SFI Harvest’s first live event

The sea is home to many untapped resources – something SFI Harvest intends to do something about. On the 21st and 22nd of October, the research centre brought together some of the leading minds on the topic, all with the common goal of bringing underutilised species to our dinner plates.  

Lower trophic-level species are biological species that can be found furthest down on the food chain, and who feed on plants and plant plankton.  Mesopelagic fish, krill, Calanus finmarchicus, copepods, animal plankton, microalgae and seaweed are all examples of lower trophic-level species. These species are very fragile when being processed and they disintegrate quickly. SFI Harvest aims to develop new knowledge and technology that can help us to make use of the potential that exists in the twilight zone of the oceans.  

Interdisciplinary cooperation 

One important research area for SFI Harvest is analysing the properties and composition of species that live in the great ocean depths, so-called mesopelagic species. The goal here is to find out how we can utilise these resources to develop ingredients for products that can be consumed by people, animals and farmed fish. 

Lower trophic-level marine species are nutritious and can be processed into products that are highly suitable for human consumption, and as the global population brings an increased demand for food, SFI Harvest intends to contribute to global food security. 

The SFI Harvest Days were the research centre’s first «»in person» conference following the reopening of society. The conference brought together research partners, fishing companies, technology developers, equipment suppliers and special interest groups, from both Norway and abroad.  

“We were at last able to meet in person, after the start-up phase of the centre which took place via videoconferencing. We have now created a basis for further collaboration across the disciplines and we have also prioritised the research projects we will be working on for the next two years,”, says head of the centre Ingunn Marie Holmen. 

Holmen is the leader of SFI Harvest, a centre for research-driven innovation supported by the Research Council of Norway which aims to develop knowledge and technology that enables harvesting and processing of lower trophic-level marine species. 

An arena for networking 

Inspiring talks, workshops and networking were all on the agenda when the research centre’s partners met in Trondheim last week.  

“The state-of-the-art knowledgewas presented to us by world-leading researchers within eirthe fields, essential in order to make the sustainable harvesting of lower trophic-level marine species both feasible and profitable. Over the course of the two days, tthe centre’s partners got to know each other better and discussed R&D challenges that we will approach in tackle the centre,”, saysHolmen.  

In the coming months, SFI Harvest’s management team will lay out its plans for 2022 and start activities aimed at answering one fundamental research question: How can we efficiently locate mesopelagic fish, and do they exist in quantities that are sustainable to harvest?