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Commercial Fishing



MSC calls for action on overfishing of pelagics in NE Atlantic. The MSC was present at the recent Arctic Assembly in Reykjavik, Iceland, where they hosted a seminar on overfishing of pelagics in the North-East Atlantic.

MSC North Atlantic Programme Director, Gisli Gislason, said:

“Since 2015 the combined catch of North-East Atlantic Mackerel, blue whiting and herring have exceeded sustainable levels by 34% or 4.8 million tonnes. We wanted to use this platform to influence governments to urgently find solutions. After all, it is the failure of some of the richest nations in the world to agree to limit catch quotas that has caused this crisis. As a result of inaction, every year these three fish species are fished above scientific advice set by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES).

“The situation has resulted in the suspension of MSC certificates for these stocks in 2019. The continuous overshooting of scientific advice is threatening the long-term sustainability of these stocks. These shared natural resources are being fished according to quotas that are set unilaterally by individual nations and which, when combined, consistently exceed scientifically advised catch limits.

“We are calling on the governments of the North-East Atlantic to reach a shared agreement for managing these important stocks. This agreement must be in line with new scientific advice on 2022 catch levels released by ICES on 30th September, 2021. Otherwise, there could be devastating consequences for these iconic species, local ocean biodiversity and the fishing communities that depend on them.”

Siv Lene Gangenes Skar will serve as COO of Columbi Salmon’s subsidiary, Columbi Farms. Gangenes Skar has been instrumental to building the research discipline of aquaponics and will use her deep expertise to build Columbi Farms, a pure aquaponics provider, from an operational perspective.

“Columbi Salmon’s mission to build the leading sustainable food production company in Europe speaks to me. The founders impressed me with their ambitious perspective, and, most importantly, willingness to listen to experts in the development of Columbi Farms. I look forward to start our work of harnessing the green promise of aquaponics,” says Gangenes Skar.

She joins from her position as researcher scientist within Agriculture, division of Food Production and Society at the Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO), where her scientific efforts spanning fourteen years include instrumental work on the development of aquaponics. Aquaponics combine fish farming and plant production, leading to emission free production, and form a core portion of the science underpinning Columbi Salmon’s operations.

“Gangenes Skar is a renowned aquaponics expert, and we could not be happier that she has decided to call Columbi Salmon home. Together with the already announced hiring of the industry leading authority on salmon farming quality, Hanne Morkemo, Columbi Salmon welcomes two authorities on the technology needed to make sustainable onshore fish farming a reality and success,” says Anders Hagen, CEO of Columbi Salmon.

In addition to being COO of Columbi Salmon’s subsidiary Columbi Farms, Gangenes Skar is pursuing a PhD focused on aquaponics from the Agricultural University of Iceland (LBHI), of which she has completed two years. She holds a M.Sc./Cand.agric. in Agriculture and Agricultural Operations from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU).

“The previous decade was all about aquaponics research projects. Now it is time to make the technology a commercial reality. No one is better suited to do so than Columbi Salmon,” says Gangenes Skar.