh fish as well.

A smoked and spiced butterďŹ&#x201A;ied trout in vacuum packaging. The other alternatives are modiďŹ ed atmosphere or a styrofoam box.

Vasaknos has a collaboration with a canning company based in Klaipeda to which it supplies raw material. The agreement is that the cans produced by this company appear under its own brand as well as the Vasaknos label allowing Vasaknos to expand its range of products to include cans (of sturgeon, eel and carp). Retail prices for the cans vary between EUR1.60 for 230 g of carp to EUR3.90 for

sturgeon, while eel is somewhat more expensive. The company is considering its own production line for cans in the future and has in fact established a space for the machinery. If they do decide to invest in a canning line they will seek support from the EMFF. While most buyers are local shops and retailers, the company also sells to supermarkets though this is mainly live fish. But according to Mr Siukscius, the days of selling live fish in supermarkets in Lithuania are numbered on account of the impact on the wellbeing of the fish. The tanks in which they are stored are small and the density is high, so the public and NGOs exert pressure on the retailers to change these practices. In any case it is typically the older generation that buys live fish, younger consumers prefer prepared fish as it is far easier to deal with. In Poland too the sales of live fish are dwindling, which has had

EUROFISH Magazine 4 / 2019

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direct consequences for Vasknos. The company exported some 300 tonnes of live fish to Poland last year but only 200 tonnes this year. The difference of 100 tonnes is now being processed and sold locally. Of the roughly 4,500 tonnes of carp produced in Lithuania, only about half is consumed, and the rest is exported live mainly to processors in Poland and Latvia. The companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s market is mostly in the north east region, where it is located, but also in Vilnius, the capital, some 150 kilometres to the south, and in Moletai, between Vilnius and Zarasai. The company

has three of its own outlets located in the region and in additional has four mobile shops that travel to a fixed point each day to promote and sell the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fish though only at open farmersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; markets over the weekend. Mr Siukscius has noticed that demand for carp is declining, while that for sturgeon is increasing. However, he is not placing all his bets on sturgeon. His latest diversification is ponds for recreational catch and release fishing for trout, which he envisages will be attractive not only for individuals but also for companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wanting to entertain their employees.

Vasaknos Zarasai District LT-32311 Vasaknos Lithuania Tel./Fax: +370 385 56165 Email: Director: Mr Algirdas Siukscius Head of Production: Ms Neringa Bagdanaviciene Hatchery manager: Jaunius Valiukend Activities: Farming, processing, supplying ďŹ sh for restocking

Area of ponds: 160 ha and 700 ha in two locations Species: Carps, rainbow trout, sturgeon, eel Processed products: Hot and cold smoked ďŹ sh, fresh ďŹ sh Raw material usage: 10 tonnes per week Packaging: Vacuum packaged, MAP, styrofoam boxes Markets: Lithuania Mobile shops: 4 Employees: 11 (processing), 3 (hatchery)

New hatchery ensures a steady supply of young ďŹ sh

Quality control from egg to ďŹ nal product Vasaknos has recently invested in a hatchery, where currently sturgeon and northern pike are being bred. The company farms both species, the former in raceways using a recirculation system and the latter in traditional earthen ponds. The broodstock are taken from among the farmed ďŹ sh. In the case of sturgeon, they are allowed to grow to 8-10 kg and then brought into the hatchery and adapted over the course of a few weeks to a high-quality ďŹ sh feed and a higher water temperature. A compound is used to trigger spawning and the ďŹ sh eggs and sperm are placed in McDonald jars, a glass container designed for this purpose. The different units in the hatchery use typical recirculation systems with mechanical and biological ďŹ lters, an oxygen supply, carbon dioxide removal, and disinfecting ultraviolet lamps. However, the conďŹ guration changes slightly depending on whether the system is used for broodstock, eggs, or on-growing of the ďŹ sh. The hatchery is a much more efďŹ cient way of breeding ďŹ sh than letting it happen naturally in the wild, says Jaunius Valiukend, an aquaculture technologist who is the hatchery manager. Allowing the pike breed in the ponds, for example, will result in a survival rate of the larvae of 1-2%, while in the hatchery that increases to 80%. For sturgeon the reproduction process is carried out two times at the beginning of the year with about a month in between, and the broodstock is then returned to the raceways. In the McDonald jars the eggs and the sperm are mixed together with a compound that prevents the eggs from agglutinating. The water in the jars is kept at a temperature of between 15 and 18 degrees and after 7-8 days the eggs hatch. Shortly Jaunius Valiukend, the hatchery thereafter the larvae are moved to tanks that are connected to another recirculation system. Here, because manager, with a net full of Siberian sturgeon juveniles. the ďŹ sh spend longer in the system and are fed constantly, the system is bigger. There are two biological ďŹ lters, a drum ďŹ lter to remove larger particles, an oxygen cone, a degassing tower for the removal of carbon dioxide, and UV lamps for eliminating parasites and bacteria. The ďŹ rst feed that the sturgeon larvae are given is artemia, a tiny crustacean that is also grown at the hatchery. The stage at which the ďŹ sh are removed from the tanks varies and could be from 10 to 100 g. Because the pike are cannibals, they need to be sorted by size periodically and also maintained at a high density as that apparently prevents them from attacking each other. They are also fed constantly to further reduce this tendency. With the establishment of the hatchery Vasaknos can monitor the entire production process thereby ensuring a ďŹ nal product of the highest quality.


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The Vilkauda FLAG supports inland ďŹ shing and pond aquaculture

Obligation to create jobs slows implementation of strategy The EUâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 2014-2020 programming period saw the use of community-led local development (CLLD) as a tool for the implementation of a bottom-up strategy designed by the different stakeholders, industry, associations, local administrations, civil society organisations, NGOs, and others, in the local community.


hese different interests come together in a Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG). The idea is to focus on community needs and opportunities and on solutions devised at the local level. In the case of communities with a fisheries and aquaculture component implementing these solutions is supported by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). The objective of these strategies is to strengthen the local economy, create sustainable jobs, and reinforce social cohesion by creating networks and strengthening the interactions between residents in the local area.

FLAGs play a useful role in community development The support from the EMFF that is available to FLAGs is intended, among other objectives, for the sustainable development of fisheries, to stop and reverse the decline of coastal and inland fishing and aquaculture communities by creating greater value for fish products, to diversify fishermenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s activities, to encourage innovation, foster regional and international cooperation, defend the environment, and protect and promote the areaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cultural heritage. Lithuania, with 12 FLAGs, has more than either Estonia (8)

From left, Orinta Dicmone, assistant manager, Jurate Ciuknaite, manager, of the Vilkauda FLAG, and Vytautas Andriuskevicius, the director of the National Association of Aquaculture and Fish Product Producers, which is also a FLAG member

or Latvia (6), but the average budget per FLAG at EUR1.2m is considerably less than in Estonia (EUR3.5m) or Latvia (EUR2.5m). To an extent, the budgets also reflect the number of projects that have been selected for support, which in Estonia is 519, in Latvia 107, while in Lithuania it is only 18. The Vilkauda FLAG in Lithuania is located inland in the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s south east and includes the Moletai, Vilnius, and Salcininkai

districts and the Elektrenai municipality. The FLAG represents fish farming and inland fishing and includes among its members the National Association of Aquaculture and Fish Product Producers. Membership is divided into three categories, local municipalities, businesses, and NGOs, representatives of all of which are needed before a FLAG can be recognised officially. The companies are typically involved in aquaculture or

commercial inland fishing and are looking to the FLAG for support, for example, to modernise fish farms or invest in equipment. One of the goals of the FLAG is to create sustainable employment in the community, and there are obligations to achieve these goals. Currently, the FLAG is obliged to create 14 full time positions. Another priority that stands to benefit fish farmers is to invest in the farm either to modernise it or to establish processing facilities,

EUROFISH Magazine 4 / 2019

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or to invest in marketing measures. These marketing measures are however intended for the individual farmer or fisher rather than branding and marketing fish products jointly for all the producers in the FLAG.

Marketing Moletai as a ďŹ sheries district The start of the FLAG measure was delayed because the rules were only approved at the end of 2017 as the selection criteria for the selection of projects first had to be approved by a government committee. To date there have been six calls for applications and nine projects approved of which one has been completed and the remainder are being implemented. The completed project related to the purchase of a machine to harvest the cereal grown by one of the fish farmers to feed his fish. One of the projects being implemented by the Moletai district municipality seeks to promote Moletai, which has many lakes, as a fisheries region. There are in fact only three districts in Lithuania where inland fishing is a commercial activity and Moletai is one them. To start with, the municipality will erect a statue in the city centre that will convey this idea. Commercial inland fishing is for three species whitefish, smelt, and eel, while commercial fishing

for other species is not allowed in the lakes, says Vytautas Andriuskevicius, the director of the National Association of Aquaculture and Fish Product Producers, referring to a recent discussion in the national parliament where this issue came up. Projects that stand to benefit inland fishing are usually initiated by the local municipalities. They are intended to adapt the existing infrastructure to attract tourists to the region, for example, by building a small grill or smokehouse where anglers can cook or smoke the fish they catch directly after it is caught. This kind of project meets three of the EMFF objectives, it promotes the cultural heritage, attracts tourists to the area, and adds value to the catch (though in this case commercial fishers do not benefit). Many of the projects are in fact not initiated by companies seeking to benefit themselves but are intended more for the good of the wider public. Among the aquaculture projects there are several that are intended to renovate pond farms or buy equipment such as boats or pumps that will increase the efficiency of operations. Projects submitted by companies are entitled to a maximum of 50ď&#x2122;&#x201A; support subject to a ceiling of 104,000 euro and of those that have been submitted one has reached this limit while the others are smaller.

Focus should be on productivity enhancement rather than on job creation Orinta Dicmone, the manager of the FLAG feels the programme in general is beneficial to the local community and in particular during the last period (2007-13) when many companies modernised their facilities and improved the infrastructure. In the current period the challenge is the obligation to create jobs and maintaining them for at least 5 years. According to Mr Andriuskevicius the insistence on job creation is misplaced because what is more important is productivity and this is where the focus ought to be. If the jobs are not created it could result in sanctions, where a certain proportion of support received will have to be returned. Another challenge is that in many remote and rural areas finding potential employees is getting increasingly difficult as there are so few people to hire. And making it attractive for potential employees, by offering a higher wage and generous terms may

render the company economically inviable. The obligation to create jobs is only in the FLAG measure, says Ms Dicmone, fish farming companies could apply for support directly under the aquaculture measure (rather than through the FLAG) and not be subject to the same obligation. This need to create jobs is also why the FLAG is lagging behind with the implementation of its strategy as it is struggling to find beneficiaries none of whom want to commit to creating and maintaining jobs. Another issue Mr Andriuskevicius mentions, is the problem some companies have in paying their share of the project. They may not have the necessary liquidity themselves and they cannot get a credit from a bank because of the lack of acceptable collateral. He feels that countries with significant pond farming sectors should unite and present their arguments at the EU level for parity between pond aquaculture and agriculture with regard to subsidies. An idea that would resonate with pond farmersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; representatives across the EU.

