The Marine resources group and the Smart region group met in Aalborg, Denmark, on the 18th of January for separate meetings which was followed by a joint meeting on the day after.

Marine Resources Group meeting 18 January 2018

For more information contact MRG Advisor Yolanda Schmal (

Smart Regions Group meeting 18 January 2018

For more information contact SRG Advisor Geir Sør-Reime (

Summary from the joint meeting of the Marine resources group and the Smart regions group

Marine litter – and actions to reduce and mitigate it

The workshop started with a presentation on the impacts on maritime litter and local/regional authority solutions to a global problem by Arabelle Bentley and Mike Mannaart from KIMO, the Local Authoritieis International Environmental Organisation. They presented KIMO’s strategic approach to this problem and showcased some of the concrete actions taken by KIMO members at local level to address it. That included the ‘Fishing for Litter’ action, where fishing boats bring ashore for treatment also maritime litter that have been ‘caught’ by fishing gear. Today, around 600 fishing vessels participate in this action. Various actions to clean beaches were also presented. The latter is part of their ‘Green Deal’ network that also engages in the issues of ship-generated waste.

Nordjyllan regional strategy for Blue Growth

The workshop started with a presentation of the Blue Growth Strategy of the Nordjylland Region, presented by Tommy Tvedergaard Madsen. He focused on the Blue strength of Nordjylland and all the assets and companies that are active in this sector. The five main ports of the region are dynamos for development of both fisheries, processing, tourism and general goods transport. The region is currently developing a maritime cluster, MARCOD, with several large development projects under way.

New maritime sources for protein

Then professor Jens Kjerulf Petersen from the Danish Shellfish Centre in the Institute for Aquatic Resources at the Technical University of Denmark. His presentation focused on new maritime sources for protein, including discard, new species, mitigation farming, seaweed aquaculture and invasive species.

Much fish and seafood caught is subsequently discarded for various reason: undersized species, bycatch above quota, bycatch of little value. Discard is enormous, in the EU it amounts to around 1.7 million annually. Although the most important measure is to implement the discard ban in the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), other measures should also be taken, including economic incentives, storage facilities on fishing vessels and in ports, separation of high-value discard, introduction of selective fishing gear, but also development of new products based on discard. There are several new species that can be used, for instance starfish. It can be used for feed, as starfish meal.

Another interesting thing is mitigation culture, for instance farming mussels to clean the sea of nutrients and for improved water clarity, and mussel meal can be produced from such mussels, they may also be used for human consumption. Invasive species can be used for new uses/products, including the Pacific oyster, that can be handpicked without disturbing the eco-balance at beaches, and used as a delicatessen.

Blue Biomass – business development

Professor Petersen’s presentation was followed up by Per Dolmer, manager of the marine group of the consultancy company Orbicon. This company has helped develop business models around the opportunities presented by professor Petersen. Companies are now producing mussel meal based on mitigation farming, and are developing plans for commercial exploitation of the Pacific oyster.

Seagardens for mussel and seaweed farming

The concluding presentation was by Tine Bock, chairwoman of the Aalborg Fjordhave (Fjord Garden), a group of seagardens placed in the Limfjord. Here, share-owners farm mussels as a hobby, contributing to clear water and providing mussels and seaweed for their own enjoyment.