Fish Waste for Profit explores how you can maximise return on investment from
potentially discarded parts of the catch that can be turned into high-value products
for non-food sectors.

This bitesize online conference will deliver an expert panel looking at Fish Skin and how it can be utilised to create everything from Leather and collagen to food.
This conference is supported by the Icelandic Ocean cluster and moderated by Dr Thor Sigfusson, the founder of the Iceland Ocean Cluster.
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    Thor Sigfusson - Moderator
    Founder and Chairman, Iceland Ocean Cluster
    Thor Sigfusson is an Icelandic entrepreneur, author and speaker.

    Thor received his PhD degree in Business from the University of Iceland in 2012. He launched the Iceland Ocean Cluster in 2011. The cluster focuses on developing innovative ideas in the blue economy. In May 2012, Thor founded the Ocean Cluster House in Reykjavik Iceland.

    He is also the founder or co-founder of various enterprises in fish utilisation and food. Using the research and information generated from Iceland Ocean Cluster, Sigfusson founded Codland in September 2012. In 2013, he founded the company Collagen with the aim to use fish skin to create marine collagen. In 2017-2018 he founded Grandi Food Hall and co-founded Hlemmur Food Hall and Reykjavik Foods.

    Thor has actively been promoting globally his 1000% fish utilisation mission and seafood clusters and he is the co-founder of three ocean clusters in the US; The New England Ocean Cluster, New Bedford Ocean Cluster and the Pacific Northwest Ocean Cluster. Spring 2020, the first Ocean Cluster House outside Iceland will open in Portland Maine.

    He has written seven books on topics of international business, knowledge networks and salmon. His most recent book is “The New Fish Wave - Igniting the Seafood Industry” will be published by Leete’s Island Books in the US in April 2020.

    Since establishing the Iceland Ocean Cluster, Sigfusson has spent his time speaking to audience in North America, Europe and Asia about the opportunities in building networks in the marine industry.
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    Alexandra Leeper
    Head of Research and Innovation, Iceland Ocean Cluster
    Alexandra is a passionate advocate for sustainable food production and resource use. After pursuing a BSc honours in Marine Biology and Oceanography at Plymouth University, UK, she we went to work offshore as a seismic navigator in marine prospecting. Her work took her to remote locations all over the world where she saw first-hand the impact that society can have on the marine environment in our search for resources. This has created a desire to drive positive change. Alexandra continued her academic career with an Erasmus Mundus MSc in Marine Environment and Resources across Europe and is currently writing up her PhD focusing on improving the sustainability of Atlantic salmon aquaculture through alternative feed ingredients, based at Matís ohf., Iceland and NMBU, Norway. Her most recent projects explore the possibilities of revalorising the currently wasted side streams from Atlantic salmon aquaculture, and she believes that the key to a healthy planet and future-proof food production, lies in innovative, non-linear supply chains.
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    Sara Erickson
    Owner AlaSkins
    AlaSkins is owned by Sara Erickson, who was born in Newhalen, Alaska – a Yupik village that lies on the north shore of Lake Iliamna, and raise on the Kenai Peninsula. Sara is a 3rd generation Alaskan who grew up commercial fishing with her family in Bristol Bay and on the Cook Inlet. She fell in love with Alaska's beauty at an early age and is passionate about the health benefits of wild Alaskan seafood, protecting Alaska's marine life, and keeping our oceans pristine & free from toxic contaminants that enter coastal areas and oceans. Sara’s passion drove her to make a documentary called A Fishy Tale, (available to view here that discusses the dangers of open net fish farming and its potential threat to Alaska’s wild salmon fisheries.

    Even as a young girl, Sara’s father spoke of the nutritional value of the fish skins being thrown away by the commercial fish processing plants. This planted the idea in Sara to take those nutritious skins and someday make a premium pet treat. That idea came to full fruition with her company AlaSkins, which manufactures and sells premium dog treats using those skins, at her production plant in Kenai, Alaska.
    AlaSkins are made of 100% wild Alaskan fish skins - salmon, halibut, and cod. Nothing else is added to these crunchy and healthy dog treats - just naturally filled with vitamins, packed with protein, and fish oils! The fish skins come from Alaskan commercial fisherman’s catch who are sustainably harvesting wild Alaskan seafood.
    Besides AlaSkins salmon, cod, and halibut dog treats, AlaSkins has now expanded their line to add cbd treats as well as canned halibut for dogs & cats.
    Exploring new ways to eliminate waste by turning what was once considered fish waste into a valuable resource is Sara’s continued vision and mission of AlaSkins.
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    Tasha Nathanson
    Founder/CEO/Lady Boss, 7 Leagues Leather
    Tasha Nathanson is the Founder, CEO, and Ladyboss of 7 Leagues Leather, a circular economy fish leather tannery and fish leather boots start-up. Tasha is a systems thinker and curious entrepreneur, keen on business models successful not just on a commercial level but also designed to enhance the wellbeing of individuals, communities, and the environment. With past work in value-added agriculture, international development, purpose-driven business models, and gender equality, she combines environmental and social targets into business because both must work together to solve the problems at hand. Building a new type of manufacturing business that will create prosperity by (re)using local, sustainable resources is what gets her up in the morning.

    7 Leagues will sell wholesale fish leather to the global market and boots to North Americans, addressing the growing demand for eco-conscious, ethically produced materials. 7L works with Indigenous partners and urban job seekers and uses only skins of responsible, wild catch that are a byproduct of food processing. The business model is designed to be replicable, bringing this mix of future-focused eco-development and social hiring where it’s needed. Tasha also serves on the board of Helen’s Daughters, a women’s agribusiness org in Saint Lucia.