Vilkauda FLAG S. Konarskio 49-614 03123 Vilnius Lithuania

Tel.: +371 85 213 2126

"Eurofish Magazine has helped share our aquaculture news with specialists worldwide and has been a reliable partner throughout the years. Thank you for your support." Kristian Moeller, Chief Executive Officer, GLOBALG.A.P., Germany Contact EUROFISH on +45 33377763 or to learn how we can help you effectively reach your audience.


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[ AQUACULTURE ] Aquaculture Today & Tomorrow. Unlock the Potential, 16-17 May 2019, Verona

Shaping a vision for European aquaculture development Aquaculture continues to grow faster than other major food production sectors reports the FAOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2018 (SOFIA). In the last few years this statement has become a motto for the European aquaculture sector to persuade local, regional, national and European regulators to develop consistent strategies and programmes to replicate global growth in the sector at the European level.


n 1956 only 1.2 million tonnes of farmed fish and seafood products were produced globally, a figure that climbed to 3.73m tonnes in 1976 (about 300ď&#x2122;&#x201A;), and to 26.54 million tonnes (about 700ď&#x2122;&#x201A;) over the next 20 years. Between 1996 and 2016 global aquaculture reached a peak of 80 million tonnes (about 300ď&#x2122;&#x201A;) and is still growing, while growth in the European Union lags far behind. In this context the International Organisation for the Development of Fisheries and Aquaculture in Europe (EUROFISH) in collaboration with the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM), the Italian Ministry for Agriculture, Food, Forestry Policies and Tourism, and the Italian Fish Farmers Association (API), organised a conference to discuss the future of European aquaculture as seen by a wide range of stakeholders. The international conference â&#x20AC;&#x153;Aquaculture Today & Tomorrow. Unlock the Potentialâ&#x20AC;? was attended by more than 100 participants from 28 countries.

Current status and challenges: realising aquacultureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s potential Fabio Massa, Senior Aquaculture Officer at GFCM, looked at the Mediterranean and Black Sea

Final panel participants at the conference, Aquaculture Today & Tomorrow, Unlock the Potential, held in Verona, Italy in May 2019.

countriesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; aquaculture which directly and indirectly employs 450,000 people, comprises more than 35,000 farms, and generates about USD6.2 billion from more than 100 aquatic species. The GFCMâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s strategy for the sustainable development of Mediterranean and Black Sea aquaculture includes building an efficient regulatory and administrative framework to secure sustainable aquaculture development, enhancing interactions between

aquaculture and the environment while ensuring animal health and welfare, and facilitating market-oriented aquaculture and enhancing public perception. Achieving this means having an inclusive, transparent, and participatory approach and better communications between all stakeholders. This will not only improve and simplify the regulatory schemes, which should be based mainly on self-regulation, but will provide also the scientific 


support for sustainable aquaculture development and for increasing social acceptability of aquaculture which is nowadays affected by various misconceptions and a lack of robust data. One of the most debated subjects all over the world is climate change and its impact on global food security. Graham Mair, Aquatic Genetic Resources Programme leader, FAO said that â&#x20AC;&#x153;although aquaculture is



[ AQUACULTURE ] not benign with regard to contributions to greenhouse gases its impacts on climate change are not likely to be significant relative to other impacts on the environment and the relative impacts on aquacultureâ&#x20AC;?. There is a wide range of positive, neutral and negative effects on aquaculture which are taking place over different time and spatial scales and the main problem will be tackling their cumulative effects. Some of the ways of boosting the European aquaculture even within this uncertain context were identified by Marco Gilmozzi, President of the Federation of European Aquaculture Producers (FEAP). The European Union produces 2.6 kg of seafood per capita while the global average is 10 kg/capita and Norway produces 280 kg/ capita. By 2050 the main source of fish for human consumption will be aquaculture (75ď&#x2122;&#x201A;). But the question, addressed by many speakers, is how can the EU join this growth? According to FEAP, we need institutions to reduce bureaucracy and licensing time, we need rules to increase traceability and to achieve a level playing field.

Growth in EU aquaculture will continue to lag that in Asia With one third of the wild stocks still overfished aquaculture is considered to be the optimum seafood source for consumption. Short term prospects for aquaculture by 2030 were presented by Adrienne Egger, FAO Fishery Officer responsible for statistics on fishery and aquaculture utilization, consumption, production, and trade. Freshwater inland fish farming dominated by carps and other freshwater diadromous fish and molluscs will be the engine of aquaculture growth in the next

decade, but Asia will still lead this growth and Europe will still not meet its potential, mainly due to uncertainties such as availability of sites and water resources, diseases, financial resources or regulations. As new concepts are trying to conciliate development and the environmental concerns, such as circular economy, the participants were offered the Norwegian salmon industryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s approach by Mari Moren, Research Director at the Norwegian Institute of Food, Fisheries and Aquaculture Research (NOFIMA). The research at Nofima focuses on two approaches: using better what we already use and using well what we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t use yet. And as the salmon industry is based mainly on high protein diets the main challenge was to explore alternative protein sources such as marine low trophic species by products or other aquatic organisms, fish processing trimmings, land animal by-products, insects, plants and single cell bacteria or fungi. The concept refers not only to the inputs but also to the outputs and identified the sludge as a potential land fertiliser, biogas source and compost producing. The use of salmon by-products for various industries from bioenergy to cosmetics and pharmaceuticals has been explored and assessed.

Sustainable aquaculture practices and innovation The husbandry of aquatic organisms developed in the last four millennia as a response to the need to have seafood for human consumption at the right time, in the proper quantity and with the appropriate freshness. The second session of the conference was dedicated to the innovative

development of different types of aquaculture and to the rediscovery of old practices which still fit into the new concepts. One of the most dynamic aquaculture sectors in the Mediterranean and Black Sea basin is found in Turkey and for this reason Sinan Toplu, a marine biologist and cofounder of ASC Aquaculture JC, provided an insight to the Turkish cage farming and off-shore mariculture. Between 2008 and 2018 Turkey succeeded to almost double its production from 150 thousand tonnes to about 300 thousand tonnes farming three main fish species: rainbow trout, seabream and seabass. Exploiting the tremendous carrying capacity of open seas was the main reason for the growth rate registered by the Turkish aquaculture sector. Not only is climate change influencing the aquaculture production but also the market is changing permanently, and farmers must adapt to all these challenges. Marco Fuselli and Paola Salvador from Treviso Fish Producers, Produttori Ittici Trevigiani (PIT) a three-generation old company dealing with trout farming and processing in Italy, explained their approach on tackling both pressures. Apart from diversifying the production of rainbow trout from white trout classical size to pink trout at higher portion size which has been very well received by the consumers, they also opted for producing at high standards and short chains. They are also preparing the future consumers, the millennials, by using packaging with little environmental impact, easy to use and with an extended shelf-life and by promoting a better communication with schools and parents through nutritional education, farm visits and training.

Innovation contributes to aquacultureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sustainable development Another example of the role of innovation as a tool to responsibly develop aquaculture came from Hungary, where intensive pond fish farming can be sustainable. BĂŠla Halasi-KovĂĄcs, director of Szarvas Research Institute for Fisheries and Aquaculture (HAKI) stressed the importance of pond fish farming not only for fish production per se, but also as a mean of recycling nutrients discharged by more intensive systems such as recirculation aquaculture systems (RAS) or intensive pond monoculture farming. Strong scientific arguments were presented showing that multifunctional fishponds are a unique segment of European aquaculture, a good example of a circular economy, and a net provider of ecosystem services that contribute to the achievement of Natura 2000 and Water Framework Directive goals. In fact, at global level, the pond freshwater fish farming is still the main engine for aquaculture growth and production volumes of carps are the highest of any species. In order to understand the present and to shape the future of aquaculture an interesting perspective of the history of fish farming was provided by CÄ&#x2026;tÄ&#x2026;lin Platon, President of the Romanian Fish Farmers Association (ROMFISH). The development of freshwater fish farming in Europe was linked for more than eight centuries to common carp as historical data shows. Concepts as multitrophic aquaculture or circular economy are not new, the use of different species having different nutritional niches or the use of pond muck to fertilize non-productive arable land were known since the Middle Ages. The reasons that European




[ AQUACULTURE ] aquaculture is not a part of global growth were identified as bureaucracy and multiple layer regulation, poor access to marine and inland water, and the lack of long-term development policies and strategies dedicated to aquaculture.

RAS are an answer to constraints on space and water One of the responses to difficult access to space and water is the recirculated aquaculture systems. A very comprehensive insight into the actual status and the perspectives for RAS was offered by Eva Kovacs, international expert on inland fisheries and aquaculture at FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia. The advantages of RAS for some species and some areas are obvious, but as in any other production system, there are some aspects that should be considered in order to avoid failures. In aquaculture one size doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t fit all and that is why research and innovation is needed to constantly improve. One of the new challenges of RAS is decreasing the environmental impact using integrated multitrophic aquaculture (IMTA) by recycling discharged nutrients, which has been investigated by HAKI. Another important segment of European aquaculture is shellfish farming and the current status of the Italian shellfish sector was described by Giuseppe Prioli, President of the European Mollusc Producers Association. The shellfish producers identified the same constraints for development as the entire European aquaculture sector, such as excessive bureaucratic burden, lack of legislation dedicated to aquaculture (marine or freshwater), acknowledgement of

environmental services provided by filter-feeder species, spatial planning and allocation zones for aquaculture. The second major contributor to global aquaculture production after finfish inland farming is aquatic plant farming which reached in 2016 an output of 30.1 million tonnes. Miguel Sepulveda, a marine biologist and coordinator of the Mariculture Program for SELT Marine Group in Tunisia, Mozambique and Zanzibar described seaweed farming and industrial processing for obtaining natural polysaccharides used in a wide variety of applications in the food and pharmaceutical industries. A very useful perspective of the European organic aquaculture niche market was offered by Dominique Aviat, founding director of AND International (France), also involved in the design and the development of EUMOFA, the first market observatory of fisheries and aquaculture products in the EU. The core of the presentation was based upon the first attempt to assess the importance of EU organic aquaculture at EU level and for each of the Member States. The study has shown that the share of organic production in the EU is still low, 3.9ď&#x2122;&#x201A; (in volume) as there is a reluctance among retailers towards organic fish because consumers do not clearly differentiate between organic and environmentalfriendly, and because farmers see organic as a niche market which cannot provide economies of scale, yet.

