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Utilisation of the Arctic Sea Urchin Resource (URCHIN)
Start date: May 1, 2015, End date: Apr 30, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Description (EN): This project aims to gather the existing expertise from Norway, Iceland, Ireland and Greenland, together with knowledge from Canada and Scotland to optimise the fishing of high value sea urchins in Northern and Arctic areas. Furthermore, roe enhancement technology for roe fattening to increase the value of low value sea urchins once they have been collected in the northern arctic regions will be developed in Greenland and Iceland. The project would also investigate sea ranching to repopulate areas that have been extensively overfished in the past in Ireland. Issues regarding the provision of adequate legislation and fisheries management will be identified and legislative organisations will be provided with the appropriate knowledge to provide sensible and sustainable management of sea urchin fisheries. The project will also estimate market needs for sea urchin roe as well as establishing logistic routes from the NPA to markets.   Expected Results (EN): Degree of collaborations between SMEs and R&D Expected Outputs (EN): The URCHIN project aims to encourage and initiate transnational co-operation between SMEs in the NPA partner countries which all have a current interest in developing the sea urchin industries in their respective countries. Currently many of these SMEs are isolated and have minimal critical mass to achieve innovation goals and to develop and implement new technology. Neither do they have access to the advances in technology, knowledge and innovation that have been made in other NPA countries in terms of sea urchin harvesting, roe enhancement or restocking. In the various NPA countries there are both small scale commercial activities and research activities in specific areas but the studies have all been dissparite and there has been little or no co-ordination between SMEs and RTDs on a national level and even less on a transnational level. This project would offer a platform to co-ordinate these efforts, maximize the impact of research funds and effort and drive innovation in this field forward. Through a series of training workshops and courses the project will have the maximum impact on as many relevant SMEs in the NPA area as possible. There will be no limits to the number of SMEs that can participate in the project, instead they will be encouraged to join the project through the training and workshops to maximise technology and innovation dissemination throughout the NPA. This in turn will result in an empowerment of SMEs, research facilities, and Governmental agencies that must legislate and monitor activites such as sea urchin harvesting and the regulations associated with this activity. In addition to the development of urchin fisheries this in turn will increase employment and create a positive and vibrant innovation environment in SMEs that were previously isolated and lacking in research capacity and connectivity.
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