The use of slave labor to catch fish is an epidemic whose severity needs no elucidation. New technology, however, may hold the key to fighting forced labour in the fishing industry. An estimated 21 million people are trapped in enslaved labor around the world. Many of these slaves are forced to work on fishing vessels, with illegal fishing practices generating over $23 billion each year. The tendency is for men who are seeking work to board ships willingly, but then once they are isolated at sea, their wages are withheld, and they are subjected to violent, bleak working conditions for years.
On some of European waterways a fleet of kayaks have been fitted with an unusual accessory: A trash can. These bright green boats are free to rent, but volunteers are required to work for their trip by collecting floating waste. The initiative is the brainchild of GreenKayak, a Denmark-based environmental NGO with a mission to clean up the continent's canals, rivers and lakes. Volunteers can take to the water in one of the project's colourful two-person kayaks, equipped with paddles, life vests and trash pickers. While enjoying the tour, kayakers can pluck garbage from the water and fill the onboard trash can. Although still in its infancy, the scheme aims to address a growing global challenge. According to UN figures, about 13 million tonnes of plastic waste ends up in the world's oceans each year, the majority of it fed along rivers from land-based sources. This pollution damages marine life which reduces biodiversity and can potentially harm human health. Since the initiative launched in 2017, volunteers have collected over 15,000 kilograms of floating waste from Europe's waterways and the project is growing. The scheme, which started in Copenhagen is now operating all around Denmark as well as Norway, Ireland, Germany, and Sweden.
International food processors and retailers were invited by Sealed Air to the company’s brand-new Milan Packforum in June this year for an update on how the market is changing from commodity to premium products and how industry players manage to do so while improving their green credentials. At the event, Rabobank – a leading international bank with a mission to promote greater sustainability in food production – showed that adding value to products and following convenience trends are key factors for retailers to succeed. Rabobank demonstrated this using the example of salmon, which now shows the highest consumption among all proteins thanks to products being innovative, convenient for consumers and packaged for premium positioning.
Twenty-nine Danish suppliers in the global fishing, aquaculture and seafood processing industries will travel to Trondheim Spektrum, Norway for this years Aqua Nor conference. The conglomerate of Danish suppliers represents Fish Tech, Danish Export Association, the largest group of Danish suppliers in the fishing equipment sector. Head of Fish Tech Martin Winkel expects this year’s Aqua Nor conference to be especially remarkable because of shifting market forces that are demanding more sustainable products. ”Accordingly, [this shift] offers great potential for Danish suppliers that hold a position as front-runners in developing new technology with a strong focus on high quality solutions, cost-efficiency and sustainability,” Martin said.
On 12 September over 7,000 food industry specialists from 11 different countries will flock to Warsaw, Poland to see the latest and greatest of the Polish agri-food sector. The Ptak Warsaw Expo, the largest food fair in Poland, is an opportunity for producers to present their food to representatives of the largest retail chains in Poland and foreign purchasing groups in the HoReCa industry. The event aims to promote the Polish food sector both domestically and abroad by facilitating an opportunity to establish direct business contracts. This year thee will be buyers from all over the world including the Ukraine, Lithuania, United Arab Emirates, China, Tukey and Azerbaijan.
Falling fish population across the world are prompting innovators to look to the lab to find new ways at producing inexpensive fish products. Globally, demand for salmon has skyrocketed, along with demand for all fish, fueling overfishing and threatening the stocks of many fisheries. Fish and seafood now account for almost a fifth of the animal protein people consume making the need for a solution to a potential seafood shortage urgent. Maynard, United States based AquaBounty Technologies is hoping its genetically modified version of Atlantic salmon, which is says grows twice as fast as normal salmon, will soon become a top consumer choice. The company raises the salmon in land-based production systems that eliminate the various risks to wild fish, humans and the environment posed by farmed salmon.
Surviving in a competitive marketplace is increasingly dependent on the effective implementation of information technology for process control and automation. Technology in this sector is evolving rapidly, especially with the recent proliferation of virtual reality. Fortunately, on 25 September, Marel, a supplier of integrated systems and machines for the meat, fish and poultry industries will host the Whitefish Showhow in Progress Point, Copenhagen addressing these themes. The conference will showcase the latest high-tech processing solutions for fish products. Demonstrations of Marel equipment and software will run all day. In addition to live demonstrations, visitors will also be able to experience cutting-edge innovation and technology via virtual reality. The upcoming event is Marel’s fifth edition of the Whitefish Showhow.
Turkeys aquaculture exports during this season reached $582.2 million, a 9 percent increase compared to the same period last year according to the Eastern Black Sea Exports Association. Some 118,954 tonnes of aquaculture products were exported between September 1 and April 15, 2019.The Netherlands, Japan and Italy were the leading export destinations for frozen fish fillets from Turkey
Hungary has revealed plans to build a new carbon-neutral greenhouse-filled farming city that will be powered by renewable energy sources. The farming city will include one of Europe’s largest indoor fish farming facilities. The €1 billion agricultural center will adjoin the border between Hungary, Austria and Slovakia. It will cover 330 hectares – equivalent to 500 football pitches.
Should Brexit come to pass, Danish fishermen might find themselves in a tricky situation. If Britain leaves the EU and Denmark loses access to British waters the Danish fishing fleet will lose 30 percent, or about 1 billion Kroner, of total annual income, according to a report from the Department of food and Resource Economics at the University of Copenhagen. Brexit could have the most negative impact on larger fishing corporations, which would end up losing 61 percent of total income. The Danish government is working towards a scenario in which the Danish fishing fleet will have access to British waters even if the UK leaves the EU. A recent deal between the Faroe Islands and the UK may set a positive president for trade relations between the UK and the rest of Europe in a post Brexit EU.