Expanding the farmed seafood market A successful market for aquaculture products requires a proper match between the values of the products with the values looked for by consumers. Katia Tribilustova, market analyst at

EUROFISH, provided an edifying overview of aquaculture products and markets, focusing on the main species produced by the European aquaculture, dominated, by far, by Atlantic salmon. Even with an 10ď&#x2122;&#x201A; average increase of EU production between 2012 and 2017 of marine species (mussels, Atlantic salmon, gilthead seabream and European seabass) and also of freshwater species (carps), extra EU imports of Atlantic salmon, gilthead seabream and European seabass, continue to increase, while the EU continues to be self-sufficient in mussels, trout and carp. Products, whether from inside or outside the EU, all need to be packaged appropriately. Packaging is not only a method for preserving the freshness, the taste and flavours of seafood but also a way of communicating to the customer, a condition for itemization and an opportunity to differentiate the product by adding a personal touch. Gonzalo Campos, Fish Marketing Manager, Spain, Europe Sealed Air Food Care, presented the novelties in seafood packaging as tools for transforming fish commodities in value-added seafood nutritional concepts and develop sales in new markets. An interesting insight into consumer demands and perceptions in Italy was offered by Andrea Fabri, Director of the Italian Fish Farmers Association (API). The decision to buy or not a certain aquaculture product is strongly influenced by media in all its classical or modern forms. Lots of more or less real information about aquaculture is released continuously overwhelming the farmers capacity to react. Some of the solutions, like labelling and certification, induce, in many cases, more confusion. An important role in clarifying this 


confusion rest upon farmersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; organisations which by developing codes of good practices and communicating them to the consumers is expected to improve their awareness that the European aquaculture products are respecting the social, environmental and welfare rules. Adding value to the farmed products and, more importantly, capturing it for the farmerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s benefit was the core issue for Tomasz Kulikowski, National Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Poland, and the editor of the Polish Fish Industry Magazine, who analysed these mechanisms for carp and trout markets in Poland. Some of the proposed solutions for capturing the added value at the farmers level which could be tackled individually or combined are the vertical integration of the process, a diversification strategy, science, innovation and production reorientation and the joint activities of producersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; organizations.

Certification can help overturn prejudices Aquaculture is often falsely linked with hazards and risks to occupational, environmental, food safety and public health. Because the complexity of aquaculture in terms of species, techniques, environments and technologies the public perception is strongly affected by these generalizations. One of the tools intended to overturn the negative coverage of aquaculture in the press related to aquaculture is the certification and detailed data beyond the required audits in order to be granted with one of the multiple schemes available on the market were presented by Melanie Siggs, Director of the Global Aquaculture Alliance. During the conference presentations lots of solutions were identified to increase the role of European



[ AQUACULTURE ] aquaculture in consumersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; preferences, but at the core of these solutions are the producersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; organisations (PO). Pier Antonio Salvador, President of Italian Fish Farmers Association, explained the role and mission of a PO both in terms of increasing farmers knowledge, competences and science-based actions and in terms of the dialogue with all the stakeholders which are influencing the viability of the sector. According to Pier Antonio Salvador the aquaculture sector is like an orchestra where the farmers are the violins, the R&D is flutes, oboes, bassoons and clarinets, politicians are the brass wind instruments, the public administration is trumpets, trombones and tubas, the NGOs are the percussion, the media is the timpani section, other stakeholders are the guitars, pianos, harps and basses. Everybody is wondering who is writing the sheet music and who is conducting the symphony! The three sections of the conference were followed by a panel discussion on sustaining the future of aquaculture and aquaculture products that was moderated by Steve Chaid, TV and radio presenter, Austria. One of the main challenges to the future of European aquaculture, as Katia Tribilustova mentioned several times during the debate, is improving the public perception of aquaculture products. This is a task not only for the producers, but also for the administration and other stakeholders. The Fourth Industrial Revolution has to be used also by aquaculture as a tool for improved communication and refined marketing strategies based on AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) concept according to Kadu Melo,

Executive Creative Director at BMO Tactile Branding, Spain. Aquaculture producers are mainly micro or small/medium enterprises, as pointed out by Giuseppe Prioli, and for that reason are not financially strong enough to support promotional campaigns at the level of other industries. So, as Tomasz Kulikowski sees it is more important to have a good communication strategy developed by aquaculture producers in order to provide the consumers with a reliable information about a high-quality farmed product. Mari Moren highlighted that an important part of the communication strategy on aquaculture must be based on scientific data and the researchers must join the farmers in building up trust and increasing the authenticity of their messages.

Aquacultureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s complexity creates layers of bureaucracy The future of European aquaculture depends on every stakeholder involved in this sector, because an aquaculture strategy should not be only for the public authorities responsible for aquaculture but also for the ones responsible for environment or water management. The complexity of the sector generates a multilayer governance which in most cases is the origin of the growth-hindering bureaucracy. Things are to be done by the administration at all levels like simplifying the access to inland or marine waters and the licensing procedures including water management, environment and aquaculture practices. It is also very important that aquaculture research plays a more important role in shaping the public perception about farmed

products and the partnership between farmers and scientists must be increasingly supported and encouraged. This should contribute to the social acceptance of some forms for aquaculture which are often subject to fake or incorrect portrayal in the media. Social acceptance of aquaculture practices could also be increased by highlighting the socioeconomic role of the sector together with the environmental one. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important to emphasize also the importance of ecosystem services provided by aquaculture and the positive role played by fish or other aquatic organisms farming, in rural communities for the local development,â&#x20AC;? said Riccardo Rigillo, General Director Maritime Fisheries and Aquaculture in the Italian Ministry of Agriculture,

Food, Forestry Policies and Tourism, in his concluding remarks.

Better governance, more extensive research, and improved communication are critical The three main pillars of a vision for European aquaculture were mentioned by the speakers and the participants: more adapted, flexible and simpler governance, more research and innovation and better communication. These are key to the sustainable development of European aquaculture and should be considered by all policy makers and stakeholders. Catalin Platon, President of the Romanian Fish Farmersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Association (ROMFISH), catalin.platon

European institutions value the fish farming sector

Post-2020 EMFF will play a critical role in developing aquaculture At the European Parliament level, it is agreed that aquaculture is a very important sector, said Pier Antonio Salvador, and this vision must be assumed by all stakeholders and used as a starting point in all their strategies and policies. The importance of aquaculture relies not only on the quantity of ďŹ sh and other aquatic organismsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; production but also on the ecosystem services provided by some forms of aquaculture or farming techniques and technologies, such as pond ďŹ sh farming, integrated multitrophic aquaculture (IMTA) among others, and on its cultural and social dimensions in the society. One important step for developing a vision for aquaculture growth in EU is the new European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund 2021 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2027 which is being negotiated between the European Parliament, European Commission and the European Council. There is also a need for the strategic guidelines for the sustainable development of EU aquaculture to be evaluated and revised accordingly. National strategic plans for aquaculture development are a useful tool in assessing and reaching the potential of aquaculture sector in each Member State and the EC should coordinate these, promoting the exchange of good practices. All forms of dialogue between farmers and public administration and NGOs, including the conferences like this one organised in Verona should contribute to knowledge-sharing and understanding the needs of the sector and the requests of consumers.




[ FISHERIES ] International Arctic Forum, 9-10 April 2019, St. Petersburg

Preserving the Arctic ecosystem requires international collaboration The 5th International Arctic Forum in St. Petersburg, Russia on April 9-10, 2019 was titled Arctic: Territory of Dialogue. It brought together some 3,600 participants including top political leaders, scientists, business people and NGOs. The forum comprised 33 sessions arranged into three broad themes: coastal territories, the open ocean, and sustainable development. Ekaterina Tribilustova from EUROFISH International Organisation moderated a session on promising areas in the Arctic ďŹ shing industry under the sustainable development theme.


he Arctic is one of the most unique and primeval ecosystems in the world, and its exploration can be compared with investigation of the space system. Research and development of the Arctic is extremely difficult due to the inaccessibility of the region, the extremely harsh climate and the complexity of the work. Nevertheless, fisheries traditionally remain one of the main activities in the economy of the Arctic region. Present conditions demand the preservation of fisheries and a more reasonable, economic approach to the processing of fish products and transition to high value-added products. The conservation of the biodiversity of the Arctic seas, sustainable fisheries and aquaculture are essential to protect the fragile ecosystem of the region. The advance of aquaculture in the Arctic region requires a separate assessment. Important issues and objectives include development of marine terminals for the integrated servicing of fishing vessels, enhancement of port infrastructure, the ability to deliver fishery products from the Far East along the Northern Sea Route, application of modern technologies for new fishing vessels and the construction of new processing plants in the northern territories.

The session on promising areas of the Arctic fishing industry highlighted the importance of international collaboration and scientific research in all areas of activity in the Arctic if the fragile ecosystem is to be preserved.

The session Key Aspects of Promising Areas of the Arctic Fishing Industry brought together top officials from the Arctic and observer countries, including Vasily Sokolov, Deputy Head of the Federal Agency for Fisheries of the Russian Federation, Roy Angelvik, State Secretary of the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Fisheries of the Kingdom of Norway, Kristjan Thor Juliusson, Minister of Fisheries and

Agriculture of the Republic of Iceland, Scott Highleyman, Vice President, Conservation Policy and Programs, Ocean Conservancy, Igor Orlov, Governor of Arkhangelsk Region, Kjell Ingebrigtsen, Chairman of the Board, Norwegian Fishermenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Association, and Liu Xinzhong, Deputy Head, Bureau of Fisheries and Fishery Law Enforcement, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of the Peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Republic of China.

