Mapping seafood-related market research
On commission for the Fisheries and Aquaculture Industry Research Fund (FHF), Nofima and the University of Stavanger have mapped what seafood-related market research has been carried out in Norway, Western Europe and North America since 2000, reports www.megafishnet.com with reference to Nofima.
No long tradition
Seafood-related market research does not have a long tradition nationally or internationally. An extremely high proportion of the research publications have come in the past 10-15 years. Even though the Norwegian specialist environments and seafood-related market research are relatively young, they have still managed to gain academic distinction internationally. The research has also provided an insight into a host of areas that are useful for the seafood industry's marketing-related work.
Much of the work has been publicly financed and the research topics and questions have to a significant degree been controlled by the research scientists and the authorities. The industry has commissioned such research only to a limited extent.
Who are they and what do they do?
The objective of this study was to get an overview of which organisations are doing what in this part of the world.
The mapping shows that around 10 institutes/organisations in Norway engage to some degree in seafood-related market research. In the main one or two scientists have seafood as their specialist field at these universities/institutes.
The Nordic universities/research institutes have a joint programme - MARIFUNC - in progress, with Nofima as the project manager.
In an EU context, projects to be carried out include SEAFOODplus, in which Nofima had leadership responsibility for the aquaculture and product quality components.
"In Europe, we found five university departments working within this field," says Scientist Oddrun Bjørklund, who has been responsible for this mapping.
The report provides a summary of the research in each of the areas examined. A significant amount of seafood-related market research competence exists, which can form the basis for research of a high level of relevance and quality for the industry. The challenge is to formulate research projects, in collaboration with the industry, which can provide a better basis for decision-making for the industry itself. This also makes demands on the industry's involvement and competence.