Nordic Salmon workshop

Nordic Salmon workshop will be held on October 19 at the town hall in Ölfus. The meeting is held in collaboration with Ölfus Cluster in Þorlákshöfn.

This workshop aim is to connect and support a broad range of stakeholders working in the salmon farming industry in the Nordic region, with the focus of exploring options and feasibility for secondary processing. This group includes salmon farms, sales and marketing, technical designers, processing equipment developers, research groups and transport/freight companies.

The objective of the project is to establish a network of specialists to analyze if secondary processing of salmon is a feasible option in the Nordic. The group will then evaluate the viable production scale and list necessary tasks and suggestions to achieve the overall objective.

The original idea behind this project is to use knowledge transfer from the Icelandic fresh cod industry success to the Nordic salmon industry to facilitate valorisation and create jobs in the Nordic countries. By using the future “smart” secondary processing factories and make ready-to-eat production economically feasible, provide added value to the Nordic salmon industry. Filleted salmon and portions will reduce export cost and allows local utilisation and processing of side products that are currently exported, such as cut-offs, bones and heads, as well as reducing the carbon footprint.

Registration has begun!

Register by clicking the register button below:

The workshop will be held in English.

Draft schedule:

08:30 Opening the workshop: Short introduction to the SWOT analysis, Sæmundur Elíasson
08:45 Address, Elliði Vignisson, mayor of Ölfus municipality
09:00-10:30 Session 1Competitiveness in secondary processing in the Nordics

  1. Halldor Thorkelson, Marel
  2. Frank Yri, Seaborn/Iceborn
  3. Per Alfred Holte, Maritech

10:30 – 11:00 Coffee

11:00 – 12:30 Session 2: Marketing and environmental footprint

  1. Ingólfur Friðriksson, EEA affair, Ministry of foreign affairs
  2. Sigurður Pétursson, Nova Food
    1. "Consumer decision making and carbon footprint"
  3. Audun Iversen, Nofima
  4. Jón Hafbo Atlason, Hiddenfjord

12:30 – 13:30 Lunch

13:30 - 14:45 Session 3: Side streams production

  1. Matti Isohätälä, Hätälä
  2.  Dennis Lohman, BAADER

14:45 Coffee break

15:15 – 16:00 Discussions and Round up

16:00 Closing

17:00 Refreshments at Lax-inn Mýrargatu 26, 101 Reykjavík


Doctoral defense in biology – Pauline Anne Charlotte Bergsten

Next Monday, September 12, Pauline Bergsten will defend her doctoral thesis in biology. The project is called: Exploration of the Microbial Communities within the Basaltic Subsurface of the Volcanic Island Surtsey in Iceland

The doctoral defense takes place in The Aula of the HÍ main building and starts at 10:00.

Dr. Steffen L. Jörgensen, associate professor at the University of Bergen, Norway
Dr. Odd Þ. Vilhelmsson, professor at the University of Akureyri.

Advisor Dr. Viggó Þór Marteinsson, Professor at the Faculty of Food Science and Nutrition , University of Iceland and Research Group Leader at Matís

Doctoral committee:
Dr. Pauline Vannier, project manager at Matís
Dr. Snædís H. Björnsdóttir, associate professor at the Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences of the University of Iceland

Chair of Ceremony: Dr. Snæbjörn Pálsson, Professor and Head of the Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Iceland