Climate change introduces threats but also opportunities in the Arctic Vasily Sokolov presented an overview of the main objectives and strategies of the Russian Federation in its Arctic fisheries policy. The national annual catch in the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation accounts for 250-260,000 tonnes, where

EUROFISH Magazine 4 / 2019




[ FISHERIES ] nearly all the volume is caught in the Barents Sea (99.85ď&#x2122;&#x201A;), and the remainder is caught in the White Sea (1ď&#x2122;&#x201A;) and the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation (0.15ď&#x2122;&#x201A;). The potential catch volume has been estimated at an addiional 100-150,000 tonnes. According to Mr Sokolov, there have been serious changes in the Central Arctic over the past decades, including a noticeable increase in the average annual temperature and melting of the ice cover. These developments, however, open up for new opportunities. For example, the relocation of a whole range of species above the 70th to 75th parallels north has been intensifying, enabling fishermen to target cod and shrimp. Another interesting example is the rapid growth of invasive crab populations, Kamchatka crab and snow crab, in the Barents Sea. Currently, their numbers allow commercial fishing, which brings revenues to companies and the state. An important aim in the Russian Federation is minimising fish waste. In order to achieve this, waste-free production is a requirement for new vessels which are built in Russia. Disposal of biological waste also requires more attention and research. Monitoring and research; construction of iceclass fishing and research vessels; infrastructure development on the coast of the Arctic Ocean, including ports, transport, processing facilities, and storage sites; creation of a system of state support for low-profit industries; artificial reproduction of the most valuable species; development of new technologies for fish processing, and development of ecological and fishing tourism are among the measures that will contribute to the development of the fisheries sector. 50

The plenary session of the Fifth Arctic Forum brought together top political leaders together with other stakeholders to discuss how to preserve the environmental integrity of the Arctic.

International cooperation in the Arctic region has a long history The Arctic has become a territory of strong international cooperation over the past two decades. The latest achievement of international cooperation in the Arctic was the Agreement on the prevention of unregulated fishing in the high seas area of the Central part of the Arctic Ocean. The agreement was concluded on October 3, 2018 between Russia, the USA, Canada, Denmark (for the Faroe Islands and Greenland), Norway, Iceland, Japan, China, the Republic of Korea and the European Union. The objective of the agreement is to create an international legal framework for the regulation of fisheries in the area. Norway is the only country in the Arctic region that has a common land border with Russia, and Russia and Norway have signed a series of bilateral agreements over the years, for example, on cooperation in the field of nuclear

safety or joint management of marine resources in the Barents Sea. Mr. Roy Angelvik, State Secretary for the Norwegian Minister of Fisheries, shared his views on the importance of NorwegianRussian cooperation in marine resource management. He highlighted that successful joint Russian-Norwegian regulation of common fisheries stocks in the Barents Sea should be a model to follow for effective management of fisheries resources. For many years, Russia and Norway have been working together on the basis of solid and stable principles that are already six decades old. The basis for such sustainable, environmentally friendly management of marine resources is joint research. For example, in the Barents Sea, the joint management of fish resources is being implemented successfully, illegal fishing is being combated, and as a result, fish stocks are not just not-depleted, but are increasing. This example of regional cooperation can be successfully applied on a global

scale, said Mr. Angelvik. He also noted that international cooperation is the best strategy for studying and interacting in the Arctic, and joint research gives scientists new information, facilitating decision-making. With Russia, we go hand in hand as partners, and our examples of regional cooperation, where we always learn something new, can be transferred to the global arena, strengthening the system of marine resources throughout the world, Mr Angelvik concluded. Representing the Norwegian Fishermenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Association, Kjell Ingebrigtsen indicated that Russian-Norwegian cooperation in the Barents Sea is the best joint fish resource management in the world. We can all agree with the indisputable success of the joint Russian-Norwegian commission, we are the world champions in the results of this activity, he said. He also noted the importance of not stopping at what had been achieved and continuing cooperation in this direction,



[ FISHERIES ] as strong and successful work in itself is not a guarantee of a cloudless future.

Conservation of biodiversity of the Arctic seas The key focus of the Russian Federation and the international community is on the conservation of the biodiversity of the Arctic seas and the sustainable development of fisheries and aquaculture. Without close cooperation, it is impossible to solve the problems related to climate change and the growing anthropogenic impact on the ecosystem. Scott Highleyman from the Ocean Conservancy noted the important role of the agreement on the prevention of unregulated fishing in the high seas of the central part of the Arctic Ocean in order to preserve the biodiversity of the Arctic seas and sustainable fisheries. Moreover, the implementation and the results of the work of the Arctic Forum and the Conference of Scientific Experts of the Parties to this agreement to stimulate research on the Arctic region, are extremely important. When it comes to the Arctic region, the media loves to talk about conflicts, but as far as this agreement is concerned, it is an excellent example of the opposite. It is an example of well-coordinated cooperation between the Arctic countries. The United States and Russia also have a long-term history of fruitful cooperation, Mr Highleyman added. Liu Xinzhong, the representative of the Peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Republic of China, which is an observer in the Arctic region, identified the key elements of Chinaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s policy in the Arctic. As a partner in the Arctic region, the country has a policy of sustainable fishing, taking careful consideration of the fragile and vulnerable system of

Some 3,500 people attended the Fifth Arctic Forum, which was split into three broad themes, coastal territories, the open ocean, and sustainable development, spread over 33 sessions.

the region. China is also involved in advising on the sustainable management of marine resources to improve the level of research on marine resource management. Other participants of the round table discussed topical issues from their national perspectives as well as global scope. Mr. Igor Orlov, Governor of Arkhangelsk Region, presented practical cases of development of infrastructure and prospects for distribution of fish products by the Northern Sea route. Mr. Joji Morishita, Professor at Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, discussed scientific cooperation on the prevention of unregulated fishing in the high seas of the Central part of the Arctic Ocean in order to preserve the biodiversity of the Arctic seas and sustainable fisheries.

International political and scientiďŹ c efforts can help preserve the Arctic ecosystem The key conclusions of the event included the importance

of preserving a unique ecosystem and biodiversity in the Arctic region based on international cooperation and the need to develop and maintain a responsible and scientific approach to the use of fish resources. The challenges facing the Arctic including negative anthropogenic impacts, global warming, the melting of the ice cover, as well as the reduction of the biological diversity of the oceans could be met if international collaborative scientific research underpins all activities in the area and countries adopt a responsible attitude towards this

fragile ecosystem. According to the Federal Agency for Fisheries of Russia, all cooperating countries in the Arctic region have a common responsibility for the conservation and rational exploitation of fish stocks. Progress depends on joint actions, including countering illegal fishing, preserving ecosystems, fishing sustainably, and undertaking scientific research. The agreement on the Central Arctic gives the opportunity to take further practical steps, as no individual nation can exploit this region alone, concluded Mr Sokolov.




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Fisheries and aquaculture in the Republic of Georgia

Anchovy and trout dominate production With a long tradition and a troubled past, the ďŹ shery and aquaculture industry of the Republic of Georgia remains alive, with hope for the future of aquaculture. However, many impediments hinder its growth.


he Republic of Georgia lies on the eastern end of the Black Sea and borders Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Turkey. Georgiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s land mass, including the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia controlled by Russia, totals 69,700 sq. km, and its coastline totals 310 km, two-thirds of which is Abkhaziaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s coastline. Its population in 2018 numbered 4,9 million, most of whom live in the capital, Tbilisi, and in municipalities along the Black Sea coast.

Fisheries are still reliant on anchovies Georgia has been independent since the dissolution of the USSR in 1991, an event which figures prominently in the modern history of Georgiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fishery and aquaculture industry. Prior to 1991, fishery harvests (all species

together) recorded as Georgian harvests in the Black Sea (and beyond, with Soviet distantwater fleets based in Georgia) grew rapidly during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, reaching a peak of 111,000 tonnes in both 1980 and 1981, before declining somewhat to 105,000 tonnes by 1988. Until 1990, fish production in the oceans (Atlantic and Indian) was 60-65 thousand tonnes per year, on the Black Sea coastline 80-100 thousand tonnes of anchovy, and in inland waters 2-3 thousand tonnes of freshwater fish. During this period, 19-21 million cans of various foods, 9,000 tonnes of smoked, salted fish, culinary semi-finished products and other products were manufactured. From the Black Sea anchovy both foodstuff and large quantities of minced fish for breeding animals was produced

in the fish farm. In addition, 5,000 tonnes of fish meal was prepared at sea fishing trails. With the dissolution of the USSR, however, most of the large-scale Soviet fleet left Georgian waters, and the new Republicâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fleet consisted largely of smaller-scale craft. Georgiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s recorded catch plummeted to 7,120 tonnes in 1991 but increased thereafter â&#x20AC;&#x201C; gradually at first â&#x20AC;&#x201C; reaching 25,000 tonnes in 2010 and 77,000 tonnes in 2017. The difficult socio-economic conditions created in the country since 1990, after demolition of Soviet Union, the lack of financial resources, the loss of banking and credit policies and the loss of the consumer market of the former USSR had a very negative impact on the fish sector of Georgia. Most of the fleet was sold to Ukraine, while the rest

was unreliable and because of the depreciation and increase in fuel prices they have been sold as scrap metal. In the year of the declaration of independence of Georgia (1991), the volume of products amounted to 61,000 tonnes, but by 1995 the index had fallen to 3,800 tonnes. There are unconfirmed reports that the actual annual production of fish products in Georgia in 1996-2002 fell to 2,500-3,000 tonnes, and some sources indicate that this figure was even lower and did not exceed 1,500 tonnes. In 1992-1993, Georgia stopped fishing.

Aquaculture: lots of trout, sturgeon and carp Along with the development of industrial fishing in the 1930s,

Export and import of ďŹ sh and seafood (excluding live ďŹ sh) in USD'000

The proportion of water bodies used for aquaculture purposes at the end of 2017 50000

0.6% Reservoir and natural waterbodies 51.6%


Ponds Pools

40000 30000 20000 10000 0






Source: National Statistics OfďŹ ce of Georgia (GEOSTAT)





2016 2017


Source: National Statistics OfďŹ ce of Georgia (GEOSTAT)




production together accounted for 42.7 percent of the total production of cyprinids.

