Globalisation and Fisheries

Proceedings of an OECD-FAO Workshop

image of Globalisation and Fisheries
This conference proceedings highlights the key risks and opportunities that policy makers need to address relative to fisheries globalisation so that on the one hand, the opportunities that are created are not missed while, on the other, the risks are addressed appropriately. It presents a wide range of experiences and points of view from every part of the value chain of the fisheries industry, including fishers, processors, consumers, NGOs, restaurant and retail chains, as well as government and academic experts.


Linkages Along the Value Chain

In his presentation Kristjan Davidsson stated that the global fisheries sector is of great interest to investors, be it fisheries, aquaculture, processing or distribution. This interest is growing; especially the aquaculture sector has great future potential. The estimated total value of the seafood value chain is approximately USD 400 billion. He reminded participants of the rewards that can accrue through carefully designed measures to ensure sustainability, stability and continuity in regulations and rules that form the management system a country develops for its seafood industry. Such rules include industry fundamentals like clear and secure ownership rights and investment regulations. In addition to this regulatory regime, which is of crucial importance to an investor investing in industries using natural resources regulated on national level, conditions investors evaluate are the normal conditions set for any business case; structure, cash-flows, management team etc. Growing emphasis is put on sustainable management of the fisheries resource base and it is to be noted that increased knowledge coming from science adds a more secure investment environment. Consequently scientific basis and advice for management regulations and decisions is a necessity, not to be underestimated. The growing interest from investors in the seafood sector has lead to increasing professionalism and growing skepticism towards looking at the fisheries sector as a part of the political toolset to be used in e.g. rural policies. Increasing demands from the market for sustainability, security and continuity of deliveries has both supported growth in aquaculture and it also explains the increasing mergers and acquisitions, an industry consolidation that has taken place recently in the fishing industry and will continue to grow in the foreseeable future. Mr. Davidsson presented the Icelandic fisheries sector as a case study. The introduction of the current system, which is based on individual transferable quotas, has meant more professional operations and better economic result, with less need for political intervention in times of crisis, which was a feature of the Olympic race system applied earlier. Through improved operational results, increasing strength and better negotiation position of the participants, the consolidation of fishing quotas and increased harvesting and processing revenues are clearly a benefit from the investor’s point of view, as well as being important for the viability of the industry.


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