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.



Business-driven innovation

The chapter discusses the business-driven initiatives in the case studies from Sweden, Finland and Denmark. The business initiatives reveal that the pre-existing development logics strongly have influenced not only the mind-set and investments made in the sector, but also the shape of the distribution systems. However, the business cases also give rise to optimism. Dedication and specialization seem to be possible development strategies for small-scale fishers. But dedication also means that fishers and their family members become more than fishers; they will have to communicate and document their practices and change their way of doing fisheries. The business cases also indicate that the way forward for small-scale fishers might be to specialise into products that strongly add (like herring marinades) to the former main product, i.e. the fresh catch.


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