Approximately 100 participants attended the first ever NASF Young-event March 3rd at Radisson Blu Royal Hotel Bryggen. The event, hosted by Drew Cherry from Intrafish and Kristine Gramstad from Marine Harvest, raised important questions on a wide variety of different topics, including women’s rights in the seafood industry, how to be successful in the seafood industry, and how the seafood industry should adapt in order to become more attractive to talented, well-educated youngsters.


Stand out from the crowd

Among the speakers at the event were Mike Berthet, director of fish & seafood at the UK-based supplier M & J Seafood. Berthet encouraged the attendants to start a career in seafood, as wild fish and seafood is the most traded commodity in the world. He also encouraged the participants to stand out from the crowd, work in teams and not be afraid to lead. Michael Whitney from  Kincannon & Reed highlighted the role of mobility in the workforce, as it gives employees the opportunity to meet challenges and acquire valuable knowledge and experience. Although mobility is a competitive advantage, it is declining, Whitney says.

Sustainable growth and new emerging markets

Stefania Vanuccini of the United Nations Fisheries and aquaculture department highlighted sustainability and management as key aspects in order for the productivity to increase. Aquaculture will be the most important factor in feeding future generations, but there is also potential in increasing wild capture fisheries production. Gülin Kan of Innovation Norway, Turkey, spoke of the emerging seafood markets of the world, using Turkey as an example. Kan said that the market was growing in terms of trade and development, and that the seafood trade between Turkey and Norway has proved lucrative for both countries.

Women are invisible

Marie Christine Monfort spoke about how half the seafood industry is women, but these are invisible. Although the trend is towards greater equality, the potential for further improvement is enormous. Monfort reported that only one of the top 100 seafood firms in the world has a female CEO, and among the largest 63, 55% had no female board members. However, the FAO are looking to make a positive initiative towards gender equality in the seafood industry, and Monfort herself is commissioned to write a report into the topic, due to be published in a few weeks.

Seafood trainee program would raise attractiveness

Thomas Grieg, Maritime Trainee at North Atlantic Drilling and member of the family owning Grieg Seafood Group, said that the seafood industry is not attractive enough for talented students looking for a career. Grieg claimed bad publicity in the media and little information on the actual opportunities of the seafood sector caused problems for the industry’s ability to attract talent. Rector at the Norwegian school of Economics, Frøystein Gjesdal, said that the maritime sector at times has struggled to recruit, but that the trainee program has brought record-breaking numbers of applicants wanting to take part in the maritime industry. Grieg believes that a similar trainee program in the seafood industry would help boost attractiveness.

Seafood industry PhD

During the event, Øyvind Kråkås of Salmon Group presented the Seafood Innovation Cluster PhD-grant 2015 to the participants at NASF Young. Kråkås explained how the Seafood Innovation Cluster wanted to support students willing to contribute with solutions to the challenges facing the seafood industry through research efforts. More information on the scholarship can be found at:

Both the speakers and participants seemed to agree the event had been a great success in terms of bringing the young leaders, students and talents of the seafood industry together, and giving them the opportunities to interact with some of the most prominent actors at the global seafood markets.