Jónas R. Viðarsson
Jonas R. Viðarsson is a research group leader at Matís ltd. – Icelandic Food and Biotech R&D in Iceland. He is leading a research group “safe food and sustainable value chain”. He is currently working on number of projects that address discard bans, improved utilisation, product development and sustainable utilisation on marine resources.
Development towards future supply of sustainable seafood
Environmental-, social- and economic sustainability from catch to consumer is what all suppliers of seafood should be striving for. The Icelandic coastal fleet meets all of these criteria. The fish stocks are in a healthy condition, the fleet uses static fishing gear that causes minimum impact on the seafloor and by-catches are almost non-existent. The fleet has one of the lowest catch vs. fuel ratio known in demersal fisheries, is extremely important for regional development and basically the only sector in the Icelandic fishery that provides opportunity for new entry. Last, but not least, the catches of the coastal fleet are landed on the day of capture and fetches therefore higher prices than other demersal catches; and the products produced from these catches are primarily soured by the most demanding and highest paying markets in the world. The aim of the presentation will be to demonstrate why Icelandic coastal catches are among the most sustainable seafood available.
Discard Bans and Improved Utilisation of Rest Raw Materials
A landing obligation (LO) is currently being implemented with the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) of the EU and by 2019 all catches of species with catch limits will have to be landed by the European fleet. The LO has already been implemented for some fleet segments and areas, such as the pelagic sector and in the Baltic and North Sea. The LO is causing great concerns amongst fishermen in Europe, which fear that it will make it impossible to operate within the system. There are however many countries that have long and successful experience of operating within a discard ban similar to the LO. In his presentation Mr. Viðarsson will give examples on how some of those countries have addressed operational and governance challenges associated with discard bans. In some cases there are examples where a discard ban has provided incentives to improve utilisation, motivate product development, build new markets and contribute to more profitable industry.