ICES Ecosystem Overviews 2020


ICES has released a new Ecosystem Overview for the East Greenland Sea ecoregion together with a revised version of the the Bay of Biscay and Iberian Coast. In addition, annual fisheries graphs have been updated for Azores, Baltic Sea, Celtic Seas, Greater North Sea and Icelandic Waters ecoregions.

These overviews provide a description of the ecosystems, identify the main human pressures, and explain how these affect key ecosystem components. In for example the North Sea,  the  overall fishing mortality (F) for shellfish, demersal, and pelagic fish stocks has reduced since the late 1990s.

You can also find the ecosystem overviews at the ICES homepage here.


A new focus on the arctic region


ICES describes the Arctic as one of Earth’s most important regions and finds that the polar ecosystems are changing. The local fisheries are affected by increasing temperatures and melting ice, and ICES is now investigating which ecological changes are likely to take place in the region during the coming decades. Such information will help ICES in its ecosystem approach to fisheries management.

Over the last decade, ICES has prioritized research on the Arctic in order to better understand the ecosystem changes and their effects on natural and human dimensions in that ecosystem.


Read more about ICES and the arctic region here.

Released: The EU Blue Economy Report 2020


In June, the European Commission published “The EU Blue Economy Report 2020” which gives an overview of how the economic sectors in EU have performed in relation to oceans and the coastal environment. These sectors provide 5 million jobs and had an annual turnover of €750 billion in 2018, and the blue economy presents a great potential for the green recovery after the coronavirus pandemic. In addition to the provision of food from the sea, the sector also contributes with jobs in coastal communities as well as marine renewable energy. The EU is currently the world leader in ocean energy technology, and it is on its way to produce up to 35% of its electricity from offshore sources by 2050.

The blue economy is an important player in the fight against global warming, and the EU supports it through several innovative investments. With the impacts of the current coronavirus crisis, the EU has taken several measures to protect the EU economy including different sectors in the blue economy.


Read more and find the full report here:

New study: fish oil improves children’s cognitive functions


A new study has found that an increased consumption of oily fish can have a positive effect on the cognitive functions of children. The attention and processing speed increased for the children who ate oily fish, and in addition the parents experienced a decrease in socioemotional problems. They found that the children who consumed oily fish worried less compared to before. Previous studies have likewise found that an increased intake of omega-3 fatty acids have a positive effect on the brain, and this new research thereby emphasizes that point.


Read more about the study here.

Major review of the EU’s trade policy


On 16 June, the European Commission launched an extensive review of the European Union’s trade policy. The review is a part of a major recovery plan for both economic and social damage following the Corona Crisis, and potential adjustments will be made to kick-start the European economy as well as protect and create jobs. The review will seek to ensure that the trade policy continuously serves the European citizens and companies in a changing global economy. At European Fishmeal, we warmly welcome the review and support the continuous trade collaboration both in Europe and internationally.

The review includes a public consultation where the European Union asks for input from different stakeholders such as the European Parliament, Member States, and civil society. This is done to reach a broad consensus about a new direction for the EU trade policy which will include the lessons learned as a result of the coronavirus pandemic as well as seek to respond to future global challenges.


Read more about the new EU trade policy review here.

Mesopelagic fishing shows great potential


Mesopelagic fish are the small species of fish that live between 200 and 1000 meters deep in the water. Today, mesopelagic species have only been remotely exploited and they represent a large potential fishery resource. However, there has been a growing interest in these species since 2015, and new Norwegian studies from 2019 have found that approximately 1500 tonnes of salmon, herring and krill were caught in the trial fishing along the west side of the Norwegian Sea. It is recognized that such numbers of mesopelagic catches are quite new in Norway.

A previous concern has addressed whether it would be possible to catch profitable quantities of mesopelagic species as the biomass was expected to be thinly distributed across large areas. However, experimental fisheries have shown that it is possible to catch some mesopelagic species in reasonably large quantities. This is considered a good starting point for further research on technology and biomass estimation.

The new research has also investigated the nutritional contents of these mesopelagic species. It was found that the species contain high levels of micronutrients such as vitamin A, calcium, selenium and omega 3 fatty acids. The researchers recognize that mesopelagic resources may be a solution to some local nutritional challenges due to the great global availability of the species. Though it is acknowledged that it is unlikely that humans will start to eat a lot of mesopelagic species in the near future, these species still present an interesting feed resource and they are thus a very interesting new resource for the fishmeal and fish oil industry.


Source: The Norwegian Institute of Marine Research (Havforskningsinstituttet).


European Fishmeal is partner of the MEESO project – “Ecologically and economically sustainable mesopelagic fisheries (MEESO)”. Read more about the project here.