The Spanish Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research and Training (IFAPA) under the Andalusian Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Sustainable Development has concluded mapping the sole genome. This work could represent a qualitative leap in the farming of this commercially valuable species. IFAPA led the work that combined very long DNA sequences and genetic markers and will serve as the basis for mapping markers and their distribution throughout the genome. The integration of the physical and genetic map opens up new possibilities for farming sole, a species of high economic value in Europe.
Understanding that positive climate actions make both environmental and economic sense, Skretting Italy has had its ‘Carbon Footprint Systematic Approach’ certified to ISO 14067:2018, the international standard that provides globally agreed principles, requirements and guidelines for the quantification and reporting of the carbon footprint of a product. This means that the company is now able to provide certified carbon footprint figures on all of the aquaculture feed products in its portfolio, giving aquaculture operations of all sizes the means to calculate the carbon footprint of their products and a better understanding of ways in which these can be reduced.
The innovative wellboat Gåsø Høvding has been launched at the Sefine Shipyard in Turkey. The wellboat is 83.2 meters long and 30.9 meters wide and unlike any other. Møre Maritime designed the boat and Cflow delivers everything relating to fishing. They have both worked closely with Frøy on the innovative wellboat project for about a year when it was commissioned. “Our customer needed a large boat. We worked on several different options, but eventually landed on this one. Design and flexibility are the way our customer wants it,” says project manager Einride Wingan from Frøy. It is a good feeling to finally get her to sea. On such projects, there will always be challenges, but they could be solved along the way. The wellboat has a total holding volume of 7,500 cubic meters and is equipped with systems for sorting and removal of all types of cleaning fish, reusable freshwater treatment, 12-line hydrolicers and an advanced and automated hygiene system. Frøy has an additional five more wellboats under construction, four of which should be completed this year.
A union of four companies from Greece and Spain have joined forces to start a new era in Mediterranean aquaculture, Europa Azul reports. Avramar is the result of the union of the aquaculture companies Andromeda Group, Nireus, Selonda, and Perseus, specializing in fish feed. With a total production volume of more than 70,000 tonnes and a presence in more than 30 countries and more than 2 300 employees, Avramar is a leading brand for seabass and sea bream and the largest fish producer in the Mediterranean. Each of the four has been a pioneer and leader in Mediterranean aquaculture for decades, farming Greek fish in the Aegean and Ionian Seas and Spanish fish along the Mediterranean coast and around the Canary Islands. Innovation through value-added products that are easier to prepare and cook will reinforce the company's goal of becoming the preferred fresh fish supplier on the market. In terms of operations, the company plans to apply new technologies and methods to achieve more efficient and competitive costs. Avramar's commitment to sustainability, local communities, customers and partners is its top priority, alongside long-term investments in research and development.
Thai Union Group PCL has invested in California-based BlueNalu through its venture fund, joining other industry-leading strategic and financial partners in backing the start-up. BlueNalu, is one of the leading cell-based seafood companies in the world, innovatively producing premium fish products from the cells of fish which equal conventional products in terms of texture, nutritional profile, and taste. The company plans to introduce a wide variety of cell-based seafood products, including mahi mahi and bluefin tuna. BlueNalu will leverage this financing to complete the world’s first commercial pilot facility for producing cell-based seafood, and for market launch plans in late 2021. In 2019 Thai Union’s launched its venture fund with an initial commitment of USD 30 million (~EUR 25 million) to focus its investments on three strategic areas: alternative protein, functional nutrition and new technologies along the food value chain. Thai Union is investing in early-stage entrepreneurial companies that are active in these areas and will actively partner with these companies to support and accelerate their development.
Over the last few years, Croatia has set a path to introduce electronic data delivery for the entire fisheries sector. The progress is evident and the introduction of electronic data delivery is very well accepted by the end-users - fishermen, farmers, buyers and the administration itself. Commercial fishers can deliver catch and landings data on paper (logbooks or reports), electronically through e-logbooks, via an app, or by email. Up until now, nearly 40% of the fishing fleet delivers daily catch and landing data electronically/digitally or by mobile application. What is even more significant is that these data cover nearly 98% of the catch.
The US fishing and seafood sector has generated more than USD 200 billion (~EUR 165 billion) in yearly sales and supported 1.7 million jobs in recent years. 2020, however, resulted in broad declines due to the COVID-19 public health crisis, according to a new NOAA Fisheries analysis. The protective measures introduced in March across the United States and around the world had an almost immediate impact on seafood sector sales. 2020 started strong with a three percent increase in commercial fish landings revenue in January and February. Revenues, however, declined monthly from a 19% decrease in March to a 45% decrease by July, resulting in a 29% decrease for the first seven months compared to 5-year averages and adjusted for inflation.
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.