Fish consumption in kg/capita/year




























Actual Consumption

Small-scale production of seafood products

Difference in relation to the minimum rate Source: National Statistics OfďŹ ce of Georgia (GEOSTAT)

Georgia laid the foundations for the development of aquaculture as well. From 1930 to 1950, fifty aquaculture farms were operating in Georgia, covering an area of 2,500 hectares. One of the problems during many years of the development of aquaculture in Georgia was an imperfect regulatory framework. This problem has gradually been solved in recent years. The Technical Regulations in the field of food and veterinary safety have been prepared and are already or will come into force in the coming years. A draft Law on Aquaculture has been prepared, which will soon be submitted to the Parliament of Georgia. The area of waterbodies used for aquacultures was 4,300 hectares

by the end of 2017, of which 2,225 hectares was pond area, 28 hectares pool area and 2,057 hectares reservoir and natural waterbodies area (a lake or part of a lake, part of a river and part of the sea). In 2017 Kakheti was the leading region in farmed fish production with a 35 percent share of the total fish production in the country, followed by Shida Kartli with 27 percent, Guria with 14 percent, and other regions, 24 percent. Nearly 2,040 tonnes of fish were produced in aquaculture holdings during the year 2017. Of this total, 57 percent was Salmonidae, 39 percent was Cyprinidae, and 3.7 percent was sturgeon. Rainbow trout has the highest share (98.3 percent) of total Salmonidae production. Silver carp and bighead carp

Chilled, frozen, baked, smoked and salted fish are produced in Georgia but the scale of their production is minimal. Canned fish production is still in its infancy in Georgia. In fact, industry experts say that the Georgian fish industry in general is still very young. The only exception is marine fishing, which is at an industrial scale. But this advanced part of the industry is mostly oriented towards export to Turkey, so the country gains only the minimum value from its Black Sea biological resources, in the forms of revenues of several licensees, taxes paid by them and salaries of a small number of crew employed in fishing. The size of the domestic fish market is closely tied to harvests of anchovies, the main species in commercial fisheries. Fish consumption in Georgia is quite low. According to the Minimum Food Basket, approved by the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Protection some years ago, the minimum consumption rate of fish products is 15 kg per year, which is significantly lower than the minimum of 23 kg

Black Sea quotas and catches by license holders

recommended by the World Health Organization.

Georgian association of licensed ďŹ shermen To ensure the protection of threatened or endangered animal species on the â&#x20AC;&#x17E;Red Listâ&#x20AC;&#x153; in Georgia and to maintain their diversity and viable populations, licenses to catch various species are issued by the Government of Georgia. The Government had adopted a decision on granting a long-term fishing license for catching in the Black Sea. For this purpose, an auction was announced, the result of which was the issuance of fishing licenses to registered companies in Georgia for 10 years. The Government then extended the fish catching license in the Black Sea from 2016 until 2026 for the same companies. In 2018 the Government made a further decision on prolongation of the license term from 2026 to September 1, 2036.

Licensed ďŹ shing companies and their share of the ďŹ shing quota Name


Sea Products


Geo Fish Company


Paliastomi -2004


Iceberg - 2




90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0

2006-2007 2007-2008 2008-2009 2009-2010 2010-2011 2011-2012 2012-2013 2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016 2016-2017 2017-2018 Quota


Source: National Statistics OfďŹ ce of Georgia (GEOSTAT)

European anchovy is the third most important fish imported by the EU from non-EU Member States, following tuna and sardine. Export has been mainly from Turkey, from where fish was coming to the EU market. Georgia needed to be included on the list of third countries in order to directly enter the European market. In 2015 fish oil, fat and their

EUROFISH Magazine 4 / 2019





fractions in total of USD5.3 million were exported from Georgia; and fish meal - of USD10.7 million. The purpose of the activity of owners of fishing licenses is the extraction and processing of fish in the waters of the Black Sea. The anchovy is the most massive and ecologically important species in the Black Sea. Anchovy is one of the leading export products. Analyzes conducted in various European laboratories confirm that fermentation of the anchovy caught in the waters of the Black Sea is of high quality, and its protein is 75ď&#x2122;&#x201A;. Extracted and processed products are monitored by accredited laboratories. The composition of fish products, fishmeal and fish oil produced by Georgian companies is fully compatible with EU

requirements. In order to determine product safety, studies are conducted in international laboratories with appropriate accreditation. At the same time, Georgia is functioning with a system of control (inspection, supervision, monitoring, etc.) that is identical to EU systems. All fish processing plants are designed in accordance with general hygiene rules and HACCP principles.

Factors hindering the development of aquaculture in Georgia Georgiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fish industry has had a difficult past, but it is still alive and has potential. As in many countries, aquaculture is a key to future growth, as wild commercial fisheries have only limited potential for expansion.

However, according to Georgian industry experts, there are several factors hindering the development of the Georgian aquaculture sector. Firstly, there is a dearth of legislation and data pertaining to aquaculture in the region. The lack of legislation specifically pertaining to the permissibility and special function of aquaculture makes it difficult for the industry to entice new companies. Potential farmers are also restricted by the lack of comprehensive data on the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s water fund, which may be used for aquaculture purposes. Consulting specialists on the nature of aquaculture is also not an option for many farmers in the country as there is a deficit in scientists familiar with this field. Moreover, poorly

developed market infrastructure manifest in the lack of marketing information regarding the state of the Georgian market for aquaculture fish production also hinders the growth of the sector. The low financial attractiveness of existing fish farmers makes investment scares, restricting the flow of financial resources into aquaculture. Finally, the absence of substantive advanced biotechnology development in Georgia is also a major hurdle standing in the way of aquaculture development as a major economic force in the regionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s economy. All of these are challenges faced by aquaculture sectors in many countries, and solutions are available for many of them. Nino Chobaniani,

Companies in the Georgian seafood sector manufacture a variety of products. Three companies are proďŹ led here. Zoreti

Small farm experience from the Soviet period The family owned ďŹ sh farm Zoreti is located in Borjomi region, Kvabiskhevi village, on the edge of Borjomi- Kharagauli national park, the largest protected area in Georgia. A healthy natural environment and a permanent supply of pure spring water from the parkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mountains ensure the quality and unique taste of trout produced in this ďŹ sh farm. The farm, constructed in the early 1960s, was privatized by the local staff, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Consequently, family members inherited the property as well as long-term practical experience and knowledge. The ďŹ sh farm, initially equipped with 25 raceways and a hatchery, was recently modernized with assistance from the U.S. Agency for International Development. The plant is in compliance with national food safety regulations and ensures the full ďŹ sh producing value chain from farm to the ďŹ nal market. The processing plant includes modern equipment as well as a smoking unit which allows production of smoked ďŹ sh as well. In addition to the modern equipment, Zoreti is a fully integrated trout farming company with its own some capacity building projects were implemented. Fishery staff were sent for hatchery and broodstock several local and international training programs to gain knowledge in modern practices in ďŹ sh production. With the assistance of the governmental small business support program â&#x20AC;&#x153;Produced in Georgiaâ&#x20AC;?, an entertainment/education unit was used to organise small study tours for vistors.





Fish Factory Umali

Plans to export ďŹ sh products

Umali specialises in the production of fresh Georgian ďŹ sheries and aquaculture products

A business that started with a few thousand dollars - Akhali Tevzi LLC, is now the biggest ďŹ sh producer in Caucasus, equipped with modern technologies and the ďŹ rst ďŹ rm in Georgia producing fresh Georgian ďŹ shery and aquaculture products. The company has been operating since July 2017 under the brand name Umali and employs more than 80 experienced and professional staff always ready to ďŹ nd the best solutions for satisfying customersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; needs. Umali offers a wide product variety (up to 100 items): caviar, smoked, dried, salted ďŹ sh, frozen semi-ďŹ nished products, preserved ďŹ sh, as well as ďŹ sh roe. Every invention and every product is powered by employees who are inspired to make a difference. The company implements HACCP principles and applies a Food Safety Management System ISO 22000. The relatively short company history is rich in product innovation and customer focus and as part of its strategic growth in the year 2019 Umali will open brand retail shops in Tbilisi and start exporting Georgian ďŹ sh products abroad.

Vakidjvari ďŹ sh farm

Aquaculture in tourist-friendly surroundings In one of the most picturesque regions of Georgia in Guria, the well-known resort village of Vakidjvari, which, along with the beauty of nature, is distinguished by recreational and health properties, which are formed by the conďŹ&#x201A;uence of mountain and sea air masses. The village has an additional charm and a great tourist attraction: a trout farm located in the gorge of the Natanebi River, which occupies an area of 7 hectares. The trout farm, Trout Vakidjvari LLC, has been operating since the Soviet period. In 2006 the farm became the property of the company Nikora LLC. Under the leadership of Otar Chkhartishvili, the company introduced modern standards in the aquaculture industry, as a result of which the company has gradually developed and expanded over the past years. New pools were additionally built (40 large pools and 20 small ones), modern aquaculture equipment was purchased for transportation of live ďŹ sh, additional production and utility rooms were built. The production capacity of the company today is 250-300 tonnes of trout and 3-3.5 tonnes of caviar per year. The high quality and taste of the product is due to the high quality of water and ďŹ sh food, which is The Vakidjvari ďŹ sh farm has regularly invested in modernisation and now produces about 300 tonnes of trout annually. supplied to the farm from the Skretting factory located in Italy. Trout Vakidjvari LLC employs about 50 employees, the main part of whom are residents of Vakidjvari village. The company has the potential for further expansion, but a lack of service in the ďŹ eld of diagnosis of ďŹ sh diseases, both from the state and in the private sector, and the inadequacy of regulatory regulations in the ďŹ eld of aquaculture, among others, are among the problems that hinder development.

EUROFISH Magazine 4 / 2019




[ TECHNOLOGY ] Big data and artiďŹ cial intelligence in the ďŹ sh industry

New methods reduce costs and increase efďŹ ciency From a global perspective the ďŹ sh industry has lagged far behind most other industries with regard to the introduction of information technologies. In neither the ďŹ shing nor the aquaculture sector have these advanced technologies made sufďŹ cient headway so far. Over the past few years, however, a race has begun to catch up and improve the state of the seas and the sustainability of human activities in these important areas.


erms such as big data, image recognition and electronic surveillance software arouse hidden fears in many people. For some, they even conjure up the dark vision of an all-powerful surveillance state like the one described by George Orwell in his dystopian novel â&#x20AC;&#x153;Nineteen Eighty-Fourâ&#x20AC;?. But this view of things overlooks the fact that these technologies â&#x20AC;&#x201C; if used wisely â&#x20AC;&#x201C; can be extremely useful and helpful. This may not always be immediately apparent, but without reliable data it would be virtually impossible today to work efficiently in commerce, industry and other sectors of the economy. For this reason alone the expansion of modern information technologies is unstoppable, especially since they can now also be combined with artificial intelligence. Few people like the thought of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Big Brotherâ&#x20AC;? watching them at work. But despite numerous protests, fishermen in many regions of the world have had to get used to the fact that their on-board activities are observed and recorded around the clock. On large and increasingly also smaller fishing vessels electronic monitoring systems record everything that happens on deck when the crew is at sea. Cameras connected to motion sensors and


The further development of measures to control and combat salmon lice is one of the most urgent tasks in the Norwegian salmon industry. Intelligent forecasting systems can help.