Surtsey is a volcanic island located on the south-east offshore extension of the Icelandic rift zone. It was formed during successive eruptions from the seafloor in 1963-1967 and has been officially protected and studied ever since. It represents an exceptional natural setting for studying colonization and succession of life on land. Also for subsurface microbial communities associated with newly formed basaltic tuff deposits in a seawater-hydrothermal system that is still active and at temperatures approaching the presumed thermal limit for functional life.
During an international drilling operation at Surtsey in 2017, drill core samples at successive depths as well as associated hot fluids and surface fumes from fumaroles were collected for microbial investigations. This thesis presents the first and most comprehensive research of the Surtsey subsurface biosphere. Multiple approaches were combined on the rare and unique samples to increase the knowledge of microbial communities inhabiting the oceanic subsurface and of the processes that sustain such life.
These included molecular analyses of environmental DNA through 16S rRNA gene amplicon and metagenome sequencing, isolation and characterization of bacterial strains and microscopic investigations. Based on the DNA concentration, the microbial cell numbers present in the drill cores were estimated to range from about 5×104 to 1×106 cells per gram of sample.
The Surtsey subsurface is therefore a low biomass environment, making the samples extremely sensitive to external contamination. It is nevertheless a diverse habitat that hosts bacterial and archaeal clades, including extremophiles, that have been previously detected in other terrestrial and marine environments. Yet, many clades belonged to unknown lineages. Predictive functional analyses based on taxonomic identifications revealed that the Surtsey subsurface biosphere is composed of heterotrophic microorganisms as well as chemoautotrophs involved in the sulfur, nitrogen, and methane cycles. However, these results could not be strengthened by the functional metagenomic investigations as they were inconclusive. Numerous enrichment cultures were initiated using different conditions and media and resulted in nearly 200 isolated bacterial strains, which included several novel species. One novel thermophilic bacterial species, Rhodothermus bifroesti, was fully characterized and its genome was sequenced and compared with those of the two other described Rhodothermus species. Comparative analyses revealed that 2.15% of the amplicon sequence variants from the 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequence datasets were represented by cultivated strains using standard methods. Finally, putative microbial structures adhering to the basaltic tuff were discovered inside the numerous interconnected vesicles found in the basaltic glass.
All of the findings point to an active microbial colonization of the Surtsey deposits within 50 years after the eruptions ended, with possible sources of colonization coming from the surrounding ecosystems via microbial dissemination and possible adaptations.
The thesis establishes a foundation for future research on the microbial communities that inhabit the Surtsey subsurface and their temporal succession in the face of a cooling and changing hydrothermal environment.

More information can be found by clicking here.

The second HOLOSUSTAIN workshop "Sea cucumbers: a potential novel seafood in Europe?"

The second HOLOSUSTAIN workshop „Sea cucumbers: a potential novel seafood in Europe?“ Will take place on 20 May 2022, in mixed (physical and digital) format, at NMK, Ålesund, Norway.

You can find the final version of the scientific program at the link below. Some hotel suggestions for your stay.

Please, if interested, submit a digital poster, to be presented automatically during the event. It is free of charge and will be made available in pdf format in the Book of Abstracts as “open access” on the project website after the event. The blank poster presentation form for the digital posters during the event can be downloaded here.

If interested to participate or have questions, please, send us an e-mail through filling in the inscription form or using the mails in the contact section of this website or inscribe here. Registration open until 10 May. 

More information here.

Thermophilic bacterium isolated from the basaltic subsurface of the volcanic island Surtsey

A team lead by Matís' microorganisms researchers and specialists has recently published a research article in the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. The article is called: Rhodothermus bifroesti sp. nov., a thermophilic bacterium isolated from the basaltic subsurface of the volcanic island Surtsey.

The volcanic island Surtsey is the southernmost point of Iceland and it was formed in volcanic eruptions that took place from 1963 to 1967. Surtsey has been protected from human interference since it was formed but has been a subject for many scientific researchers.

The Article was published online late January 2022 and the abstract is as follows:

Novel thermophilic heterotrophic bacteria were isolated from the subsurface of the volcanic island Surtsey off the south coast of Iceland. The strains were isolated from tephra core and borehole fluid samples collected below 70 m depth. The Gram-negative bacteria were rod-shaped (0.3–0.4 widem wide, 1.5–7 longm long), aerobic, non-sporulating and non-motile. Optimal growth was observed at 70 ° C, at pH 7–7.5 and with 1% NaCl. Phylogenetic analysis identified the strains as members of the genus Rhodothermus . The type strain, ISCAR-7401T, was genetically distinct from its closest relatives Rhodothermus marinus DSM 4252T and Rhodothermus profundi PRI 2902T based on 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity (95.81 and 96.01%, respectively), genomic average nucleotide identity (73.73 and 72.61%, respectively) and digital DNA – DNA hybridization (17.6 and 16.9%, respectively). The major fatty acids of ISCAR-7401T were iso-C17:0, anteiso-C15:0, anteiso-C17:0 and iso-C15:0 (> 10 %). The major isoprenoid quinone was MK-7 while phosphatidylethanolamine, diphosphatidylglycerol, an unidentified aminophospholipid and a phospholipid were the predominant polar lipid components. Based on comparative chemotaxonomic, genomic and phylogenetic analyzes, we propose that the isolated strain represents a novel species of the genus Rhodothermus with the name Rhodothermus bifroesti sp. nov. The type strain is ISCAR-7401T (= DSM 112103T= CIP 111906T).

Read the article in the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology here: Rhodothermus bifroesti sp. nov., a thermophilic bacterium isolated from the basaltic subsurface of the volcanic island Surtsey.


