EMODnet Bathymetry, an initiative of the European Commission, is pleased to announce the release of the latest version of the EMODnet Bathymetry Digital Terrain Model (DTM). With over 33,000 individual tiles downloaded in 2020, this bathymetric product is already widely used in a whole range of applications, from marine science to sustainable ocean governance and blue economy activities. The product benefited from significant developments and expert inputs in 2020, including new data gathering, reprocessed data, thorough selection of the best data source and use of innovative bathymetric sensors such as satellite derived bathymetry.
Russia has recently started to pay more attention to aquacultural issues. Over the last five years fish and shellfish farming has become an important part of the national development strategy for fisheries with particular focus on the Russian Far East. Early in 2020, for example, Russia simplified the rules for obtaining land to be used for fish farming. Since then, breeding volumes have increased and capacity in salmon farming has doubled. Growth, however, is still limited by administrative barriers and the sector is dependent on imported feeds and equipment. Unlike in Europe where there are many industry-oriented events, Russia lacks a united platform to maintain a dialog on aquaculture issues and international cooperation.
One in every two seafood workers is a woman, yet women are over-represented in the lowest paid and lowest valued positions and are seldom seen in leadership positions. Women are essential contributors to this important food industry, but they remain invisible. The need to increase awareness about women’s role in this industry and to recognize the value they bring is the objective behind the organisation Women in the Seafood Industry (WSI). Among its initiatives is an annual video competition started in 2017 inviting men and women to tell their story of women in the seafood industry. The goal is to bring attention to the gaps and challenges experienced by women in seafood and to cast light on positive stories.
Norway exported 2.7 million tonnes of seafood worth NOK 105.7 billion (~EUR 10.2 billion) in 2020. This is the second-highest value ever and is the equivalent to 37 million meals every day throughout the year or 25,000 meals per minute. The total volume of seafood exports increased by 2 per cent in 2020, while the value was reduced by 1 per cent, or NOK 1.5 billion, compared with the record year of 2019. Seafood exports for the second year in a row exceeded the ‘magical’ NOK 100 billion mark and that this was achieved during the corona pandemic in 2020 was fantastic, said Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen, Minister of Fisheries and Seafood.
Greenland concluded negotiations with the EU for a new Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement (SFPA) that will strengthen cooperation between the two partners for the next four years with the possibility of a two-year extension. The agreement is an important milestone in the long-standing bilateral cooperation between the two in fisheries and renews the commitment to promoting the sustainable use of marine resources. Financially, this is the third most important agreement in place for the EU and will allow the EU fleet (12 large-scale trawlers) to continue fishing in Greenland waters for at least the next 4 years while continuing to contribute to the development of the fisheries sector in Greenland.
The latest Annual Economic Report on the EU Fishing Fleet has been released showing a profitable fishing fleet in 2020, despite the effects of COVID-19. In 2008, the EU fishing fleet was barely breaking even and ten years later it registered a net profit of EUR 800 million. This significant progress was the result of higher average fish prices, lower fuel costs, and improved stocks of important species. This trend continued into 2019. The COVID-19 outbreak in 2020 interrupted the trend with estimates suggesting that the economic performance of the EU fleets decreased by 17% in landed value, 19% in employment and 29% in net profits compared to 2019.
Despite the impact of COVID-19, projections indicate that the EU fleet is resilient and would end 2020 with a reasonable level of profitability as a result of the efforts made by the sector in the previous years. This includes fishing to the maximum sustainability yield combined with low fuel prices.
With the ongoing development of the aqua- and mariculture in Russia,Seafood Expo Russia will host a new specialized Aquaculture section that will unite fish farmers, feed,additives, and equipments suppliers, and other stakeholders.
“We always wanted aquaculture to become a separate sector and now we have such opportunity. This industry always needed its own platform to keep the dialog going. Our main aim is to help aquaculture companies to find new partners and clients. That’s why we want to gather all the existing parts of production and supply chain in one place.” said Altana Esinova, head of the new sector.
Three Danish companies Launis, Nordic Seaweed Feed and Mosegaarden have worked closely with the Danish Technological Institute and Aarhus University School of Engineering to demonstrate a profitable bio-processing method for the sustainable utilization of shrimp shells. The project has demonstrated the profitability of bio-processing shrimp shells with subsequent value addition to create new sustainable pet food products. Historically, residues such as shells and irregular shrimp meat have had limited value, and the majority of residues is not utilised today. Shrimp shells have a high content of protein with a favourable amino acid composition, good digestibility, low ash content, chitin, lime, and a favourable content of omega 3 fatty acids, all of which can be utilised in pet food. To exploit these valuable ingredients, Nordic Seaweed Feed has added shrimp shells to their fermented seaweed-based "Pet Food" products.
When Spanish fisherman and sportsman Miquel Ferrés from Catalonia got introduced to the sports trend ’plogging,’ he decided to make it smarter. Plogging is a combination of jogging and picking up litter in Sweden, where it was founded around 2016, and from where it has spread to other countries following increasing public concern about the environment and plastic pollution. To make plogging more popular, Miquel Ferrés and his two sisters decided to create a mobile phone application, Twinapp. The app enables runners, hikers, cyclists, and eco-swimmers to create com- munities of sports lovers who clean up the environment while they are exercising.
FAO and the Turkish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry organised the first serial webinars as part of the Capacity Development for Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture Management in Central Asia (FISHCap) project. The web-based seminars will be organised on a monthly basis, and cover Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. The series of webinars aims to provide a brief update of the state of fisheries and aquaculture in the countries and will offer a forum for discussions and networking by stakeholders.