10 Sept 2018 - The Nordic countries have led the way in utilising as much of the fishing catch as possible, and innovation across the region is now ensuring that, instead of being thrown away, marine biomass is being converted into high-value products such as medical products, pharmaceuticals, nutritional supplements, cosmetics and textiles.
Sustainable resource management is key
“Developing a strong and global blue bioeconomy is extremely important,” says Árni Mathiesen, Assistant Director General of the FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department and former Minister of Fisheries in Iceland. “Fish consumption has increased significantly around the world, and we’ve demonstrated that it’s possible to manage sustainable and profitable fisheries.”
He emphasises that the entire blue bioeconomy approach must be based on sustainable resource management, an area in which Iceland and Norway in particular have achieved excellent results.
“There’s been a determined effort in the Nordic Region to improve utilisation of marine raw material, obtain higher prices for the products, and identify new and more diverse ways in which to use the raw material,” Mathiesen says. “The aim is to maximise the value of the traditional use of the catch and then add value to the residue. For instance, the added value of using more of the marine raw material for food, rather than for production of feed, is five- to tenfold.”
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