Changes to the UK Norway relationship are inevitable but hardly insurmountable
This article was featured in EUROFISH Magazine 1 / 2021.
The solid ties between Norway and the UK will provide a healthy foundation for the two countries’ relationship from January 2021.
Putting fish back on the menu
Featured in EUROFISH Magazine 1/2020
Seafood is declining in popularity in Norway, a country with one of the world’s highest figures for per capita consumption. Falling interest in seafood is prompting the authorities and institutions to find out the reasons behind this development and devise ways to counter it.
Norway is the world’s largest exporter of fish and seafood in terms of value after China. The country is however not only an impressive exporter but is also an avid consumer of fish and seafood products. Within Europe, it is only the Icelandics and the Portuguese who eat more seafood than the Norwegians. However, as in many countries, even those with a long tradition of eating seafood, consumption in Norway is declining. Seafood is associated with a number of health benefits both in children and adults. Falling fish consumption therefore can have repercussions on public health, so a number of initiatives backed by a network of public and private institutions have been put in place to reverse this trend.
Among these is the Norwegian Directorate of Health, a body with a mandate to improve the general level of health among Norwegians. A recent report from the directorate analyses developments in the Norwegian diet. What people eat is among the factors closely related to the risks of developing illnesses and of premature death and the directorate’s recommendations regarding diet, nutrition, and physical activity are intended to reduce these risks. The sustainability of a diet is also an aspect that is taken into consideration when making national recommendations today and a healthy diet, meaning one with a high content of fruit, vegetables, and whole grain products and a low content of red and processed meats, is generally more sustainable. The report finds that the development in Norwegian eating habits between 2008 and 2018 has been mixed. Sugar and milk consumption declined, that of vegetables increased, consumption of meat decreased slightly, while that of fish fell considerably. In 2018, Norwegians ate 2.6 times more meat than fish, a figure that was 2.2 in 2008.
The Norwegian seafood sector had another dream year, the second in a row, in terms of its export performance in 2014. Overall, the country’s seafood exports at NOK68.8bn (≈EUR8.2bn) represented a 12% increase over 2013 and this despite the sudden closure (for political reasons) of their biggest market, Russia, in August last year.
The fisheries and aquaculture sector in Norway is an important and growing part of the country’s economy. Highly diversified in terms of types of production, species, products, and above all, markets, yet the sector still has the potential to increase its contribution to the economy several-fold. Steering this development is Elisabeth Aspaker, Minister of Fisheries, who outlines here some of the ways in which this growth will be realised.
The fact that researchers are not only to be found in the proverbial ivory tower has been demonstrated by Møreforskning for 30 years with its various studies and projects. The group currently includes more than 50 scientists who carry out research and development projects in all areas of the value chain, i.e. from catch to plate, as required and commissioned by industry.
Marine Ingredients is a recognized specialist in the field of biological marine substances, and has produced omega-3 fish oil supplements/ preparations of the highest quality for health and organic food stores, industrial processors and the non-prescription pharmaceuticals market since 1984. The range of omega-3 products from Marine Ingredients ranges from small soft gel fish oil capsules that are taken daily as a dietary supplement, through bottled fish oils to large batches in 190 kg drums.
Just a few millilitres of anchovy concentrate are sufficient to transform a neutral tasting stock into an aromatic fish soup. “For a shrimp or anchovy stock the share of concentrate should be about 0.2%. The intense flavour of smoked herring can even be achieved by adding only 0.1% of the concentrate”, Tormod Thomsen, CEO of Firmenich Bjørge Biomarin, informed us.
Eurofins is one of the world leaders in the field of bioanalytical services for animal feed and food. With more than 200 laboratory branches in 39 countries which analyse, inspect and monitor a large number of raw materials and finished products for authorities, organizations and business customers Eurofins aims this year to achieve a total turnover of 2.5 billion euros.
Norway is busy preparing itself for the end of the oil and gas era and is focusing strongly on biological marine resources. The commercially utilizable marine area is six times larger than the country’s land area, and the fish stocks are among the world’s best managed resources. A significant reserve is, however, also to be found in marine by-products that have up to now not been sufficiently used.
The feature in the last edition of the Eurofish Magazine (December 2016) on the Blue Legasea project in Alesund, Norway, an undertaking that brings together companies interested in exploiting marine biomass to produce a range of sustainable, high-value, and healthful products, continues in this issue with brief profiles on three companies, Pharma Marine, Rimfrost, and Vedde (Triple Nine Group).