The world population is estimated to reach 9,6 billion by 2050, increasing the global demand in 60 prosent for food production. In particular, the fish consumption has increased worldwide at a higher rate that of the world population growth and in comparison, to other protein sources, such as meat, dairy or milk. Under future increased food demand, the ocean has a large potential to contribute with valuable nutrients such as vitamins, marine lipids and proteins. In this context, the mesopelagic zone has been targeted for its potential and in particular low trophic marine species as a novel attempt to develop a new biomarine industry. These species represent a large biomass of previously unexploited and poorly investigated resources. This has led to studies on mesopelagic fish becoming a hot research topic in the world as well as in Norway. Given the major knowledge gaps in their biology and ecology, the characterization of the species will play an important role to define the potential of these resources. Furthermore, new methods are needed to preserve the catches and thus delay upon death undesirable processes. Settling appropriate onboard handling, processing and preservation methods will improve the quality and profit of the raw materials. The present PhD-project will contribute with knowledge generation and also addressing some of the main issues in the early stages of the value chain to ensure maximum yield, quality, and use of resources.
The acquisition of samples was carried out during June 2021 by dedicated research vessels provided by research and industrial partners of the SFI-Harvest project, funded by the Research Council of Norway's SFI scheme and with the aim of developing a new biomarine industry based on sustainable harvesting of low trophic marine species. The PhD-candidate has participated in the cruises for both data, raw material collection and experimental work related with on board handling, processing, and storage methods. During the fall semester in 2021 the candidate focused on the academic training which is mandatory for PhD students. The academical training has been completed by the spring semester 2022. Lab training and experiments have been also carried out during these periods and first publication related to characterization and composition of the raw material is expected to be prepared by the second half of the year 2022 together with oral dissemination activities. Recently, the candidate has been accepted for an oral presentation at the Nordic Lipidforum Symposium (June 2022, Ålesund). The close collaboration with the SFI-Harvest involves active cooperation between Norwegian research partners (UiT, Nofima, NMBU) and the Norwegian fishing sector, including fishing companies, technology developers and equipment suppliers, the main governmental body (Directorate of Fisheries) and relevant interest organizations. This has allowed the PhD to participate in seminars to outreach different sectors for dissemination of the work.