In these times of change, the world is looking for alternatives to petroleum. What seems more certain is that fisheries and aquaculture (F&A) in different forms will become Norway’s leading export industries with a green profile. This is what the markets ask for nowadays. However, there are challenges and opportunities waiting ahead. Some trends are expectable, such as energy transition, high start-up costs in the industry, the “slow food” movement, increasing vegetarianism and veganism among the youth, introduction of genetically modified fish, and the use of next-generation technologies. As the pandemic recently reminded us, F&A and other industries are also very vulnerable to disruptive events. These can be shocks like untreatable salmon diseases, confrontation or nuclear accident in the Barents Sea, or market lockdown. In that event, should we shut down, wait and see what others do, as we did with corona? The winners will be those that anticipate the problems, recognize the opportunities and develop adapted social and environmental strategies, technologies and practices of marine resource utilization. In these visions, we distinguish between possible and probable futures, and between desirable and undesirable conditions. Right now, we have a window of opportunity to use our common imagination and empower the F&A sector to prepare and re-invent itself as unknown and unpredictable, or unlikely, changes occur. To co-design effective and adaptable solutions in FUTURES4Fish, we will use inter-disciplinary methodology and the latest techniques in strategic foresight. We will take closer looks at the legislative, ecological, vessel technological and governance challenges of the future. So far, the industry, the academia and the decision makers have largely neglected the long-term positive and negative risks. We will integrate the new insight into a Toolbox of Knowledge for Blue Futures for the stakeholders.
With an expectable ‘end of oil’, fisheries and aquaculture (F&A) may soon become Norway’s leading export industry with a green profile. However, the impact of trends such as high start-up cost, veganism, synthetic fish, use of next-generation technologies on the F&A industry, individuals, local communities, society, and the environment has not been assessed until now and no coping strategies have been designed for possible disruptive events (e.g. untreatable salmon disease; confrontation or nuclear accident in the Barents Sea; market lockdown). We suggest that, right now, there is a window-of-opportunity for the development of socially & environmentally responsible next-generation technologies and associated practices of marine resource extraction, within the wider vision of possible, probable, and desirable futures. Right now it is the moment to empower the imagination of F&A stakeholders and enhance their ability to prepare, recover, and invent as changes occur in an industry that has to become better at dealing with the unknown and unpredictable, or the unlikely but possible. FUTURES4Fish will contribute to avoiding path dependence and socio-technical lock-in in a domain where technological development not seldom had negative consequences. To co-design and prototype effective and sustainable solutions, we will use an interdisciplinary methodology, latest developments in next-generation technology, and the most recent techniques in creative thinking and strategic foresight. Our vision is to contribute to an adaptive F&A industry in Norway that is both successful and benign. The main output of the project is the CRAFT Toolbox of Knowledge Integration for Blue Futures, which provide stakeholders (fishers, aquaculture farmers, school students, scientists, policy makers etc.) with the competence to develop and practice the ability to imagine and prepare for change and disruptive events in fisheries and aquaculture.