Development of a successful fishery is complex. Singular focus on efficient capture is often counterproductive by resulting in large volumes of low-value seafood. The value chain from capture to consumption needs to be developed. Fiskevegn works with private operators, scientists and public agencies to realize maximum seafood value whilst reducing efforts and environmental impacts.
Our position in fishery development is as a specialist on low-impact, fuel-efficient fisheries that deliver seafood of high value. Many fisheries have great potential to move away from low-value to high-value seafood harvesting, and doing the environment a favor while doing so.
Such fisheries can be both small- and big scale. Our solutions are in use from coastal dinghies in Greenland to ocean-going vessels of 70 meters in Antarctica, in operations that generate turnovers from a few tens of thousands to millions of dollars annually.
Consider two fundamentally different ways to increase the value of fishing. The traditional approach, which has helped put much of the world's fisheries in an unsustainable state [FAO], is narrow focus on capture efficiency. 'Efficiency' is often understood to mean only 'fast fishing'.
There is often a trade-off between fishing 'efficiency' and seafood value.
The other general approach is to increase the value of caught fish. The value obtained per kilo fish is higher when the catch is collected alive, without prolonged stress and exhaustion, and at a steady rate that does not oversaturate the catch-handling capacity on board.
Fisheries that deliver high quality seafood generate more value from less natural resources - an essential aspect of sustainable fishing.
The considerations required to realize high catch value are many. Vessel scaling and layout, capture method, crewing, quality handling and processing of catch, efficient distribution, responsible corporate and environmental stewardship, knowledge of niche markets, marketing and product presentation are all examples of significant factors.
Most fishing companies are not big enough to establish a successful value chain alone. Ticking all the boxes usually requires collaboration and a long-term strategy. However, there are also many examples of 'boutique fishing', where quality seafood is channeled from given fishing operations directly to high paying markets, which can be extremely successful in the right hands.
The best fishing solutions often include elements of both efficiency- and value-optimization. For example, modernizing a fishing operation can permit the crew to shift efforts previously wasted on gear handling over to improved catch handling.
Building fishery success requires development of a complete, functioning value chain from the fisherman to the seafood consumer, supported by a good regulatory regime. Our interdisciplinary team has know-how in marine ecology, fisheries management, fishing technology, mechanical engineering and vessel operations. Fiskevegn is dedicated to work with fishermen, marketers, NGOs and government agencies alike to establish successful and sustainable fisheries.
Read more about LIFE fishing: Review article