GPS systems document which fish species are caught, in what sizes and quantities, whether the fishermen comply with authorised catch quotas, and how they deal with discards. These records enable the regulatory authorities to check whether all the pertinent rules and regulations have been complied with or whether any illegal actions have occurred. For example, unauthorised transhipments, transfer of fish to other vessels on the high seas. These actions, which are otherwise

difficult to control, often serve to conceal the origin of catches and are also linked to human rights violations such as slave labour on board ships. And another important aspect: the evaluation of these data also serves scientific progress, enabling fisheries researchers to calculate fishing pressure more accurately and thereby improve management strategies. Although the vast majority of fishermen adhere to all regulations

and laws the authoritiesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; â&#x20AC;&#x153;distrustâ&#x20AC;? is not completely unfounded. Despite considerable improvements around 20 per cent of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fishing catches â&#x20AC;&#x201C; or put more simply every fifth fish â&#x20AC;&#x201C; still come from illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. IUU fishing costs the world economy up to 23 billion US dollars a year, poses a threat to the sustainability of fishing in our oceans, and contributes to human rights violations. It is not completely new for fishermen to have someone

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Equipping the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ďŹ shing ďŹ&#x201A;eets (which comprise about 4.6 million vessels of all sizes) with electronic monitoring technology is an ongoing process that is still far from complete.

looking over their shoulders while they work since a lot of fishing vessels regularly have fisheries inspectors on board who are employed to monitor fishing processes and catches. This is expensive and also not very popular because every extra person on board takes up additional space and also disrupts normal working procedures. The use of electronic surveillance technology can now, to a certain extent, replace the inspectorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s eyes with the lens of a camera. This is not the biggest difference, however. What has changed is the extent of surveillance. While even under the US-American â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;At Sea Monitoring Programmeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; only 15 per cent of fishing trips are accompanied by human inspectors â&#x20AC;&#x201C; in tuna fishing in the Pacific Ocean between Indonesia and Hawaii the proportion is said to be only two per cent, i.e. every fiftieth vessel â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the level of camera usage is much higher. On larger fishing vessels it has now reached almost 100 per cent in industrialized countries.

Intelligent technologies can take over tiresome routines However, the almost complete monitoring of fisheries now presents the authorities with a new and even greater problem: the camera recordings only serve

their purpose if they are carefully evaluated. This is the only way for inspectorates to get a reliable picture of fishing practices and detect illegal activities. That means that someone in the control authorities has to watch the vast amount of videos that have been made throughout the duration of the fishing trips. It is a monotonous, tiring and uncreative activity that ties up workers. And it is not cheap. For that reason some control authorities only carry out random checks of the records and then compare their findings with the fishermenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s catch logbooks on a â&#x20AC;&#x153;trust basisâ&#x20AC;?. This, however, thwarts efforts to control fisheries effectively and has led to new approaches for dealing with the situation. Machine learning and artificial intelligence are now to help convert the huge flood of images into more usable â&#x20AC;&#x153;big dataâ&#x20AC;?. The computers employed here have special software which â&#x20AC;&#x201C; similar to image recognition software for the identification of human faces on social media sites â&#x20AC;&#x201C; can evaluate the video images on the basis of extensive image databases so that the fish caught can be assigned automatically to specific species. The digital tools have to learn which visual characteristics are typical of which fish species, for example what a cod looks like

and what distinguishes herring from mackerel. In spite of artificial intelligence, machine vision and deep learning this is quite a challenge as the fish often struggle when they are taken on board and so can go past the camera lens in very different positions. The more photos the database contains, the more reliable the software becomes. This problem has to be resolved if the automated evaluation of video images is to deliver useful results. And recognizing the fish species is only the first step, because the software will then also have to measure the length of each individual fish and convert it into their weight, because these two values are the decisive basis for scientistsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; calculations and thus for fisheries management. As we know, it is almost impossible to manage something that cannot be measured. Video review companies around the world are now investing in machine learning, and it will probably only be a matter of time before a commercially viable product becomes available. In Australia, The Nature Conservancyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s FishFace Project is photographing thousands of fish, recording lengths and weights, and collecting further information besides to build up the software. The Swedish company Refind Technologies places its cameras in special light boxes to standardize the general conditions of the images, in other words to guarantee constant light conditions and constant distances between the camera lens and the fish that pass it by. Each fish photographed is then assigned its species name â&#x20AC;&#x201C; manually for the time being. In New England (USA) an online competition was even launched to speed up the development of a reliable fish image analysis system. The basis for this is an open source software which is to be

â&#x20AC;&#x153;taughtâ&#x20AC;? exact counting, species identification, and fish size measurement. Whoever does this best will receive prize money of 50,000 US dollars. The results of the competition exceeded all expectations and the winners achieved almost 100 per cent accuracy for counting the fishes and 75 per cent for identification. This was sufficient proof of the fact that automated image evaluation can work in principle.

Acceptance of innovative technologies steadily increasing The algorithms of electronic monitoring could perhaps even help to resolve the latent distrust between fishermen and fisheries scientists. Researchers often doubt the data noted down in the fishermenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s log books, and the fishermen in turn sometimes have little confidence in scientific analyses. However, GPS and video data provide credible evidence that the fish were caught in the designated area in accordance with the quota. The scientists can thus obtain dependable data and the fishermen can convincingly show their customers where their fish comes from and which methods were used to catch it. This creates confidence, facilitates marketing, and is a useful starting point for traceability concepts. Ecotrust Canada is implementing ThisFish, the first traceability programme of its kind. Consumers can enter a code online and get information about who caught their fish, how and where, and sometimes even watch an online clip. Considerable progress has been made in electronic monitoring of marine fishing through artificial intelligence, machine learning and digital image recognition. On some vessels data is now transmitted in real time via the Internet, even from distant fishing grounds. Because the connection

EUROFISH Magazine 4 / 2019

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[ TECHNOLOGY ] is sometimes unstable the technology has an online-offline mode. If the internet connection fails, the data is stored offline and only uploaded to the cloud when the connection is restored. Japan is already trying to exploit these fascinating technical possibilities for real-time fleet management. The intelligent business platform Smart Fishing Operations will be used to guide ships to rewarding fishing grounds. This should save time and fuel, increase the efficiency of fishing, and also conserve fish stocks by reducing by-catches and avoiding local overfishing. The U.S. National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration uses artificial intelligence not only to identify caught fish species but also to monitor dead zones and currents in the sea and measure pollution. In 2015, an intelligent system for the electronic monitoring of fish stocks was launched. A device positioned on the seabed has a computer and sonar system that is activated as soon as

Intelligent image recognition systems could in the future simplify â&#x20AC;&#x201C; or at least support â&#x20AC;&#x201C; scientiďŹ c analysis of ďŹ sh catches. 58

it detects fish movements in the surrounding area. The number of fishes at that particular location can be estimated from the reflected pings of the sonar. Some of the devices are to be placed in the Arctic in remote regions which are hardly accessible in winter without expensive icebreakers. In this way, fish stocks and their movements could also be tracked below the ice. China is also using big data and artificial intelligence to improve national fisheries and aquaculture management. To this end, a new subgroup within the China Fisheries Association (CFA) was founded: the China Intelligent Fisheries Association. The CIFA will bring together data specialists, fishing companies and government officials to structure and organize data collection for management objectives.

AquaCloud helps salmon farmers control and combat salmon lice In the fishing and aquaculture country Norway the Seafood Innovation Cluster, an industryfunded organisation, seeks to promote the growth of the fish industry through the use of data sciences and intelligent technologies. High on their list of priorities is the fight against the salmon louse plague which has become a serious threat to Norwayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wild salmon population and its important salmon farming industry. According to cautious estimates the direct cost of managing and controlling these ectoparasites is at least $600 million a year, and some experts even reckon it to be higher at $1 billion. In addition, salmon lice retard the further growth of salmon production because if a salmon farmer cannot prove that he has the lice problem under control he is not

permitted to expand his business. To solve this chronic problem the Seafood Innovation Cluster has joined forces with IBM to develop AquaCloud, a platform that collects data from salmon farms across the country and uses intelligent machine learning techniques to analyse and predict the spread of lice along the Norwegian coast so that farmers can take appropriate defensive measures to prevent infection of their salmon populations. AquaCloud is a predictive analytics platform that automatically collects data and warns of possible salmon lice invasions. It is now apparently possible to predict salmon lice infestation with an accuracy of 70 per cent (a level which is expected to rise) which significantly accelerates the farmersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; ability to act. In all sectors of the economy that are for the most part dependent on natural resources it is important to maintain a balance between usage, protection and preservation of that resource, and a companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s success will be closely linked to its ability to achieve this. Fisheries and aquaculture have some catching up to do in this respect and so they need to learn and implement this lesson faster than other sectors because global demand for fish and seafood is constantly growing. Ultimately, the social acceptance and very existence of the global fish industry will also depend on its ability to increase yields without compromising natural resources through overfishing, disease or environmental damage.

intelligence, cloud computing and drones to reduce production costs and improve operational processes. They are supported in these efforts by the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s technology and telecommunications companies, e.g. Sharp, KDDI and NEC. These companies have recognized that fish farming is a booming industry that offers lucrative growth opportunities, and they hope to turn high-tech solutions for aquaculture into a new business segment. For example, at a Hiramasa farm in Miyazaki Prefecture, NEC tested an intelligent image evaluation technology that measures the length and width of individual fish and, based on these results, automatically calculates their weights. This enables the farmers to adjust feed quantities and feeding times more precisely to the actual needs of the fishes. In the meantime this technology has been extended to include tuna, and the developers believe that it will also be suitable for other fish species.

High-tech companies discover the ďŹ sh industry as new business segment

The Japanese telecommunications company KDDI Corporation, which mainly specializes in corporate networks, is developing very similar technologies that take water temperatures into account during feeding, for example. Intelligent sensors are used here. Since falling fees in the telecommunications sector are weakening revenue KDDI is looking for application fields for products such as sensors. Although the profits that can be achieved in aquaculture are still small the industry has enormous growth potential. Companies from Taiwan have already expressed interest in the KDDI technology which is based on the ultra-fast 5G mobile radio standard.

Japanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fish farmers use advanced technologies such as artificial

The next step will be to test the sensor-based technology on

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[ TECHNOLOGY ] oyster farms in Hiroshima Prefecture, the most important oyster production region in Japan. While sensors on buoys and rafts measure the water temperatures and salt concentrations in the area, drones search for swarming oyster larvae and observe water current patterns. Intelligent computer programs then use the data collected to determine which

areas would be most suitable for positioning collectors for the settlement of oyster larvae. All over the world attempts are underway to use data and automation processes to increase efficiency within the fish industry, to manage it more sustainably, to reduce labour costs in aquaculture and fishing, to avoid

environmental pollution, to prevent overfishing, and to ward off diseases in fish farms. Big data and artificial intelligence have become important drivers of economic development in the fish industry. They make aquaculture and fishing more predictable and reduce the risks associated with them. Almost a decade after the introduction of electronic monitoring

on fishing vessels in the US and the EU there is sufficient evidence that the principle works. Combined with catch quotas, fishing effort limitations and extensive documentation of catches these controls have made fishing more sustainable. The collected data play a crucial role towards monitoring and managing fish stocks more effectively. mk

Technology for the aquaculture industry

The belt feeder that requires no electric power The FIAP Belt Feeder offers the perfect combination of reliability, ďŹ&#x201A;exibility and cost-effectiveness without bearing an unreasonable price tag.


here are hardly two ways about it: to survive in todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s aquaculture industry, reliable and high-quality machinery is essential. The FIAP Belt Feeder, produced by the Australian aquaculture products, equipment and systems manufacturer Fresh by Design, is one companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s contribution to the few pieces of machinery where low prices donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t mean cutting corners in quality. The belt feeder is an automatic feeder with many applications. For many years, the professional version has been the most frequently deployed automatic feeder in pisciculture. Because of its purely mechanical working method, the feed dispenser does not require batteries or power and thus will run from 12 to 24 hours continuously dispensing the loaded medium in a plethora of different environments.

Stainless steel clock for greater durability Made from stainless steel, the feederâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s clock unit with its sapphire

The versatile FIAP belt feeder can operate both indoors and outdoors, dispensing a range of substances and is available with a 12- and 24-hour clock.

bearing is a high-precision movement. The belt feeder can dispense a variety of substances from dust feed to large feed pellets and even medicines or water additives. Both a professional and standard model are available for

purchase. The professional model, the FIAP Belt Feeder Profi, offers an easy-to-remove drive shaft for maintenance and cleaning purposes. The drive shaft is made of seawater resistant aluminum and is thus durable and robust. The

availability of all the components in the belt feeder is guaranteed by the company, ensuring the longterm economic security of this machine. The belt feeder can be purchased as either a 3kg or 5 kg model.

EUROFISH Magazine 4 / 2019

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[ TECHNOLOGY ] Fresh salmon, safely packed

A stainless steel strapping machine from Mosca proves itself at Mowi, Norway The global salmon indsutry is booming. In 2017, the leading countires in this sector produced over two millions tonnes of the popular food ďŹ sh. The increasinly competitive salmon industry is driving companies to ďŹ nd ways to maximixe products yield and quality. One methode of acheving this feat is through the carfeull cordination of all phases of the production process â&#x20AC;&#x201C; from spawning to packaging. Mowi, previously Marine Harvest, the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest supplier of farmed Atlantic salmon recently tested a new stainlesssteel strapping machine specially developed for the food industry with the hope of increasing coordination between their phases of the production process. Integrated into a fully automated production line in Ulvan, Norway, the Mosca Evolution SoniXs MS-6-VA has been strapping Styrofoam boxes packed with fresh ďŹ sh since October 2017. Thus far, everyone at Mowi Norway, and Ulvan â&#x20AC;&#x201C; from management staff to machine operators â&#x20AC;&#x201C; is extremely impressed by the reliable, easy-to-clean strapping machine innovation.


hen fresh salmon arrives by boat at the Mowi factory on the Norwegian island of Ulvoya, the clock is on. All companies in the business of selling fresh fish understand the consequences of even being one hour behind schedule. In a fully automated operation, the fish is packed at a temperature of below 2 °C in styrofoam boxes that are filled with ice and covered with an unfastened lid. The boxes are then double strapped to secure the lid and provide protection with added stability. Afterwards, they are loaded onto pallets for transport and leave the factory on a truck. Mowi has more than 13,000 employees working at locations in 25 countries. In 2016, the company produced 381,000 tonnes of fresh salmon. Some of this fish is processed in-house, for example, to make breaded or marinated fish fillets.

Specially developed for the food industry Mosca developed the new Evolution SoniXs MS-6-VA specifically 60

Mowi Norway, and Ulvan uses the Evolution SoniXs MS-6-VA to strap Styrofoam boxes that are ďŹ lled with freshly ďŹ shed salmon and ice.

for conditions like those in the Mowi plant in Ulvan. Thanks to the high-quality stainless steel used for the springs and bearings, the machine is corrosion resistant. With the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s real-time control, users can integrate the machine

into fully automated lines and operate it from a control station. In late 2017, Mosca was looking for a place to conduct in-depth testing of the newly developed machine under challenging conditions before its market launch.

Mowi Norwayâ&#x20AC;şs fully automated high-speed production line offered the right opportunity. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Live testing is an important part of [our] product development process,â&#x20AC;? explains Christian Grosskopf, Mosca food and beverage industry manager. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We wanted to find out how this

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[ TECHNOLOGY ] machine would operate under demanding offshore production conditions.â&#x20AC;?

Testing under real-world conditions Mowi quickly agreed to test the machine at its factory in Ulvan. The machine was integrated into one of the companyâ&#x20AC;şs three production lines in October 2017. The fast pace of fully automated production combined with salty air and pressure washing put the stainless-steel instrument to the test. Nonetheless, it has thus far mastered more than 1,000,000 strapping cycles and is still in perfect condition. Close cooperation between the two companies was an essential aspect of the machines testing in Norway. In weekly telephone calls, the experts on both sides shared information about the machineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s performance and possible improvements. This enabled the producers of the machine to continue to make optimizations during the trial period. The minor, but not insignificant improvements that have been made to the machine since the trial period have resulted in less

abrasion on the styrofoam boxes and a reduction in contamination of the machineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s body. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our close contact with Mowi throughout the test phase was extremely helpful,â&#x20AC;? Grosskopf explains. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The phone calls and on-site inspections at the beginning of the testing phase, as well as after six and nine months, gave us a steady stream of feedback and suggestions for improvement â&#x20AC;&#x201C; from managers and from the operators who work with the machine every day.â&#x20AC;?

SatisďŹ ed customer Moscaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s machine has proven itself in the test phase in Norway. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The strapping machine scores highly on reliability, which is vital for our fast-paced line operations,â&#x20AC;? states Ulf E. Jensen, Technical Manager at Mowi. With up to 52 strapping cycles per minute, the machine fully meets the salmon companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s needs. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our machine operators appreciate the automatic double strap dispenser that enables them to change the strap coil quickly and easily,â&#x20AC;? says Jensen. When one coil is almost empty, the machine ejects the last piece of strap and automatically switches to the second coil.

Machine operators appreciate the double strap dispenser which eliminates the need to stop the machine to change coils.

This eliminates the need for the operator to stop the machine to change coils. A new coil can be reloaded â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;on-the-flyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; without interrupting the ongoing production process. This helps minimize downtime. Moreover, the strap does not need to be thermally heated to ensure a secure closure. This eliminates plastic or styrofoam residue on the sealing unit, which could limit machine functioning or produce vapors or toxins. The strapping machine is easily accessible and can be cleaned

In a fully automated operation, the Mosca equipment double-straps the styrofoam boxes to secure the lid, providing protection with added stability.

with a pressure washer, just like the other devises in the production line. Even various cleaning agents have no effect on the strapping machineâ&#x20AC;şs electronic components.

A bright future for the strapping machine The Mosca strapping machine has been available on the market since spring 2018. The devise has attracted a lot of attention at the Anuga Foodtec in Cologne as well as at the Seafood Expo Global in Brussels. â&#x20AC;&#x153;[Our invention] has great potential, especially in the food production sector, where hygiene and safety are extremely important,â&#x20AC;? Christian Grosskopf explains. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our comprehensive testing under real-world conditions in Norway proves that the machine is a perfect match for the extreme demands of high-speed production in offshore conditions.â&#x20AC;? The Evolution SoniXs MS-6-VA has gained a permanent position at Mowi. Immediately after completing the test phase, the salmon company ordered two machines for its production line in Norway.

EUROFISH Magazine 4 / 2019

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The future of aquaculture lies in land-based recirculation systems and offshore marine farms

Prejudice and ignorance must be countered with facts A veteran in the Danish aquaculture sector, Brian Thomsen has headed the Organisation of Danish Aquaculture (Dansk Akvakultur) for many years. The industry it represents exports ďŹ sh, shellďŹ sh, and algae as well as ďŹ sh feed to destinations around the world â&#x20AC;&#x201C; testimony to the highest international standards to which they are produced. Denmark is among the leaders in the development of aquaculture equipment and systems, in particular those for recirculation aquaculture, but for the sector as a whole to thrive and grow a ďŹ rm legal framework from EU and Danish institutions is a prerequisite, argues Mr Thomsen. Aquaculture production in Denmark has increased steadily over the last decade with most of the growth coming from mussels, pike-perch, salmon, and rainbow trout. What are the main factors behind this increase, and do you see this trend continuing? Despite good intentions and efforts EU and Danish aquaculture production has not grown in volume in the last 20 years. New species like kingfish, pikeperch, salmon and mussels have been introduced but the production of eel has decreased and the production of our main species - rainbow trout â&#x20AC;&#x201C; is stagnating. Several Danish governments have introduced various growth initiatives for aquaculture. The impact from the most recent remains to be seen, but much will depend on our new governments policy. Our mussel farmers have gained more experience with farming and selling their products and the growth in pike-perch, kingfish and salmon is driven by investments in recirculation systems. Environmental restrictions have forced many freshwater trout farms out of business, but we have been able to stabilize the production because of developments and investments in recirculation technology. 62

As capture fisheries volumes stagnate, aquaculture is set to play an increasingly important role in the supply of fish and seafood to consumers. What impact is this development likely to have on the Danish aquaculture sector? Denmark has a strong aquaculture cluster. We have strong global competencies in key areas like fish feed, recirculation technology and farming skills. We cannot feed the world with fish, but we contribute to the global aquaculture production of sustainable fish and shellfish, and we can point to better ways to farm fish. To reach the full potential we must have a firm legal framework from EU and Danish institutions that foster both environmentally and economically sustainable growth. Technology plays an everincreasingly role in the aquaculture sector, particularly in western countries. Denmark has built itself a reputation for being one of the leaders in the field of aquaculture technology. How can Denmark maintain its lead in this area in the future too? In relation to recirculation technology we need to apply a more holistic approach. Focus has been on improving environmental performance. This is important

Brian Thomsen, Director, Organisation of Danish Aquaculture

and further developments are needed, but we should pay more attention to fish health, welfare and climate impact. There is a huge potential in tailor made breeding programs and further development of fish feed is paramount. We need educational programs to have a skilled workforce and finally we need to ensure that new technologies are profitable.

