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.
The virtual state of fishery and aquaculture industry briefings is a series of web stakeholder briefings and discussions organized under the project “Capacity Development for Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture Management in Central Asia” (Phase I - aquaculture and food safety). The project is being coordinated by FISHCap in partnership with the beneficiaries of the project (Turkey, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan) and target countries that are still not the beneficiaries of the project (Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan Tajikistan, Turkmenistan). The virtual seminars will be organized for each of the seven countries on a monthly basis, and in alphabetical order according to the English name of each country.
Spanish retailer EROSKI, which operates in the regions of Galicia, Basque Country, Navarre, Catalonia and the Balearic Islands, has become the first retailer in Spain to pass the GLOBALG.A.P. audit to sell certified aquaculture products. Its 361 seafood counters will now sell Gilthead Seabream, Meagre, Seabass, and Turbot with the GGN consumer label, guaranteeing that the fish on sale has been farmed in a safe and sustainable way.
“At EROSKI, we are committed to a sustainable food model and constantly evolving to offer consumers new options for healthy and more responsible nutrition,” said Alejandro Martínez Berriochoa, Director of Health and Sustainability at EROSKI. “This international certification is a guarantee for our customers that the fresh fish bearing this label comes from certified aquaculture.”
The criteria for the GLOBALG.A.P. Standard include an analysis of the environmental impact, regular food safety and water quality checks, and verification of product traceability and the proper utilization of waters.
The sustainability label also certifies adequate feed consumption, leading to better care of the seabed and an improved use of the fishing resources, measures to prevent escape and thus limit the spread of invasive species, the implementation of animal welfare measures, the guaranteeing of proper working conditions, and the introduction of quality management systems.
According to Marketing Director Jānis Endele, Karavela will continue its development plans despite Covid-19, LETA reports. The company will move some of its production to separate premises making room for a new production line in the existing factory.
The company is also working on a new product, which is currently in a test phase, but he refrained from disclosing further details. In addition to the new production line, Karavela will continue its plans to modernise the existing factory in Vecmīlgrāvis. Around eight million euros worth of modernisation and expansion of production is planned. Commenting on the trends in the fishing industry in the context of Covid-19, Mr Endele said that in the current conditions, working and surviving is easier for large companies which have already established themselves in the market and can rely on a regular customer base. Previously, the industry attracted new customers at international exhibitions, but these are no longer taking place due to the pandemic. Companies that are stable with a strong list of customers now have an advantage over those that are still looking for partners. And this situation is unlikely to change this year, he predicts.
Another advantage Karavela has is the sales skills it has developed over the years. Its experience with developing and marketing new products gives the company an edge in launching successful products in the future, Mr Endele adds, noting that customers are different and have specific wishes. The ability to tailor the product to the client’s requirements must be learned. The company also draws on its team of employees and their ability to rapidly reorganize production, and to train people operatively. According to Mr Endele, among the future development plans of Karavela this year include investments in marketing—in the second half of this year, the company plans to launch an advertising campaign. Karavela was established in 2001 and is one of the largest fish processing companies in Europe. In 2019, it had a turnover of EUR 52m with a EUR 5m profit. The owners of Karavela are Andris Bite (24%), Jānis Endele (20%) and Jānis Bite (56%).
With conventional agriculture facing challenges in feeding seven billion people and fish resources under pressure, algae are a promising possibility as an affordable global food supply with low environmental costs. While seaweed and other algae are a popular ingredient in Asian cuisine, in Europe consumption and production could easily increase. Against this backdrop the EU is providing financial support to the Alga4Food project. Alga4Food aims to explore the benefits of edible macro algae (seaweed) from the Portuguese coast and promote their use in Portuguese family cooking. Alga4Food analysed different types of seaweed to understand their flavour and nutritional value, to find the best ways to conserve them, and to develop suggestions for their culinary use. Similarities between seaweeds and traditional Portuguese foodstuffs like cabbage, sea cucumbers, and goose barnacles inspired ideas as to which kinds of seaweed might work as substitutes for these ingredients in traditional cooking. This has resulted in the creation of two cookbooks along with a series of seminars and cookery demonstrations. The books and more information are available on https://alga4food.wixsite.com/page
The Swedish furniture titan Ikea, which claims to be the sixth largest restaurant chain in the world, has stated that it will be opening food outlets in 14 stores in Spain. Ikea is offering ‘take away’ from its restaurants wanting to bring people to its stores but has also been experimenting with home deliveries, having signed a deal with online food order company Just Eat to deliver food throughout Madrid. In addition to selling ASC certified smoked salmon, Ikea has, together with salmon supplier Mowi and its existing meatball producer Dafgård, developed a meatball based on salmon and cod. The salmon and cod balls have been introduced in many markets and will soon also be offered in a packed version in Ikea stores for customers to bring home. Before the coronavirus hit, IKEA’s foodservice operations annually served around 680 million people a year.
