Internal meeting of WP2, WP3 and WP5, November 2015, Helsinki

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Time: 3.11.2015 (9.00 - 17.00) and 4.11.2015 (8.30 - 16.00)

Place: Biocenter 3, Helsinki, Viikki

Participants: Päivi Haapasaari (UH), Suvi Ignatius (UH), Mia Pihlajamäki (UOul), Timo Karjalainen (UOul), Simo Sarkki (UOul), Jouni Tuomisto (THL), Arja Asikainen (THL).

The overall aim of the meeting:

1) to plan objectives, contents, and realization of the consumer questionnaire related to fish eating habits (Task 5.3), and

2) to define the goals, themes, schedule, participants and practicalities of the stakeholder workshop no. 1.

1. Consumer questionnaire

Arja introduced a preliminary plan for a consumer questionnaire study that aims at assessing determinants and trends in people’s fish eating habits. The questionnaire will be targeted to a large sample of consumers in different Baltic Sea case study countries (i.e. Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Estonia). The results will be used in building scenarios on the use of herring and salmon (WP3), and in the Decision Support Model (WP6).

I) It was agreed that a web-based questionnaire is most suitable for the implementation of the study in terms of both the information needed and the budget allocated for the task. The purpose of research is to explore and understand different (value and fact related) reasons for fish consumption in different Baltic Sea countries, in general. Arja will look into the options for outsourcing the distribution of the questionnaire for research agencies that have ready-made mailing lists of different population segments.

II) Questionnaire items drafted by Arja were discussed. Different background variables like age, gender, level of education and place of residence deemed to be essential as well as a question about frequency of fish consumption in general and of Baltic herring and salmon in particular. The questionnaire includes questions about both why the respondents consume and don’t consume fish in general and Baltic salmon and herring in particular. The answer options include both factual and attitudinal variables, which are prioritized by the respondents. The form of the questions has to be given attention in order to get relevant information.

III) It was agreed that the stakeholder workshop would be a good place for assessing and ensuring the relevance of the questions and answering options from the perspective of stakeholders as well as pre-testing the questionnaire form.

2. Stakeholder workshop

A two-day-workshop will be organized in conjunction of the project meeting in February 2016 in Copenhagen. Based on the Doodle poll organized by Päivi, it was decided that the dates are 15th to 19th of February. The preliminary idea is to have a half a day project meeting on Monday (Feb 15th) in order to finalize the planning of the workshop. The workshop will be organized on the Tuesday and Wednesday (Feb 16-17th). The project meeting continues Thursday and Friday (Feb 18-19th).

The focus of the workshop, how to get stakeholders interested and to maintain their interest throughout the event, and procedures of carrying out the workshop within two short days (max 6 hours incl. breaks) were discussed. In addition, Simo gave a presentation on backcasting, a structured methodology for discussing on how to reach or avoid a certain future (power point slides).

I) The topic

It was decided that the focus of the workshop is on Baltic herring and dioxin. In order to make the topic more manageable, it was decided that Baltic wild salmon should be left out from the 1st workshop. See Opasnet for more information:

Four specific themes for the workshop were identified. These are:

1) long-term prospects of Baltic herring fishing and changes in global market;

2) implications of dioxin to herring fishing sector;

3) perceptions of dioxin risk as a public health problem; and

4) dioxin vs. other factors affecting the consumption of herring at present and in the future (related to consumer questionnaire study).

II) Position papers

It was decided that a short position paper should be drafted for each of the topics and sent to the participants before workshop. The rationale behind the paper is first, to ensure that our research group has a good understanding of the current situation relating to the topics, second, to aid the planning of the sessions (which questions to address etc.), and third, to ensure that the session discussions are able to elaborate further (i.e. based on the position paper we can ask the participant what is missing from the paper). The responsibilities for writing the first drafts of the papers were divided in the following way:

1) long-term prospects of Baltic herring fishing and changes in global market (TIMO)

2) implications of dioxin to herring fishing sector (MIA and PÄIVI)

3) perceptions of dioxin risk as a public health problem (SUVI and MIA)

4) dioxin vs. other factors affecting herring consumption at present and in the future (ARJA)

The position papers will be circulated to the project team for comments before their finalization.

III) Draft agenda for the workshop

The agenda for the workshop was drafted in terms of contents and division of responsibilities. Päivi will send the draft agenda for the project team for comments.

To summarise, discussions in small groups and plenary sessions are organized for problem framing, defining objectives and outlining actions to reach the objectives. Jouni and Timo will act as facilitators of the group discussions. Each of the sessions has also a secretary, and the discussion is recorded.

In the first day, the participants are divided into two smaller groups to discuss the abovementioned four topics in two parallel sessions. The aim of each group discussion is to frame the problem, to identify influencing factors and to define future objectives / desired states related to each topic. The results are discussed and elaborated in a plenary session. In the second workshop day, based on the group discussions of the previous day, three alternative future states (two desirable and one undesirable) are defined, and actions needed to reach/avoid these are identified. Backcasting methodology is applied. The desirable futures states are discussed in two parallel sessions. The results are presented and elaborated in a plenary session. The undesirable future state is discussed in a plenary session.

IV) Stakeholders

The stakeholder groups to be invited to the workshop were tentatively decided on. The relevant groups include environmental NGOs, consumer organizations, herring fishing industry (both fishers and fish processors), dioxin and public health experts, and policy makers, advisors and herring researchers. It was stressed that in order to get a fuller understanding of the dioxin problem from the viewpoints of both public health and fisheries, the representatives of fishing industry and dioxin/public health experts should include persons from different Baltic Sea case study countries (Finland, Sweden, Estonia and Denmark).

Next steps:

Päivi and Mia will update the workshop participant list and draft agenda, and send them to project team for comments. The invitation will also be updated.

Päivi will be in touch with Alyne about booking the venue. The idea is to have the workshop in a hotel and book accommodations from the same hotel.

Drafting of position papers.

Goherr Research project 2015-2018: Integrated governance of Baltic herring and salmon stocks involving stakeholders

GOHERR logo NEW.png Goherr public website


WP1 Management · WP2 Sociocultural use, value and goverrnance of Baltic salmon and herring · WP3 Scenarios and management objectives · WP4 Linking fish physiology to food production and bioaccumulation of dioxin · WP5 Linking the health of the Baltic Sea with health of humans: Dioxin · WP6 Building a decision support model for integrated governance · WP7 Dissemination

Other pages in Opasnet

GOHERR assessment · Goherr flyer · Goherr scenarios · Relevant literature: policy · dioxins · values


Exposure- response functions of dioxins · Fish consumption in Sweden · POP concentrations in Baltic sea fish · Exposure-response functions of Omega3 fatty acids

Methods Health impact assessment · OpasnetBaseUtils‎ · Modelling in Opasnet
Other assessments Benefit-risk assessment of Baltic herring · Benefit-risk assessment on farmed salmon · Benefit-risk assessment of methyl mercury and omega-3 fatty acids in fish · Benefit-risk assessment of fish consumption for Beneris · Benefit-risk assessment of Baltic herring (in Finnish)
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