Historisk arkiv

Fisheries and aquaculture in a food security perspective

Historisk arkiv

Publisert under: Regjeringen Stoltenberg II

Utgiver: Fiskeri- og kystdepartementet

Statssekretær Kristine Gramstad sitt innlegg under seminaret The Blue Economy- Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture Food Security. Jakarta, Indonesia, 27. november 2012.

(Sjekkes mot fremføring)


Minister, dear colleagues in the seafood sector, ladies and gentlemen

First of all, thank you for the possibility two speak here today. I am especially glad to attend such a seminar here in Indonesia; one of the world's most populous countries – and with the world’s second longest coastline. This seminar is an excellent arena to meet and discuss with colleagues and to create friendly and cooperative ties between two major seafood nations.

Norway and Indonesia

Even if the geographical distance between us is great, our dependence on the sea binds us together. Norway and Indonesia are both important coastal states. In both countries fisheries and aquaculture contribute to important economic activity and jobs along vast long coastlines. The visit from Norway this week provides an opportunity to come in close contact with Indonesian partners on several levels: the political level , research, the supplier as well as the marketing side. This contact is important because the seafood industry is so important to both our countries. Marine resources are central when we are to define common interests and areas of cooperation.

Important food source

Today’s seminar sheds light on a challenge that is owned by the world's entire seafood industry: to create value from the marine resources through sustainable fisheries and aquaculture.

As State Secretary for Fisheries and Coastal Affairs I take pride in talking about the enormous potential that lies in the oceans. Today, nearly all the food we eat comes from agriculture (98 % according to figures from the FAO). At the same time we know that the world’s population is growing rapidly. In 2050 the Earth will be inhabited by 9 billion people. According to the FAO, this means that the current food production must increase by 70 percent. So far we have only used only a relative small share of our marine resources for food production.

I am therefore glad to see that there are becoming more advocates for the opportunities the ocean represents. In the final declaration of the RIO+ 20 meeting in June this year, marine resources was for the very first time pointed out as an important and vital resource for future food production. With scarcity of fresh water and land resources, the ocean must play a vital part in providing enough food and energy for a growing world population. We must turn to our marine resources in order to find solutions to many of today's global challenges.


At the same time as we are obliged to harvest from the seas, there also rests upon us an important responsibility to manage our marine resources in an eternal perspective. We cannot ignore that some resources are subject to pressure and over-exploitation. Climate change will also affect the marine production capability. To succeed, we must act in harmony with nature. We must make use of the resources today while at the same time ensuring that future generations can do the same.

As important fisheries and aquaculture nations, Indonesia and Norway must take on leadership roles to ensure diversity in the ocean. In our work, we must listen carefully to scientific advice and implement this knowledge in practice. In this work it is essential that governments, research institutions and the seafood industry work together.

Great potential

I am not alone in believing that we are only at the start when it comes to value creation from our oceans. Experts are of this opinion. In Norway, a group of scientists have evaluated the potential for wealth creation in the Norwegian seafood industry in terms of turnover. Their report confirms that the outlook is very promising. In 2010, the marine turnover in the Norwegian seafood sector was 90 billion NOK. Now it is estimated that by 2050 this number will increase by six times - to over 550 billion NOK. This illustrates that the seafood industry is an industry for the future.

The need for innovation and technology

In order to realize this potential, we must acknowledge that the use of marine resources is not limited merely to the catch of fish – but that it is the combination of knowledge, experience, expertise and technological solutions that make up the seafood industry. The modern seafood sector is indeed a sector built on research, innovation, and technological solutions. Research gives us the ideas and the knowledge we need for the days to come. And the suppliers of technology contribute to innovative and profitable solutions.

As seafood nations, we must promote the potential that lies in producing even greater value from the renewable resources in our seas. We must develop sound policies that contribute to develop the seafood industry's role as a value creator. And we must pave the way for innovative technological solutions. This is essential in order to secure environmental and economical sustainable seafood production. If we succeed, the seafood sector will become an even stronger force in global food production.

Today is an opportunity to shed light on some of the challenges and opportunities that we must take on as individual states – and together – in order to lift the seafood industry to the place it deserves. In this work we must look to each other to learn.

There are tremendous opportunities in our marine resources if we pull in the same direction. I hope that today’s seminar will provide you with important food for thought and lots of inspiration for your future work. And I hope you will think big thoughts around seafood production from fisheries and aquaculture within a sustainable framework.

Thank you for your attention.