Do you want to work at Matís in Reykjavík?

Matís is an ambitious and lively workplace that works on a variety of projects in the food industry, with an emphasis on innovation and added value. At the moment there are three vacancies at the company and we are looking for driven people to apply.

Laboratory assistant

Specialist in food microbiology

Laboratory Specialist

With reference to Matís‘ gender equality policy, all genders are encouraged to apply. Applications must be accompanied by a detailed CV and cover letter outlining the applicant‘s qalifications for the job in question.

The application deadline is December 27th.

All applications will be answered once a decision on employment has been made.

An original research article on Basalt-Hosted Microbial Communities in the Subsurface of the Young Volcanic Island of Surtsey, Iceland


Pauline Bergsten

Ph.D. Student

A team of Matís scientists, in partnership with the University of Iceland and the University of Utah, has recently published a new original research article called "Basalt-Hosted Microbial Communities in the Subsurface of the Young Volcanic Island of Surtsey, Iceland". The article appeared in Frontiers in Microbiology.

The team consisted of five scientists from Matís' Microbiology research group; Pauline Bergsten, Pauline Vannier, Alexandra María Klonowski, Stephen Knobloch and Viggó Marteinsson and they wrote the article along with Magnús Tumi Gudmundsson from the University of Iceland and Marie Dolores Jackson from the University of Utah.

The abstract of the article is here below and you can read the full text here:

Basalt-Hosted Microbial Communities in the Subsurface of the Young Volcanic Island of Surtsey, Iceland

The island of Surtsey was formed in 1963–1967 on the offshore Icelandic volcanic rift zone. It offers a unique opportunity to study the subsurface biosphere in newly formed oceanic crust and an associated hydrothermal-seawater system, whose maximum temperature is currently above 120 ° C at about 100 m below surface. Here, we present new insights into the diversity, distribution, and abundance of microorganisms in the subsurface of the island, 50 years after its creation. Samples, including basaltic tuff drill cores and associated fluids acquired at successive depths as well as surface fumes from fumaroles, were collected during expedition 5059 of the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program specifically designed to collect microbiological samples. Results of this microbial survey are investigated with 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing and scanning electron microscopy. To distinguish endemic microbial taxa of subsurface rocks from potential contaminants present in the drilling fluid, we use both methodological and computational strategies. Our 16S rRNA gene analysis results expose diverse and distinct microbial communities in the drill cores and the borehole fluid samples, which harbor thermophiles in high abundance. Whereas some taxonomic lineages detected across these habitats remain uncharacterized (eg, Acetothermiia, Ammonifexales), our results highlight potential residents of the subsurface that could be identified at lower taxonomic rank such as Thermaerobacter, BRH-c8a (Desulfallas-Sporotomaculum), Thioalkalimicrobium, and Sulfurospirillum. Microscopy images reveal possible biotic structures attached to the basaltic substrate. Finally, microbial colonization of the newly formed basaltic crust and the metabolic potential are discussed on the basis of the data.

School on Adding Value to Food Side Streams


Eva Margrét Jónudóttir


Matís, The University of Iceland and Institute of animal reproduction and food research (Polish academy of sciences) in Olsztyn are planning a 10-day course coached by professional tutors on adding value to food side streams. The Course will take place in Iceland, October 7-17, 2021.

The School on Adding Value to Food Side Streams will recruit talented students and young researchers to improve their entrepreneurial and managerial skills to solve complex challenges and enhance innovation.

  • Increase awareness: On social and environmental responsibility of food producers. And on ideas and opportunities on improving food side streams utilization
  • Building ideas: Team up with students and young professionals with diverse backgrounds and face the opportunities and challenges associated with valorisation of side streams in the food industry.
  • Concepts and Products Development: Apply venture creation methodology to develop new food concepts, products and start-up businesses.
  • Networking: Experience the melting pot of ideas with students and young entrepreneurs Soft skills and entrepreneurship training: Improve your entrepreneurial and managerial skills to solve complex multidisciplinary challenges and enhance innovation.


Further information:

The Innovation, business creation and valorization of side streams of food production and food processing Bilateral Initiative benefits from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants. The aim of the project is to establish cooperation between institutions as well as improve the entrepreneurial culture, confidence and skills of graduate students and young scientists in Poland with a focus on the valorization of side streams in food production and food processing.

The EEA and Norway Grants represent the contribution of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway towards a green, competitive and inclusive Europe.

