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Nordic Fisheries at a Crossroad

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Nordic fisheries at a crossroad explores how Nordic small-scale fisheries can develop to promote high value creation and product specialization. By looking at recent developments among small-scale but land-based food producers we suggest specialization and dedication as the main development strategies. The central notion is to break away from the price-competitive globalised fish markets and develop new products or distribution models. To succeed in this, there is a need for substantive and coordinated efforts to bridge the gap between conventional logics and the new development logics, between supply and demand. The vision should be to develop viable and composite markets for high quality and specialty fish products through dedication and specialization. Markets that go beyond the local and reach supermarkets and consumers on a national and international scale.

English

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Introduction

This report explores how Nordic small-scale fisheries can develop to promote value creation and specialization. To explore that question, we look at the historical development of the Nordic fisheries and outline the current challenges, especially for the small-scale and coastal fleets. Small-scale fishers are confronted with increasing investments in order to develop and across the Nordic countries this has led to a decline of small-scale fisheries. We therefore assert that much of the Nordic small-scale fishers and coastal communities will have to look for other development strategies in which the focus is increasingly on value instead of volume. The question is how this can be achieved. By looking at recent developments among small-scale but land-based food producers we suggest that specialisation and dedication will be the central development strategies. The central notion is to break away from the price-competitive globalised fish markets and develop new products or distribution models. The main obstacle identified through the case studies is a significant gap between the fishers trapped in a conventional production world and the “innovative” ambitions of entrepreneurs and policy actors. The material presented in this report suggests that substantive and coordinated efforts are needed in order to bridge the gap between conventional logics and the new development logics centred around increasing the value of catches. It is not enough to just look at the producers and expect that they will reform decades of development in the food system. There is a need for coordinated changes in both the supply and demand side as well as among all the intermediaries between them. The vision should be to develop viable and composite markets for high quality and specialty fish products through dedication and specialization. Markets that go beyond the local and reach supermarkets and consumers on a national and international scale.

English

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