Iceland visit showcases savvy processing, full use of fish parts
August 20, 2015
This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Lessons from Iceland on adding more value to every fish. More after this –
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Iceland is a top fishing nation and it leads the world in turning fish parts into high value marine products. Alaska state and seafood company reps visited to learn more about how Iceland does it.
The purpose was to increase our knowledge about the new full utilization technologies that Iceland companies are using to produce a variety of high value marine goods, and this is what they’re known for.
Matt Catterson is an economic advisor with the Commerce and Economic Development Dept., which organized the trade mission. The two countries share many similar challenges in developing high value products, but Iceland has some clear advantages –
Iceland really is a unique place in a lot of ways. They have really abundant and inexpensive energy from all their geo-thermal resources. They also have really good logistic connections within their country and to the European market.
Catterson says one thing that really stood out was Iceland’s biotech collaborations –
What we saw in Iceland was a model that doesn’t really exist yet in Alaska yet where smaller biotech companies that often are associated with the university in Iceland have partnered with some of the larger seafood companies to produce these high value marine products from fish wastes. They include a variety of pharmaceutical and cosmetic products as well as basic marine ingredients like collagen or other enzymes that have really valuable commercial applications worldwide.
Nine Alaska seafood companies are currently producing fish oils and meals, which is nothing new, and the volume and value has ticked upwards steadily since 2010. Many are already on board with utilizing all parts of the fish.
The global trend is utilizing all of the resources is a reality. There isn’t necessarily going to be more fish available to catch and process so increasing the value of what you catch and process is how the industry will grow in Alaska. And this is not news to any of the seafood companies operating in Alaska.
Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods – who salutes and says thanks to the men and women fishing across Alaska for their hard work and dedication. (www.oceanbeauty.com) In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.