There are two overall objectives: reduction of economic and social disparities in Europe, and to strengthen bilateral relations between the donor countries and 15 EU countries in Central and Southern Europe and the Baltics. The three donor countries cooperate closely with the EU through the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA). The donors have provided € 3.3 billion through consecutive grant schemes between 1994 and 2014.

For the period 2014-2021, the EEA and Norway Grants amount to € 2.8 billion.

The EEA and Norway Grants scheme consists of two financial mechanisms. The EEA Grants are jointly funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, whose contributions are based on their GDP. Norway Grants are financed solely by Norway.

The Nordic Salmon Workshop


Gunnar Þórðarson

Regional Manager

A workshop on salmon farming will be held on October 27 at Ölvus Cluster, Hafnarberg 1, 815 Þorlákshöfn.

The meeting starts at 08:30 and ends at 17:00 the same day.

The workshop subjects:

  1. Salmon feed: new sources and optimal composition for different environments
  2. New development in sea- and salmon louse
  3. Production of large smolts in hatcheries
  1. Salmon feed will be a very dynamic area of research and development in the future. With feed requirements of salmon growing in extreme environmental conditions, such as low temperature, are not fully understood. Furthermore, technical solution to minimize movements of fish in sea cage during the coldest periods in winter could improve conditions of fish during the coldest months
  2. Several options already exist for chemically treating salmon lice in sea cages. However, there are two main problems associated with treating lice in such a way. Firstly, there are negative environmental impacts and secondly, lice can and have developed resistance to many of the available chemicals currently being used
  3. There has been a growing interest in land-based salmon farming under more controlled environment. Large smolt farming is a land-based farming, with longer growing time ashore and shorter in ONP, reducing risk in farming with higher cost. Reducing lead time in sea also enables producers to reduce the spread in biomass throughout the year. This may be one of the most sustainable ways of maximizing utilization of licenses.

The meeting is open to anybody interested in salmon farming. Included are refreshments at the meeting and reception at Lax-inn in Reykjavík after the meeting. The cost is ISL 3,000.

The meeting will be in English, and registrations will be open on the home page soon.

The board

  • Gunnar Thordarson, Matís, Isafjordur, Iceland
  • Björgolfur Hávardsson, NCE Seafood Innovation Cluster AS Norway
  • Gunnvør á Norði and Jóhanna Lava Kötlum, Fiskaaling, Faroe Islands
  • Kurt Buchmann, Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Frederiksberg, Denmark
  • Niels Henrik Henriksen, The Danish Aquaculture Organization, Aarhus, Denmark
  • Mari Virtanen, Finnish Fish Farmers' Association, Helsinki, Finland.

Instituions participating

  • Matís ohf. - Gunnar Thordarson (Iceland)
  • Björgolfur Hávardsson, NCE Seafood Innovation Cluster AS Norway
  • Fiskaaling - Gunnvør á Norði and Jóhanna Lava Kötlum - (Faroe Islands)
  • University of Copenhagen, Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Frederiksberg - Kurt Buchmann (Denmark)
  • The Danish Aquaculture Organization, Aarhus - Henrik Henriksen (Denmark)
  • Finnish Fish Farmers' Association, Helsinki - Mari Virtanen (Finland
  • Ölfus Cluster - Páll Marvin Jónsson

An International Conference on The External Dimension of the Common Fisheries Policy

A conference focusing on the external dimension of the common fisheries policy was held within the framework of the FarFish project in early June 2021. The aim of the conference was to review the implementation of the External Dimension of the CFP and to provide recommendations ahead of the next revision of the CFP.

The conference was attended by high-level experts and key stakeholders from the fishing industry and NGO sectors, together with relevant policy makers, scientists and academics, which contributed to discussions on the importance, advantages and challenges of the EU role in international fisheries management and ocean governance.

The conference spanned over two days, with the first day consisting of presentations and panel discussions from high-level experts; and the second day was more in the form of a workshop where different experts and stakeholders “dug deep” into how to improve management under fisheries agreements.

Recordings from the conference are now available on the FarFish website, along with a summary leaflet and main conclusions from day 1 and day 2.

A BlueBio and ERA-NETs SUSFOOD2 Networking Event

Are you interested in the future of Algae?

Save the date for a joint BlueBio and ERA-NETs SUSFOOD2 event:

Market pathways for sustainable algae

The event will take place online on the 23rd of September 10 AM to 1 PM CEST. 

More information on the agenda and registration will be published closer to the date.