Sustainability and aquaculture


Birgir Örn Smárason

Research Group Leader

This research group focuses on measuring and reducing sustainability impacts of food and feed production and aquaculture research.

The focus of this group works on possibilities to increase food supply and optimise food production in an efficient and sustainable way without depleting natural resources or producing undesirable social, economic, and environmental effects. The group also investigates how by-products of food industry could be used to create additional value and contribute to the circular economy, analyses environmental impacts of food systems, and provides various services and research in the aquaculture sector.

The research group is involved in innovation and research projects, consulting, and services related to sustainable food production. Many of the projects involve analysis of environmental impacts of production processes, products or services using scientific methodologies such as life cycle assessment (LCA). The group has been involved in the development of standards within the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) framework for estimating the carbon footprint of marine food products. The research group also works on increasing utilization of side- and waste-stream resources to promote circular economy, mitigation of and adaptation to climate change, and ecosystem approach.

The Sustainability and Aquaculture research group has good facilities and a strong team of experts in aquaculture research, especially with regard to fish feed research and trials. This part of Matís operations has seen an increasing demand in the recent years, in tandem with the growing aquaculture sector, which plays an important role in ensuring the world's food security and creation and rural development in Iceland and globally.
Matís is a sought-after partner when it comes to research and innovation in aquaculture feed since the company has all the necessary infrastructure for research and development in this field. These include three recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) for different species (e.g., salmon, char, rainbow trout, grazing fish, and white shrimp), microbial, chemical and biotechnology laboratories where most of the relevant tests in aquaculture feed and biological factors can be made.