100% fish

The Mission of the 100% Fish Project at the Iceland Ocean Cluster is to inspire the seafood industry and seafood communities to utilize more of each fish, increase the value of each fish landed, support new business opportunities, increase employment and decrease waste.
100% Fish presents the range of products made out of fish in Iceland. Seafood, supplements, medical and design products are made out of fish and fish parts. Included in these products is the traditional business of providing seafood but a lot of innovation is happening in Iceland with regards to how fish is utilized, and new products are being made from this development.
The Icelandic success with regards to 100% Fish has been made possible because of improved processing and handling and through research and development. Dried heads and bones of fish are a prime example of this. Tons of these products are now made and exported each year out of materials previously wasted. Icelandic companies within the Icelandic Ocean Cluster develop supplements, proteins, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and other high-value products from different parts of the fish.

30-fold increase in 30 years

Technological advances in commercial fisheries have brought considerable improvements in product yield. For instance, Icelandic producers of cod fillets have seen their filet product yield increase by as much as 20% over the past two decades. However, the fillet only makes up 35% to 45% of the cod’s weight. The remainder is head, bones, skin and intestines. Nonetheless, due to strict fisheries management regulations, Icelandic fisheries have been forced to innovate and invent profitable ways to exploit these by-products. Since the 1990’s, the utilization of fishery by-products has increased 30-fold, the export value per cod kilogram has risen by a factor of 4 and the array of different marine products has multiplied. Today, Icelandic cod producers typically make use of up to 80% of their raw material.

One of the greatest challenges of the 100% Fish project is to show seafood companies the value in cooperation. This is done by building trust and showing companies that cooperation can brighten the future for seafood companies and coastal regions all around. The 100% Fish project assists companies in making valuable connections with academia, start-ups, R&D etc. The Ocean Cluster Network, which is a network of global ocean clusters established by the Iceland Ocean Cluster, is a valuable tool to share information and knowledge in full utilization of seafood across oceans.

Half of the fish is wasted

According to our research the average raw material utilization rate of cod in Europe and North America is just over 50%, meaning that about half of each fish’s weight goes wasted in the production process. Clearly, the opportunity for sharing of knowledge and experience in fully utilizing seafood products is enormous. By doing so, the world’s protein supply will increase (and fisheries profits) substantially. In Iceland, the industry has reached 80% usage of white fish.

Innovative health-, pharmaceutical- and even fashion products from the wild fish stock (groundfish, lobster etc.) are being developed in the Icelandic economy. There lies our opportunity; Icelanders are putting their minds to create more value from each fish. The results are already in: We are getting at least 30% more value from each Cod than most developed countries. Fish is not only the fillet, it is also a rod becoming health products, the liver becoming omega and pharmaceuticals, the head and bones used – basically nothing is left for the trash bin.