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Innovative fish counters

  • Published 23/04/2015
  • Last updated 24/01/2012
Innovative fish counters is the first completed project in the Nordic Marine Innovation Program. The project objective was to create a better everyday life for all fishmongers in the Nordic countries, and hopefully also a better public understanding of seafood as a cornerstone in the Nordic cuisine – the way forward is more innovative fish counters!

The project is completed. Download the final report here.

Main results 

A common Nordic industry standard

  • A new set of rules for the Nordic
  • Championship in Fish and Shellfish
  • New and innovative ideas/tools to make life as a fishmonger in the Nordic countries better, and inspire a greater consumption of seafood in the Nordic region


Executive summary

The assignment to make a common industry standard was not an easy task. The reason for that can be explained with the thoughts that started the project in the first place, namely that the rules and legislation in the Nordic countries concerning fishmongers are very different – and that is even though that the rules are interpreted from the same EU legislation.

The result of the project is therefore an industry standard that in relation to various topics (ex. temperature in relation to displaying of fish) is clearly national differentiated. The purpose is of course in the long run to get an industry standard where everything is the same in all the Nordic countries, but before that can happen, the politicians in the different Nordic countries needs to interpret the EU regulations in the same way. In the short time this project has been running we have come a long way with the industry standard, and it is ready for the ishmongers to use in their everyday work.

The industry standard can be accessed on the website (no longer available), with a password and then the document is ready to read and print if needed.

The industry standard will not only benefit all the fish mongers in the Nordic countries but also the population in the Nordic region, as it will mean that the fishmongers can use more time to innovate in their shops and not only focus on regulations and hygiene.

The project participants have agreed, that the work from now on, is to get all the relevant Nordic ministers and legislators to review the situation concerning the fishmongers. The Danish participant has already met with the Danish Minister of food, agriculture and fisheries, and the goal is to get all the Nordic ministers in a dialogue, as the plan from here is to confront the legislators in the EU with the hopes of equal rules for all fish mongers in Europe.

A new set of rules for the Nordic Championship in Fish and Shellfish
was necessary, because the previous versions did not have enough focus on the national differences that exist in relation to rules and regulations. This has affected several aspects of the championship, including the part with creation and development of a fish counter.
The creation of a new industry standard made a good opportunity to make a new set of rules. In this way, the rules can reflect the regulatory framework of the new industry standard. At the same time the championship was used to convey the message of the new industry standard and the motivations behind doing it.

The invention of a new innovative tool for the fishmongers to use both in relation to their customers, but also to each other, was a very important part to the success of the project. The tools and ideas should be used to get the residents of the Nordic countries to eat more fish and shellfish.

The project ended with two different branches of innovation. The first is about social media. The idea is to use the different channels that the different social media provides to tell good stories and news about what is happening at the different shops. The second is about helping fishmongers to focus on them as the skilled professionals they are. Therefore, the Nordic Council of Seafood retailers are working with a concept that should motivate the fishmongers and at the same time creates a willingness among the customers to buy more fish and shellfish.


Nordic Collaboartion

The project Innovative Fish Counters has helped to create a good foundation for future cooperation between the Nordic countries. It is clear that the industry standard with its dynamic character will be a document that must be continually worked on. In addition, there are already new projects that the Nordic Council of Seafood Retailers are working on. The new projects are projects that reflect the importance of focusing on the promotion of the New Nordic cuisine. The reason that it is important for the Nordic Council of Seafood Retailers to focus on this area is that seafood is an important and essential part of the Nordic kitchen. A concrete project in this context is one that Nordic Council of Seafood Retailers have chosen to call “Nordic Lighthouse" (Nordisk fyrtårn). The focus of the project is a ship that sails around the Nordic countries and through different activities convey information about the good Nordic commodities.

The Nordic Council of Seafood Retailers have therefore only just started when it comes to the task of promoting and working towards a greater consumption of fish and shellfish in the Nordic region.


See project leader David Mouritzen's presentation at The Nordic Marine Innovation conference in Iceland below.



WHO is in the project?

Project owner

David Mouritzen
Nordisk Råd for Detailfiskehandlere, DK


Project managers

Anna Askær,
Joachim Hjerl

Konvers, DK


Project members

Peter Kallestrøm
Svenske Fiskhandelsforbundet, SE
Kari Merete Griegel
Norske Sjømatsbedrifters Landsforening, NO
Gunnþórunn Einarsdóttir
Matís ohf. /Icelandic Food and Biotech R&D, IS
David Mouritzen
Danmarks fiskehandlere, DK


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Nordic Marine Innovation Programme


See the Combined list of the projects in the programme

A main premise of the marine innovation program is to have businesses take ownership and an active role in the projects.


Enhance the innovation capability in the Nordic marine sector and thereby its profitability and competitiveness in a global market

Visualise the sector as an interesting sector with huge potential


Strengthen and establish B2B og B2R cooperation and support Nordic ”value chains” – horizontal and vertical


Create platform for multi-disciplinary/sectoral cooperation


Cooperation with Canada


Create Nordic value through more cooperation between Nordic and national innovation agencies


Emphasis on:

- Industry needs and active  
- Concrete results and activities
   close to market
- Sustainability
- Innovation knowledge