27.04.2017 · The Government

Seafood from the High North – sustaining and enhancing the EU market

Seafood from the High North – sustaining and enhancing the EU market

Seminar organised by the Mission of the Faroes to the EU and the North Norway European Office, Thon Hotel EU, Brussels, 26 April 2017

Over 100 people attended the seminar, which focused on the market conditions for seafood consumption in Europe, and the prospects for diversification and growth of seafood imports to the EU from the Northeast Atlantic and Barents Sea regions.

Trade in seafood is vital for the economies of fisheries dependent nations and coastal communities in the High North, including the Faroe Islands and North Norway. The EU market is key in this regard. Some 29% of the total volume of seafood imports to the EU comes from the Faroes and Norway today.

Faroese fisheries minister, Høgni Hoydal and Norwegian state secretary for EEA and EU affairs, Elsbeth Tronstad both highlighted the importance of finding new ways to add value to marine resources and of ensuring an open and competitive EU market for quality seafood products from the High North.

Director for Maritime Policy and Blue Economy in DG MARE in the European Commission, Bernhard Friess and Chiara Bacci from DG MARE’s Markets and Impact Assessment Unit discussed key findings in a new survey of EU consumer habits regarding fishery and aquaculture products, underlining the diversity of factors influencing consumers’ choice of seafood, as well as the potential for increased consumption of value-added seafood products on the European market.

Guus Pastoor of the European Fish Processors Association, speaking in his role as chairman of the EU’s newly established Market Advisory Council, explained how this new body will work to advise the Commission on all aspects of the seafood supply chain, from production to retail and consumer interests.

Fisheries industry representatives from the Faroes and North Norway shared their views on the challenges and opportunities facing their sectors and specific business when it comes to adding value to seafood production in the High North and increasing exports to the EU market. Faroese industry representatives were Marita Rasmussen, director of the House of Industry and Tórheðin Jensen, CFO of the pelagic fish company Varðin. From North Norway the seminar heard from Marit Sivertsen, sales director of the sales company Polar Quality and Charles Aas, advisor at the Norwegian Fishermen´s Sales Organization.

Seafood from the High North was also on the menu at the seminar with a gourmet taste of Faroese mackerel and Norwegian and Faroese salmon prepared by talented Norwegian chef Per Theodor Tørrissen.