Being a islandic nation, fishery forms an important part of the Faroese economy and sustenance of the people. Having known this, the Faroese people have taken painstaking efforts to develop this industry to achieve maximum efficiency and sustainable output while still balancing the environmental factors.
To illustrate the importance of fisheries in Faroe Islands, this fact is most powerful – Fish and fish products, including farmed fish, represent between 90 and 95 percent of total export value, and around 20 percent of the GDP. The Faroe Islands have become a significant actor in the global seafood market, mainly as exporters to the EU, but recently to markets outside the EU as well.
Faroese fisheries and aquaculture do not only contribute to global food security, but they also supply international markets with high-quality products and provide the people of the Faroe Islands with sustainable livelihoods. The marine products of Faroe Islands are considered some of the best in the world in terms of quality and taste.
Reducing the environmental impact of fishing on the marine environment is an essential part of responsible fisheries management today. Marine environmental protection is regulated according to the Marine Environmental Act, with regulations implemented in line with requirements under international conventions such as the MARPOL convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships and the OSPAR Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment in the North Atlantic. The responsible authorities are the Environmental Agency, the Faroese Maritime Authority and the Faroese Fisheries Inspection. The Fisheries Research Fund is a dedicated research fund established by the Ministry of Fisheries & Natural Resources aimed at stimulating scientific and industrial Research and Development (R&D) projects in the areas of Marine Biotechnology, Fish Harvesting Technology, and Fish processing Technology.
Faroe Islanders have gained an excellent reputation in the maritime sector internationally, not only through their long experience in fisheries, but also as mariners and engineers in the international merchant shipping sector. In addition to the general range of secondary and tertiary educational and training opportunities in the Faroe islands, a number of institutions offer professional studies in the field of fisheries and maritime occupations. The Centre of Maritime Studies and Engineering has four lines of education, Skipper, Ship’s Master, Mechanist and Marine Engineer, intended for manning all vessel types and sizes. Education complies with the international standards for maritime training, providing internationally recognized maritime qualifications.
Increasing demand for new sustainable marine resources is paving the way for a new industry in the Nordics: Seaweed. It is a promising product, with great investment opportunities, that could be a sustainable source for food, feed and biomedicine in the near future. At the end of September 2017, Nordic Innovation and the Macro Cascade Bio Based Industries project held a two-day event in the Faroe Islands called “Nordic Seaweed – From Research to Innovative Business Opportunities”. Industry and researchers from all over Europe were invited to show how they use seaweed to create new products, conduct innovative research, and to speak about the rapid emerging industry. The event was an activity under the Nordic Marine Innovation Programme 2.0 that began in 2015.
Here is a short video showcasing an example how this conference contributed to win investors and create innovative business opportunities based on marine technology development on the Faroe Islands.
The North Atlantic region has a broad network of regional bodies for international cooperation on the conservation and management of living marine resources and the protection of the marine environment. Active participation in this North Atlantic network of cooperation is a major priority in Faroese marine resource management policies today. The major cooperation bodies are:
NEAFC: Northeast Atlantic Fisheries Commission – www.neafc.org
The North Atlantic region has a broad network of regional bodies for international cooperation on the conservation and management of living marine resources and the protection of the marine environment. Active participation in this North Atlantic network of cooperation is a major priority in Faroese marine resource management policies today.
OSPAR – Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-east Atlantic – www.ospar.org
International cooperation on the prevention and elimination of pollution from land-based and offshore sources, dumping or incineration, and assessment of the quality of the marine environment.
ICES – International Council for the Exploration of the Sea – www.ices.dk
International coordination and promotion of marine research in the North Atlantic, providing scientific advice on fisheries for governments and intergovernmental bodies.
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Photo: ©Visit Faroe Islands