We see a big potential in marine farming. The ocean covers approx. 70ď&#x2122;&#x201A; of the earth but delivers less than 15ď&#x2122;&#x201A; of our protein intake. This is not tenable given the nutritional needs of a growing population and overstretched land resources. We need to develop more robust farming equipment and we need to co-develop land-based

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One of the problems faced by the aquaculture sector in Europe is the issue of sites allocated for aquaculture that do not conflict with other users nor jeopardise the environment. How has Denmark dealt with this topic? It is in fact the most critical issue. Establishing new farms on land or water requires access to physical space and increasing production on existing or new farms requires environmental space for nutrient emissions. Coordinated spatial planning can facilitate the process by identifying suitable new sites and assessing the environmental impact. The former Danish government launched a spatial planning for new marine farms and allocated extra nitrogen â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;quotasâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; for growth in land-based and marine farms. The process for land-based farms is on-going but the initiative for establishing new marine farms faced strong protests from opposition parties, NGOs and local communities even though the new sites are located up to 20 km from coastal areas and the new farms would have no negative effect on the environment. Negative political campaigns images conveyed the messages, and this allowed every critic to participate in the debate. The opponents neglected the scientific findings in the spatial planning which concluded that the new fish farms would not conflict with national and EU environmental targets. The case is a scaring example of how difficult it is to expand aquaculture faced with opponents armed with fake-news and prejudice.


recirculation and off-shore sea farm technology. It is very important that the technologies are developed together and branded as supplementary and not mutually exclusive.

Danish RAS technologies are successfully used worldwide. Trout farm in Lithuania.

We are currently awaiting a new constitution of government after an election with climate action as a main topic. We are preparing to meet the new parliamentary majority with aquaculture production as part of fulfilling their political visions and we will continuously insist on a positive and fact-based dialogue. With this we expect to meet less political campaigning and more real negotiation. Interest in land-based aquaculture using recirculation systems is growing as investors and farmers see it as a way of avoiding some of the challenges otherwise associated with fish farming, for example, environmental pollution, high water costs, escapes, disease. In addition, it has benefits such as the possibility to site production close to the consumer. But for all these environmental benefits, is it also economically viable? Every technology has advantages and disadvantages. Our vision is to develop a multifarious aquaculture sector on land and on water and we see land-based recirculation systems as a supplement and not an alternative to marine farms. We need solid and scientifically supported life cycle assessments to make valid comparisons between different

technologies. It is our experience that semi-recirculated fish farms and intensively recirculated fish farms for smolt can be economically viable, but the technology has not yet proved to be economically viable for farming large salmonids. The technology is maturing but further developments are clearly needed. The Baltic Sea is highly eutrophic and riparian countries are trying to reduce their share of nutrients that are entering the sea with some success. However, fish or seafood farming in the sea is likely to add to the level of nutrients. Is Denmark exploring ways of mitigating this so that marine aquaculture can be expanded? Denmark has met the HELCOM targets for reducing emissions of nutrients. In some sea-basins Denmark has in fact reduced the emissions well below the so called â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;maximum allowable inputâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; that can be allowed to achieve good ecological status as required by the water framework directive and the marine strategy framework directive. This was the basis for the political allocations of extra emissions quotas to new marine fish farms as the difference between actual inputs and maximum allowable input defines â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;environmental spaceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;.

That said mitigating measures are required in some water areas and we are currently exploring the use of mussel farming, wood-chip bioreactors and other nitrogen reducing methods. Representatives from the aquaculture sector in some parts of the EU feel that aquaculture is more similar to agriculture or livestock management than to fisheries. They are keen on a European policy dedicated to aquaculture rather than combining aquaculture with fisheries under the CFP. What, in your opinion, could be the advantages and disadvantages of this? The fact is that EU aquaculture has not grown in the last 20 years. This questions the efficiency of the so-called open method of coordination. It is also a fact that aquaculture is livestock management and thus comparable to agriculture. Aquaculture is a minute sector compared to agriculture in all EU Member States and suffers from a lack of political impetus. I strongly believe that an EU policy on aquaculture could help unlock the potential. The problems we face are related to the concept of â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;spaceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, bureaucratic and complicated licensing procedures, societal acceptance, administration of stringent EU environmental legislation and

EUROFISH Magazine 4 / 2019

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Modern Aquaculture


The future of aquaculture lies in recirculation systems on land such as this facility.

a level playing field in relation to the massive import of farmed fish from third countries. The EU Commission could and should play a more active role in solving these issues. The EU Commission should have a coordinated EU policy for aquaculture and take measures to ensure that EU legislation is better adapted to aquaculture. A strategy based solely on guidance and advice is not enough. Production of a genetically modified salmon has been approved by authorities in Canada and now also in the US. Could you envision a future where consumers and the law in Europe and Denmark are more amenable to genetically modified fish? The short answer is no. EU and Danish aquaculture production is de facto environmentally friendly and the carbon footprint is very low. Fish are very efficient at converting feed to animal protein and we operate with high feed conversion ratios. There is much 64

room for improvements without genetically modified fish, and we are not even close to harvest the full impact of modern breeding technologies. The Aquaculture Advisory Council, of which Dansk Akvakultur is a member, combines the voices of the industry with those of NGOs. Do you see the Council as a useful body that will foster the sustainable development of European aquaculture? Do you see any overlap between the work of FEAP, the Federation of European Aquaculture Producers, of which too Dansk Akvakultur is a member, and that of the AAC, which also counts FEAP as a member? I see the Aquaculture Advisory Council (AAC) as an important institutional body. The experience so far clearly points to the need for increased dialogue between industry and NGOs. It is important that our disagreements are based on facts and not myths and prejudices. It is also

my experience that responsible NGOs aims at constructive and balanced solutions and that the AAC in fact can deliver valuable advice to the EU Commission and other key stakeholders. For aquaculture to grow we also need societal acceptance. The AAC has an important role to play in building alliances between industry and society at large. FEAP plays an important role in aligning the industries positions on the various issues and in setting the priorities. Aquaculture is a very diversified industry composed mainly by microenterprises. For the industry to partner with NGOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the industry must first speak with one voice. That is what we aim at in FEAP. You have now been at the helm of Dansk Akvakultur for several years. What would you say are your most important achievements in the years that you have been in charge and what is your vision for the sector? We have managed to unite all sectors in one organisation. This

is crucial given the fact that a better organised industry has a stronger voice and that we must have a sectoral approach to growth. All industries face the strategic paradox of compliance and choice, that is, do you adapt, or do you change the rules? The conflicting demands of being irreverent and respectful towards industry rules are difficult to meet at the same time but I find we have an agile, skilled and respected organisation that can handle the duality. The use of recirculation technology is a consequence of adaption whereas the above-mentioned political initiatives are aimed at changing industry rules. The battle for a fair and level competitive playing field exemplified by the countervailing measures on imported subsidized trout from Turkey is crucial for EU farmers. We must be determined in requesting that imported fish must meet the same environmental, food safety and socio-labour standards that EU operators must meet. We must deplore the fact that there is still no level playing field in this domain, and that dangerous distortions of competition are a serious problem for EU operators. My vision for the sector is that it will boost Europeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s food supply, reduce dependence on imported seafood and develop local economies. I share Jacques-Yves Cousteau statement that we must use the sea as farmers and I call upon policy makers to act on the fact that the biggest potential for increasing seafood production is through farming of marine species. Support from our own citizens and their confidence as consumers is paramount to growth but lack of knowledge nourishes prejudices. We need a more differentiated debate based on genuinely sound factual analysis in the search for better ways.

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DIARY DATES 20-23 August 2019 Aqua Nor Trondheim Tel.: +47 73 56 86 40 mailbox@nor-ďŹ www.nor-ďŹ 25 September 2019 Marel WhiteďŹ sh Showhow Copenhagen, Denmark Tel.: +354 563 8205ďŹ shprocessing/

3-5 September 2019 Seafood Expo Asia Wanchai, Hong Kong Tel.: +1 207 842 55 04 4-7 September 2019 World Food Istanbul Istanbul, Turkey Tel: +90 212 291 83 10 12-13 September 2019 7th PaciďŹ c Tuna Forum Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea Tel.: +603 8066 8112 info@infoďŹ www.infoďŹ

12-14 September 2019 Warsaw Food Expo Nadarzyn, Poland Tel.: +48 517 128 721 16-17 September 2019 IX World Tuna Conference â&#x20AC;?Vigo 2019â&#x20AC;? Vigo, Spain Tel.: +34 986469301

25-27 September 2019 Expoalimentaria Lima, Peru Tel.: +51 1 618 3333

6-8 November 2019 Busan International Seafood & Fisheries EXPO Busan, South Korea Tel.: +82 51 740 7518 Fax: +82 51 740 7640

12-14 November World Shrimp Conference and Exposition Bangkok, Thailand Tel.: +603 8066 8112 info@infoďŹ www.infoďŹ

12-15 November 2019 ProdExpo Minsk, Belarus Tel.: + 37517 334 01 54

1-3 October 2019 Conxemar Vigo, Spain Tel.: +34 986 433 351 7-10 October 2019 Aquaculture Europe Berlin, Germany

14 November International Cold Water Prawn Forum St Jonnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, Canada Tel.: + 45 40 79 10 11

9-11 October 2019 DanFish International Aalborg, Denmark Tel.: +45 99 35 55 18 www.danďŹ

9-11 February 2020 ďŹ sh international Bremen, Germany Tel.: +49 421 3505 264 www.ďŹ

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Eurofish Magazine 4 2019  

Featuring the fisheries and aquaculture sector Lithuania and Georgia, this issue also looks at big data and artificial intelligence in the f...

Eurofish Magazine 4 2019  

Featuring the fisheries and aquaculture sector Lithuania and Georgia, this issue also looks at big data and artificial intelligence in the f...

Profile for eurofish