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Main research question/goal
The aim of this international research project is to optimise and standardise the various methods of traceability and scoring of sustainability for the various fishing ports, food chains and regional economies in the North Sea area. In Belgium as well as in the Netherlands, Germany and England, the fisheries industries are improving their sustainability throughout the whole chain. Through consultation and exchange of ideas, this project aims to develop the most effective and efficient logistical solutions in a standardised manner. ILVO is developing an information system (Valduvis) that visualises the quality and sustainability of freshly caught fish (from catch to the fish auction) for the fishmonger. The Valduvis methodology can be used as the foundation of an international cooperative effort as well as standardisation.


Research approach
We first determine the criteria for sustainable and high-quality fish. We report about ILVO's own pioneering work on Valduvis. We map all elements in the fishery chains, with a focus on how able they are to innovate and evolve. The topics under discussion are: 1) the degree of specialisation and/or broadening in the supply chain, 2) future trends and specific technologies and methods for transitioning to increased sustainability, 3) systems of data transfer for the improvement of logistical processes, 4) strategies to adapt port facilities for flexible and sustainable fisheries, 5) methods for transparent exchange of information of fish products according to standardised scores and transnational quality assessment. We are writing a manual on sustainable fishing throughout the chain. We develop an accessible communication plan to spread this information throughout the North Sea area so others can benefit and learn from our study.


By setting up a unified method in the wider North Sea area to score sustainability and organise the logistics of the whole fisheries chain, we are responding to a series of pertinent challenges. These challenges include fierce international competition (in terms of price, production), overfishing, concern for the environment, social pressure from NGO's, limited funding, increased consumer demand for quality, authenticity and durability. Other challenges are the requirements of the EU common Fisheries Policy (CFP) on restructuring fishing fleets as limited by quotas, regulation and closing of fishing grounds.

Effective start/end date1/09/1231/05/15

ID: 4148747