The Croatian fish processing industry has been facing a growing lack of skilled labour for its production, a problem which escalated in 2019. This has led to changes in business plans for the coming years. The high-intensity production with many workers is slowly becoming a thing of the past. Automation and robotics are mentioned more often within the industry even though, in some sectors like small pelagic fish, there is still high demand for skilled workers, since automation is not an efficient enough substitute.
Of all the fish caught worldwide nearly half are from scientifically monitored stocks and, on average, these stocks are increasing. An international project led by the University of Washington has compiled and analysed data from fisheries around the world and effective management seems to be the main reason why these stocks are at sustainable levels or successfully rebuilding.
“There is a narrative that fish stocks are declining around the world, that fisheries management is failing and we need new solutions — and it’s totally wrong,” said Ray Hilborn, lead author and a professor in the University of Washington School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences. “Fish stocks are not all declining around the world. They are increasing in many places, and we already know how to solve problems through effective fisheries management.”
Octopus is an important source of income for Senegalese fishermen and women due to its high value on international markets like Europe and Japan. Last year 15,000 clay pots were submerged in Senegalese local waters to form artificial reefs protecting and sheltering octopuses. The artificial breeding beds provided by the clay pots have increased the production of octopus considerably. This generates significant revenues at community level which benefit the local woman making the clay pots, the artisanal fishermen and fisherwomen who have an abundant and high value octopus stock to fish from, and the local fish merchants selling the octopus. The octopus pots not only preserve and restore the ecosystem and increase the octopus biomass but they also support the local artisanal fisheries by maintaining an economically viable activity.
An estimated 33% of the European fishing fleet catches are fished in British waters. The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson insists on Britain “maintaining control of these UK fishing waters” after it leaves the EU, he said in his first meeting with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who took office in December. The two are discussing the negotiations after Brexit, on January 31, with Johnson wanting a trade deal with the EU completed by the end of 2020 without Britain aligning with EU rules. He said the UK wanted “a broad free-trade agreement covering goods and services and co-operation in other areas”. With regards to fishing rights the two sides have committed to negotiating a new framework in place by 1 July although EU spokespersons believe that talks will go deep into the year due to its complexities.
Barcelona based Frime, a specialist in tuna and swordfish, is spending EUR 16 million to construct a new processing facility that will be ready in 2021, quadrupling the company’s current processing capacity of about 10,000 tonnes per year. The family-owned business has expanded its turnover incredibly over the last decade and anticipates this will continue. Demand is strong in Hungary, Poland, the US, Central America, and Asia, Salva Ramon, Frime’s CEO, points out.
Fisheries officers have stopped a group of commercial fishers in the Thames region, in northern New Zealand, who were allegedly under-reporting catches and unlawfully supplying snapper to an Auckland fish supply business. The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has been investigating allegations into the unlawful trade of commercially caught fish from Thames to the Auckland area. Forty-five fishery officers and the New Zealand Police executed searches at five locations, including three residential properties across the Auckland and Waikato regions. Phones and computers were seized and analysed. During the searches, over NZD25,000 (~EUR15,000) in cash was seized along with six commercial fishing vessels and a refrigerated truck. Approximately 800 kg of undocumented grey mullet and kahawai were located, along with 230 kg of undocumented snapper. Eight people have been interviewed and could face prosecution, however, enquiries are ongoing.
Nutreco has announced a strategic partnership with two cell-based food companies BlueNalu, a seafood start-up and meat start-up Mosa Meat. These agreements strengthen Nutreco’s commitment to Feeding the Future with science-based innovations that advance sustainability across the value chain. The food and feed industry must meet the growing demand for high quality proteins driven by a population estimated to rise to almost 10 billion by 2050 but also by more prosperous consumers demanding more diversified diets.
In France a total of 1,033 people became ill and 21 needed hospital treatment in what seems to be a norovirus contamination of live oysters, according to Food Safety News. Sweden, Italy, and the Netherlands have all also reported outbreaks which can be traced back to France. Additionally, products have been recalled in Luxembourg, Belgium, Switzerland, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Mats Lindblad, a communicable disease coordinator at the National Food Agency of Sweden states 31 people are sick linking the origin back to the French oysters through interviews. “Symptoms and incubation time indicate norovirus.
A report by Oceana, an environmental NGO, documents a three-week research expedition in the Quark, a narrow area in the northern part of the Baltic Sea between Finland and Sweden that separates the nearly‑freshwater Bothnian Bay from the more saline Bothnian Sea. The report calls for Finland and Sweden to establish a transboundary marine protected area (MPA) in the Quark in view of the area’s importance for biodiversity and the threats facing marine life present there. According to the report, the area’s changing salinity, depth, and levels of exposure to light, contribute to variations in substrate, flora, and fauna so that it hosts a unique mix of marine, brackish and freshwater species. Of these 71 are threatened or listed under the EU Habitats Directive or Birds Directives.
Adris Group, a major player in Croatia with activities in tourism, insurance, real estate, and healthy food services is behind Croatia’s largest producer of farmed fish, Cromaris. The positive development the group has shown over the last years mean that additional investments will be made into the sector. In the next three-year period, Adris Group plans to invest more than EUR30 million in the food sector through its ownership of Cromaris. Cromaris had a strong 2019 showing an 8% increase in sales for the first nine months of 2019 reaching a net profit of HRK13.2 million (EUR1.8 million), 80% of which is generated on foreign markets. In 2019, Cromaris will reach sales levels of nearly 10,000 tonnes of fresh fish. With the added investment Adris wants to transform Cromaris into a leader in the Mediterranean fish business.