As with other sectors of the global economy, fisheries and aquaculture are also being affected by the spread of COVID-19. Producers, processors, traders, and consumers are both directly and indirectly feeling the impact of the virus, the consequences of which, particularly for populations that depend heavily on seafood for food security and nutrition, can be severe. FAO has therefore released a brief on how COVID-19 is affecting the fisheries and aquaculture sector and suggested measures to support the different players in the supply chain. Production, for instance, may suffer from the imposition of sanitary measures on board that make fishing difficult, crews may not be able to join their vessels due to travel restrictions, and the necessary supplies of bait or ice may not be available. In addition, demand in some countries has fallen as a result of unfounded perceptions about links between COVID-19 and seafood. Aquaculture production is affected by the closure of markets, the shutdown of the HORECA sector, and restrictions on flights and cargo movements. In the processing sector issues with cross border transport, uncertain supply of raw materials, and market restriction are among the challenges companies must face. COVID-19 is also likely to have an impact on fisheries management and policy as stock assessments, fisheries observer programmes, and science and management meetings may all be postponed or cancelled. Measures to support the different elements in the supply chain extend from expanding government purchases of seafood to maintain demand and prevent a slump in prices to extending credit and microfinance facilities to fish farmers to ensuring smooth passage of goods at ports, rail terminals, and at border crossings. The complete brief is available at http://www.fao.org/documents/card/en/c/ca8637en
The North Western Waters Advisory Council (NWWAC) is one of the EU’s 11 fisheries advisory councils. Established under the Common Fisheries Policy the advisory councils are fora for dialogue between stakeholders in the fisheries sector in the areas they represent. The NWWAC advises on matters related to fisheries management in ICES areas 5b, 6 and 7 (EC offshore waters within the EEZ of Ireland, part of the United Kingdom and France). Early this year the NWWAC hosted a workshop “Re-imagining Gear in a Circular Economy” in Brussels in conjunction with the Baltic Sea Advisory Council, North Sea Advisory Council and Pelagic Advisory Council. Discussion at the workshop focused on the fishing gear component of recently introduced EU legislation, specifically the design, monitoring, collection and disposal of fishing gear.
Around 50 participants from 10 EU Member States discussed the challenges faced by the fishing sector relating to the proposed measures. These include the proposed introduction of an Extended Producer Responsibility Scheme, under which producers of fishing gear cover the costs of the separate collection of waste fishing gear and its subsequent transport and treatment, as well as the envisaged standardisation of gear, relating to the circular design of fishing gear to encourage preparation for re-use and to facilitate recyclability at end-of-life, and the overall lack of data regarding volumes of end-of-life gear and current recycling rates.
Clear recommendations from the workshop include the need for a full lifecycle analysis of the various types of fishing gear, as well as a complete supply chain analysis in order to arrive at a clear picture of the scale of the issue. While communication and awareness raising within the sector are paramount, it is vital that all stakeholders at local, national and EU levels coordinate their approach, as this issue falls within multiple policy areas, namely fisheries, waste management and circular economy.
The full report is available here: http://www.nwwac.org/_fileupload/Minutes%20and%20Reports/2020/Gear%20Workshop/FINAL%20Report%20AC%20Gear%20Workshop%202020_EN.pdf. For French or Spanish translations, enter the relevant version of the website at www.nwwac.org and visit the publications section.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have profound implications, shaping global demand and altering the supply patterns of many industries, not least the fisheries and aquaculture sector.
Fish and fish products need to move across borders with no restrictions, while in compliance with the existing measures to protect consumers’ health.
In order to assist the sector, GLOBEFISH will soon start disseminating a periodical newsletter covering past, current and future impacts of the pandemic on fisheries and aquaculture through the contribution of multiple participants in the value chain in different parts of the world.
In this regard, GLOBEFISH would greatly appreciate external input by responding to a short questionnaire.
The information collected will form a key basis for assessment and enable the industry to better access current information. Please note that all answers will be treated confidentially, and data will only be reported at aggregate levels.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is continuously monitoring and sharing information on the COVID-19, particularly possible disruptions in the food supply chain and challenges in terms of logistics. GLOBEFISH is part of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Department of FAO, responsible for providing up-to-date market and trade information on fish and fish products.