Estonia’s economy has grown 4.5% in the first quarter of 2019 with a new GDP totaling €6.7 billion. The country’s economic growth has been broad based with expansion of the fishing sector among the contributors to the improving economy. The exports of goods, which grew by 9.6% in the first quarter, the fastest pace recoded in the past two years, is one of the biggest contributors to the country’s healthy economy.
Fish processing continues to be a notable industry in Estonia. In 2017 Estonia processed 51876 tones of fish, mainly frozen saltwater fish but also fish fillets in batter, and canned sardines, sardinella, brisling and sprats. Exports totaled €146 million with the largest markets in Ukraine, Belarus, Denmark and Finland. In 2017 approximately 5% of Estonia’s aquaculture production was exported. The species responsible for this exportation were mainly European eel, rainbow trout and European crayfish.
The European Union, Denmark, Norway and other major fishing nations like The United States, China and Russian Federation met in Ottawa on 29-30 May to discuss the prevention of unregulated fishing in the Arctic. The aim of the meeting was to begin preparatory work for enforcing the Agreement to prevent Unregulated High Seas Fisheries in the Central Arctic Ocean which was ratified earlier in 2018. The agreement is the precautionary approach by ten countries to manage high seas fish stocks in the Central Artic Ocean. The agreement covers approximately 2.8 million square kilometers, an area roughly equal to the size of the Mediterranean Sea. Climate change has brought this issue afront by melting the ice that traditionally covered the high seas of the central Artic Ocean year-round. The melting of this ice makes the region accessible to fishing.
In May 2019, over eight million farmed salmon suffocated in northern Norway as a result of a persistent algae bloom. The estimated economic loss from the 10,000 tonnes of farmed salmon is as much as 620 million Norwegian Kroner (EUR64m). The enormous algae blooms, which occurred due to warm weather, spread rapidly around Norway’s northern coast, sticking to fish’s gills and suffocating them. While wild fish can swim away from the lethal clouds of aquatic organism, farmed fish are trapped at the mercy of the algae. Harmful algae blooms occur when the normally occurring aquatic plants grow out of control due to warm weather. Some are attributing the severity of these algae attacks to climate change.
Expanding international markets for Turkish farmed fish
As one of the services to its member countries, Eurofish International Organisation facilitates the participation of delegations at trade fairs around Europe, hosting them at EUROFISH Business Platform. The Global Seafood Forum and Seafood Expo held in St. Petersburg, Russia on 10-12 July 2019 and organized by Expo Solutions Group together with Roscongress is a good opportunity to bring a delegation of officials and traders from Turkey to Russia to give the participants an possibility both to explore the Russian seafood market and to introduce their products and services.
Meet the delegation from Turkey at EUROFISH Business Platform, Seafood Expo Russia, Stand C-15
Danish-owned BioMar is globally one of the most significant feed producers for the aquaculture industry with 14 feed plants and another two under construction. The factories are located across the globe in the major farmed fish producing nations in Asia, Europe, Latin America and soon also in Australia. The company estimates that roughly 20% of the fish farmed in Europe and South and Central America is raised on its feeds. BioMar recently completed the acquisition of the Chilean feed factory, Alitec Pargua, which had been a joint venture with the salmon producer, AquaChile, with each partner having a 50% interest. BIoMar and AquaChile entered into an acquisition agreement regarding the Alitec Pargua plant following the Chilean company’s acquisition by a local agro-processor last year. The plant represents 10 years of successful collaboration between the two companies, and after the transaction the commercial relationship between BioMar and AquaChile will continue. BioMar announced that the acquisition will increase its flexible production capacity and allow it to meet demand for its high-performance feeds, functional products and services, which it supplies to 80 countries around the world and for 45 species of fish.
A new study claims that the EU will not reach its 2020 goal of sustainably caught fish, as EU ministers continue allowing catches higher than the recommended limits set by scientists. The New Economics Foundation (NEF), an NGO based in the UK, claims that the 2019 TACs for nearly half of EU commercial fish species were set higher than the scientific advice. They found that 55 TAC’s were set above recommended levels equating to approximately 312,000 tonnes in excess catch. The Northeast Atlantic TACs were on average set 16% above scientific advice, an increase of 9% from 2018. Early negotiations for the Baltic Sea and deep sea TACs are currently set higher than expert advice.
The Bangladesh Fisheries Ministry has banned fishing in coastal areas for 65 days in an attempt to protect its marine populations during breeding season. The ban has been enforced by authorities and is set to run until July 23. Affected fishermen are concerned about how this will affect their livelihoods and their income. Although similar bans have been issued in the Bay of Bengal in the past, this is the first time the ban extends to include small-scale and local fishing boats.
Cooperation on marine research and innovation in the Black Sea region is receiving a strong boost with the adoption of the Black Sea Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA). The agenda, prepared by researchers and scientists from the region’s major marine research institutes and scientific bodies, aims to make the Black Sea more productive, healthy, resilient, sustainable and better-valued by 2030. It will be the research and innovation pillar of the Common Maritime Agenda for the Black Sea, to be agreed at the end of May.
Increasing concentrations of plastic in our environment are a growing threat to ecosystems and human health.
Plastic has been detected in nearly all marine life – from whales to molluscs. In order to fight this threat, there
have been calls in international fora such as G7, G20 and the United Nations to bring the many measurements and
observations together to create a complete picture. Europe is now leading the way. Authorities and the wider
society now have a new tool to help track, map and identify where litter ends up in our seas and oceans and check
how it is affecting ocean health. The data and integrated maps on marine litter will allow people to detect trends for litter on beaches and the seafloor. These maps will also enable society to evaluate the efficiency of reduction measures (bans, taxes, rules, etc.) launched by both the European Commission and Member States, which will address marine litter in general, with two specific types being single use plastics and fishing gear.