Underutilized fish species

Sweden has large resources of nutritional seafood, but there are only a few species that are landed and marketed. Historically cyprinids such as roach, ide, bream and bleak were used, but are today not seen as commercially viable species and are therefore more often than not thrown back into the water. At the same time Sweden imports large quantities of seafood– in spite of a big demand, especially from the public sector, to buy locally captured fish.

Five kg of bream is caught for every kilo of pikeperch, according to professional fishermen in Lake Mälaren. Bream that is thrown back into the lake.

Five kg of bream is caught for every kilo of pikeperch, according to professional fishermen in Lake Mälaren. Bream that is thrown back into the lake.

The Issue

Primarily large predatory fish such as pikeperch and pike are captured in the Swedish lakes today, while all fish further down the food chain is left in the lakes. This means that these species increase in numbers and creates an imbalance in the ecosystem. Hence, there is a large quantity of unutilized seafood resources in the lakes – while almost 70 % of all fish consumed in Sweden is imported.

The Solution

We could contribute to a more balanced fishery, a better use of our resources and increased availability for nutritious seafood with a more even pressure on the fishing throughout the food chain and the use the underutilized fish species further down. It would also decrease our need to import seafood from the other side of the world.

What potential does underutilized fish species have as nutritious and attractive food products?

What potential does underutilized fish species have as nutritious and attractive food products?

Our Work

Axfoundation is mapping out the availability of underutilized fish species together with researchers, dietary managers, professional fishermen and the County Administrative Board in Stockholm to evaluate their potential as nutritious and attractive food products. We will start in the Mälaren Valley and will – if the initiative is successful – scale it up on a national level.

We are also investigating the possibility of utilizing far more of each caught or farmed fish by using modern techniques to extrude the meat from between the bones after the fish has been filleted. Only 60 % of the whole fish is today used for food and the waste is at best used as animal feed. We increase the availability of nutritious seafood and reduce the waste by using more of the fish for food.

We are evaluating the different seafood sensory qualities (for example; smell, taste, texture) and use the seafood in several products that we test on different target groups.

We are evaluating the different seafood sensory qualities (for example; smell, taste, texture).

We are evaluating the different seafood sensory qualities (for example; smell, taste, texture).

Contact

Projects within Future Food