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How to use our heads in the fishing industry Käytetään järkeä kalateollisuudessa Hreiðar Þór Valtýsson Assistant professor, MSc fisheries biology University.

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Presentation on theme: "How to use our heads in the fishing industry Käytetään järkeä kalateollisuudessa Hreiðar Þór Valtýsson Assistant professor, MSc fisheries biology University."— Presentation transcript:

1 How to use our heads in the fishing industry Käytetään järkeä kalateollisuudessa Hreiðar Þór Valtýsson Assistant professor, MSc fisheries biology University of Akureyri / The Marine Research Institute Borgir v/ Nordurslod, IS-600 Akureyri, Iceland Bjarni Eiriksson MSc student fisheries sciences University of Akureyri

2 Introduction 1.Flashback to the age of settlement 2.Fast forward to the 14th century 3.The 19th century, some changes 4.Semi-modern times 5.Today in Dalvík - Video Finish Fishermen Association Hreiðar Thor Valtysson The webThe web

3 The 9 th century First settlement in 874 Iceland fairly rich – New unspoiled country – Relatively few people – Warm climate Agriculture the mainstay of the economy Mostly fisheries for subsistence Finish Fishermen Association Hreiðar Thor Valtysson The webThe web

4 The 9 th century The 10th century Finish Fishermen Association Hreiðar Thor Valtysson The webThe web The 11th century The 12th century The 13th century The population at around Gradually the climate declines and the land becomes less productive Civil war and a loss of independence But nothing much happens in the fisheries

5 The 14 th century Iceland under Norwegian and then Danish rule Poor contry – Cool climate – Infertile soil – Volcanic eruptions – Diseases Population around Fisheries become more important – As food instead of less agricultural output – As export Finish Fishermen Association Hreiðar Thor Valtysson The webThe web

6 The 14 th century Fish products at least as important as agricultural products Stays like that for many centuries The fleet in Icelandic waters – Large English, later Dutch and still later French sailing boats fishing offshore – Icelanders use small open rowing boats Finish Fishermen Association Hreiðar Thor Valtysson The webThe web

7 The 14 th century The most important species 1.Cod – catches estimated from to t annually 2.Greenland shark – unknown catch 3.Halibut and haddock – unknown catch Processing method – Drying stockfish most important (skreið in Icelandic) for export – Fish oil also important for export and local consumption – Curing (buying it in a pit near the waters edge for some months) of shark important for local consumption Finish Fishermen Association Hreiðar Thor Valtysson The webThe web – Some pickling (in whey) for local consumption No salting, smoking, freezing, icing or canning

8 The 14 th century What parts of the fish were used => everything Finish Fishermen Association Hreiðar Thor Valtysson The webThe web Head, dried and eaten mostly locally. Very common food Liver eaten, processed for oil, oil mainly for fire, also medicine Fins pickled and eaten Swim bladder, pickled and eaten Gonads eaten Skin eaten or used to make shoes Stomach used for sausages The flesh dried and exported =$ Bones pickled and eaten or used as firewood Otoliths used as toys

9 The 14 th century The 15th century Finish Fishermen Association Hreiðar Thor Valtysson The webThe web The 16th century The 17th century The 18th century The population at around Diseases, volcanic eruptions and cool climate keep the population level low Nothing much happens in the fisheries

10 The 19 th century Iceland under the Danish crown but some gradual independence The economy improves despite a cool climate – Technological improvements Gradual population increase to Fisheries become even more important Finish Fishermen Association Hreiðar Thor Valtysson The webThe web Fisheries products as percentage of export earnings

11 The 19 th century The fleet Still foreign boats, mostly French schooners. English trawlers and Norwegian herring boats appear at the end of the century An Icelandic sailing boat fleet began to emerge in the 18th century, approximately half of the catch by them Majority of the Icelandic fleet still open rowing boats, why?? –The fishing grounds were also close by so big boats were not essential –Harbours were few and none in most areas –Not much capital available. Finish Fishermen Association Hreiðar Thor Valtysson The webThe web

12 The 19 th century The most important species 1.Cod – estimated catches from to t 2.Greenland shark – important until around Herring – emerging as an important species Processing method – Drying stockfish still important in beginning – Salting becomes by far the most important method – Fish oil (Greenland shark and cod) important for export – Some Curing, pickling and smoking – No freezing, icing or canning Finish Fishermen Association Hreiðar Thor Valtysson The webThe web

13 The 20 th century Iceland becomes independent The economy improves rapidly Population increase to Fisheries very important but relative importance declines toward the end Finish Fishermen Association Hreiðar Thor Valtysson The webThe web

14 The 20 th century The fleet Motorized from the beginning of the century Icelandic trawlers almost from the beginning of the century, numbers variable, around 100 in the later part. Many size and type categories Finish Fishermen Association Hreiðar Thor Valtysson The webThe web

15 The 20 th century The main species Cod nearly always the most important Some years the herring was more important The second and third species variable between decades, mainly haddock, redfish, shrimp, capelin, Greenland halibut and herring Greenland shark and halibut of no commercial importance although consumed locally Finish Fishermen Association Hreiðar Thor Valtysson The webThe web

16 The 20 th century Processing methods Salting the most important in the beginning and freezing from around 1950 Fish meal, oil, dry fish and freshfish of some importance Canning, and smoking of little importance Finish Fishermen Association Hreiðar Thor Valtysson The webThe web Value of exports

