Is public data useful?

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Good and proven data is a necessary basis for reliable information to ensure informed decisions. Regardless of what decisions are made and how they turn out, data and information are the basis of the debate. It is important that data and information are based on harmonized and standardized methods so that they can be utilized by knowledge.

In the fisheries sector as well as in other sectors, a large amount of data can be found, data that is the basis for many important and successful decisions that affect international relations, society, companies and individuals.

In this context, it was decided to evaluate specific public data on herring fishing, processing and value creation in Norway and Iceland and to try to assess whether data published in the public databases of these countries can answer some comparative questions in a reliable manner.

The conclusion is quite clear: Public catch information is difficult to link to official information on products and value creation in a reliable way. The registration of products in the correct tariff code can have a significant effect, unconfirmed information on overweight can change the comparison significantly, and so on.

It is necessary to make significant improvements to the entire value chain of marine products regarding the registration and publication of data if the possibility exists to make reliable and reasoned decisions based on the best available knowledge at any given time. The same applies to the value chains of other food production in Iceland.

See report on the value chain of herring in Norway and Iceland


The purpose of this report is to evaluate general and public data in the seafood value chain with a view to analyzing value creation and attempting to compare different value chains. It was therefore decided to compare the utilization of herring in Norway and Iceland.

The main reason for examining the herring in these countries is that there is also a presentation of data in both countries and that processing takes place in a similar way.

The information in both countries did not prove to be of such a nature that conclusive conclusions could be drawn based on the data available. It is therefore necessary to make various improvements in data collection and publication if the possibility of comparing value chains is to be available in a reliable manner.

Tags: data, information, value chain, herring

English summary

The purpose of this summary is to evaluate how public data from seafood value chains can be used to understand the dynamics of the seafood industry and benchmark different seafood value chains against each other. In order to do so, we have chosen to compare how herring catch is utilized in Norway and Iceland. The reason for choosing this species is good access to public data and the likeliness of production in those two countries. We have analyzed what types of products are made from the available catch and identified the differences between the two countries regarding herring utilization.

Based on the case of Norwegian and Icelandic herring value chains, it is clear that great improvements are needed in order to be able to use public data from seafood value chains to understand the dynamics of the seafood industry and benchmark different seafood value chains against each other .

Tags: Data, benchmark, value chain, herring