Thor Sigfusson, founder of The Iceland Ocean Cluster was invited to take part in a panel at the Economist World Ocean Summit in Abu Dhabi in March.
The IOC message to the Summit was:
The global seafood industry dumps nearly 10 million tons of perfectly good fish byproducts back into the ocean or uses it as landfill. At the same time nearly 90 percent of the world’s fish stocks are threatened by over fishing. We can do more with less catch. Iceland‘s mission is to use 100% of our catch and throw nothing away. We can create all kinds of proteins and high value products from the byproducts. (see picture) Our mission has to be to inspire fishermen globally to do more with the fish – we need to educate them – but also educate and inspire next generations. I believe the next generation of fishermen will become the pharmacists of the future – using natural proteins of the ocean with great respect.
Cross pollination or triple helix is the key here. By increasing collaboration between industry, government and academia, we can find new ways. Triple helix is active in many industries but in seafood we have a long way to go.
There are silos all around. CEO’s of global fisheries meet at their own turf, academics as well, large organisations and government. We need the dialogue going between these different groups – and a dialogue with a clear mission to get things moving – maybe just one small project at a time. Clusters call it “the low hanging fruit”.