17 The 20 th century What parts of the fish were used => mainly the fillet Finish Fishermen Association Hreiðar Thor Valtysson The webThe web Head into fish meal Liver processed for oil but mostly thrown away Fins into fish meal Swim bladder into fish meal Gonads mostly thrown away Skin into fish meal Stomach thrown away The flesh salted or frozen Bones into fish meal Otoliths thrown away

18 The 21 st century Icelandic companies expand abroad Iceland very rich (how long will it last ??) The importance of fisheries declines The fleet – Fewer but more mechanized and computerized boats Finish Fishermen Association Hreiðar Thor Valtysson The webThe web

19 The 21 st century The main species – Mostly the same but changes in species composition due to warming climate – Reduced importance of cod as the stock was overfished and rebuilding the stock have so far failed The processing methods – More freshfish, less frozen – Salted fish still important, high quality market in the Mediterranean region – More emphazis on full utilization – Increase in fish drying, especially the heads !!! Finish Fishermen Association Hreiðar Thor Valtysson The webThe web

20 The 21 st century What parts of the fish were used => everything Finish Fishermen Association Hreiðar Thor Valtysson The webThe web Heads dried Liver processed for oil and fish meael Fins dried Swim bladder dried, sometimes pickled Gonads, roe into caviar Skin into gelatine Stomach into skin care lotion The flesh fresh, frozen or salted Bones dried Otoliths thrown away

21 The 21 st century Video, Dalvík fish processing plant Finish Fishermen Association Hreiðar Thor Valtysson The webThe web

22 The 21 st century This trend is probably driven by scarcity. 1.Before the 20 th century food from agriculture was barely enough to feed the nation and the fish was hard to get. Thus every conceivable part of both the fish and the lamb was used. 2.The 20 th century was time of abundance, fish stocks were not yet overfished for most part of the century and technology allowed people to fish easily. 3.In the beginning of the 21 st century the picture facing the fisheries sector is bleaker, many stocks have been overfished and capacity of the fishing fleet is much higher than the fish stocks can tolerate, thus driving the fishing sector to attempt to increase the value of the limited catch. Finish Fishermen Association Hreiðar Thor Valtysson The webThe web

23 The end Finish Fishermen Association Hreiðar Thor Valtysson The webThe web Thanks to – Samherji hf – Salka – Norfisk ltd – Sigurjón Arason Matís References – Arason, S The drying of fish and utilization of geothermal energy – The Icelandic experience. GHC Bulletin, December 2003: – Jónsson, G. and Magnússon, M.S Hagskinna – Icelandic historical statistics. Statistics Iceland. – Thor, J.Th. 2002, 2003, Saga sjavarútvegs á Íslandi, volumes I, II and III. – Kristjánsson, L Íslenskir sjávarhættir, volume IV,

24 Abstract Finish Fishermen Association Hreiðar Thor Valtysson The webThe web How to use our heads in the fishing indurstry Finnish Fishermen association 70 th anniversary seminar, Pori Hreiðar Þór Valtýsson, University of Akureyri/Marine Res. Inst., Iceland – Bjarni Eiríksson, University of Akureyri, Iceland – From the age of settlement, fisheries have been a crucial part of the Icelandic society. The history of Iceland can indeed be split into several periods depending on the fisheries regime. 1.9 th to 13 th century – Fisheries important for subsistence – open rowing boats - cod most important 2.14 th to 18 th century – Fisheries important for subsistence as well as export – open rowing boats – cod the most important species, Greenland shark as well 3.19 th century – Fisheries important for subsistence as well as export – open rowing boats as well as decked sailing boats – Cod and Greenland shark most important, herring emerging as important 4.20 th century – overwhelming importance of fisheries as export – the entire fleet mechanized quickly – Cod still the most important, replaced by herring in some years, increasing importance of other sp st century (??) – reduced importance of fisheries as export – computerized and mechanized fleet – many species important The utilization of fish products has been varied through the ages. Until the 20 th century almost everything was used for human consumption. The high value products were exported but the local market consumed the lower value parts. Use was made of each part of the fish so that each bone in the cod had a name, including 322 names (depending on the region and the bone) for the bones in the head. Even toxic species like the Greenland shark were eaten, admittedly after having been detoxified by burying the flesh in the ground for some months. During the 20 th century the consumption and utilization of these low value products was reduced greatly. The total catch increased dramatically and Icelanders became more prosperous. Most of the extra products of the fish were thus either thrown away or reduced to low value fish meal. This trend has however been reversing in the last part of the 20 th and the beginning of the 21 st century. Increased technology and cheap energy has opened new doors for products from fishes or fish parts that were previously of low value. As examples, export of geothermally dried cod heads has increased, trials are underway on the use of enzymes extracted from fish offals for body lotion and fine leather is made from catfish skin. This trend is probably driven by scarcity. Before the 20 th century food from agriculture was barely enough to feed the nation and the fish was hard to get. Thus every conceivable part of both the fish and the lamb was used. The 20 th century was time of abundance, fish stocks were not yet overfished for most part of the century and technology allowed people to fish easily. In the beginning of the 21 st century the picture facing the fisheries sector is bleaker, many stocks have been overfished and capacity of the fishing fleet is much higher than the fish stocks can tolerate, thus driving the fishing sector to attempt to increase the value of the limited catch. A video is shown from Samherji ltd fish processing plant in Dalvík near Akureyri which tries to utilize all possible parts of the fish.

25 Fishing boats Finish Fishermen Association Hreiðar Thor Valtysson The webThe web


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