Thorfish is one of Hafsýn’s oldest customers and has been collecting data on fishing grounds, stocks and voyages in a database ever since 2006. The company’s main operations are based on centuries-old knowledge of Icelandic fisheries. It has been a leader in innovation, both within the company itself and in helping to set up innovation companies. Thorfish’s ideology is to find ways to fully utilise seafood in its production process, with an emphasis on sustainability.
Hrannar Jón Emilsson is a fishing vessel operator and uses Hafsýn in his work. “We attach great importance to providing a steady supply of high-quality products, maximising the value of raw material and engaging in responsible fishing. Hafsýn is one of the tools which we use every day and which enables both the company and processing operations to monitor and manage fishing in order to achieve these goals.”
How do you use Hafsyn?
“The most useful thing for me is being able to get the latest information on ship catches and voyages direct on my smartphone. This enables me to keep a close eye on things. In some cases, we can direct our ships to those fishing grounds which are most likely to yield the most suitable raw material. Hafsýn is also a useful tool when it comes to processing. Those who organise on-land production require the most accurate information possible on what is due to arrive. It is therefore very important for production to get updated information, even several times a day.”
What about traceability?
“The packaging of our salted fish products bears a label with a map showing where the fish was caught. This information is obtained from Hafsýn and is one way of distinguishing products on the market and showing that the raw material is traceable to Icelandic waters.
Each box displays a picture of Iceland, the fishing area and a date. The most important information regarding the product is given: catch date, location, ship, batch number and a picture of Iceland. The batch number makes it possible to trace the product throughout the entire value chain, from catch onwards.
This is very important to our customers. The market calls for such traceability, and others have adopted this system. We have had cases of customers ordering fish from a specific fishing area, as they had received fish from there previously. Obviously, this is not always feasible. By certifying products with the origin mark for responsible fishing, we are emphasising that we guarantee to our customers that our fish is caught from certified stocks where fishing is responsibly managed.”
Now that you have been using Hafsyn for some time, do you make much use of the data?
“We have been using Hafsýn for a long time, and the information we collect includes data on catch and voyages. When I am looking at previous fishing trips, for instance, in a given fishing area or time of year, it is very easy to consult the information in the Hafsýn web portal. Back in the day, ship owners just had this knowledge in their head – what was caught where, and at what time of the year – but new generations want to have this information at their fingertips in one place. The younger ones are generally more open to pooling such information to enable knowledge to be built up, kept within the company and easily communicated to those staff members who need it. A huge amount of knowledge is built up and this is very valuable.”
A final word?
“Hafsýn and the catch calendar quite simply work. If something goes wrong – as rare as that is – we simply report the issue and the problem is quickly resolved. Everything goes quickly and smoothly.”