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MARINFORSK-Marine ressurser og miljø

SnowMAP - Using innovation and science to put the Norwegian Snowcrab on the MAP as a sustainable and high quality product

Alternative title: SnowMAP - Innovasjon og vitenskap satt sammen for å sikre og gjøre norsk snøkrabbeindustri til den beste

Awarded: NOK 16.6 mill.

The SnowMap project is a collaboration between academia and industry to ensure that all parts of the snowcrab industry is working together towards an optimized, sustainable and value creating industry that is beneficial for the producers and the society. The industry saw an explosion-like increase in the catches from 2013 to 2016, with little catch in 2013 to over 10 000 tons in 2016. After this, the landings declined to a low point in terms of catch in 2018. Norwegian fishing vessels lost access to the Russian part of the Barents Sea loop hole in 2017, causing a decrease in the Norwegian landings. In 2017 a quota was established of 4000 tons, while the landing in 2017 was just under 3000 tons. The fisheries has since 2018 been closed in the summer to protect the crabs, and the 2018 the catch ended at 2800 tons. In 2019, the catch increased again and ended up at just over 4000 tons. In 2020 the quota was increased to 4500 tons. In a developing industry with varying catches it is important that the value is maximized and the resources fully exploited. It is classic for new fishing industries that the catch is very variable in the beginning before it stabilizes. It has been demonstrated in this project that there is a biomass present that can be harvested in a sustainable way, still the resources are less reliable than initially envisioned, and this just makes the sustainable handling of the stock even more important. By establishing sound methods and processes that show the best result and that ensures sustainability throughout the entire value chain, we can secure the value creation and longevity from this new industry in Norway.

From the grant application form, best practical guides or knowledge background for use for the industry for harvesting, live holding, processing, use of side streams, market, performance and management was indicated. All these points have been delivered through reports, implementation and interaction with the industry. The industry has grown and stabilized with a large number of new technologies and processes that can be used to ensure a profitable future. In addition, publications in all areas have been published and is still being published. We have got input an best practice information form established crab industries in USA and Canada and have had very good transnational knowledge exchange between both the indudstry and academia, regulatory bodies and we have seen that the snow crab industry can be a profitable and sustainable industry for the future in Norway.

The SnowMap project is a collaboration between academic experts and the crab fishing industry, designed to meet identified academic and end-user needs, ensure sustainability in the growing Norwegian snow crab fishery and increase yield and profitability. It provides enormous potential Norway; some predict it to become as important as the Norwegian cod fishery. The Norwegian snow crab industry has experienced extremely rapid growth from a zero base over the past three years, it is now well established with a demonstrated harvestable biomass. Right now exists the opportunity to ensure this industry develops into a solid, sustainable and environmentally sound source of stable income. Significant industrial investments have already been made, and we present here a collaborative project aimed at maximizing the sustainability, minimizing waste and securing long-term profitability in the areas where the industry is established, mostly in these decentralized areas of Norway. We truly believe that a totally integrated value chain project is key to achieve the project goals. Nofima with academic and industrial partners have identified key value chain areas requiring improvement; catch efficiency, live holding, processing and total exploitation, market development, regulation and integrated bio-economic methodology throughout the value chain. A crucial aspect of this project is a total value chain approach to the industry, securing cross-disciplinary knowledge, such that the entire value chain is adapted to the current developing market and prepared for predicted market changes. The implementation of new cross-disciplinary knowledge into academia and industry is often a bottleneck in new research, and the removal of this bottleneck is an important focus in this project. We estimate that the value creation in this industry can be increased by 35-45 % by implementing the projects result, securing already established jobs, and create over 400 new jobs in decentralized areas.

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MARINFORSK-Marine ressurser og miljø