“Even though there has been sort of a revolution in by-product utilisation in the fisheries industry, I believe there is still a long way to go”, says Dr. Thor Sigfusson CEO of the Iceland Ocean Cluster (IOC) in a recent interview with the Iceland Fishing News Magazine.

As more companies join the by-product market in Iceland and the market develops further, the prices will continue to increase and the incentives for fisheries to get value from their by-products are also set to increase.

Thor says that the biggest challenge for Icelanders will lie in developing a stronger position in retail markets. “I believe we will increase the direct contact with our end customer; restaurants and homes in the US and Europe.”

 In the interview, Thor also talks about the new IOC sister cluster in Portland, Maine. “Through physical and programmatic design, the New England Ocean Cluster will foster a “rising tide” community of ocean-based companies in New England focused on innovation, commercialization of new products, and the spin-off of start-ups and enterprises.“

The NEOCH is modeled after the Iceland Ocean Cluster House (IOCH). Since its opening in 2012, the IOCH, a 26,000-square foot building in Reykjavik’s old harbor, has attracted 60 businesses as members and residents, and has over 100 employees. Models like the IOCH have proved so successful that in 2012, they formed the North Atlantic Ocean Cluster Alliance to share best practices, promote R&D, and stimulate technology transfer.