Research and industry collaborate successfully on shrimp project

A common interest in the development of shrimp stock forms the basis for a long-term collaboration between the fishing industry and Pinngortitaleriffik.


By Nicoline Larsen


The Greenlandic shrimp are at the center of both AnnDorte Burmeister’s and Andrias Olsen’s work. But in different ways. Nevertheless, the researcher and the trawler manager have built a great work relationship around the shrimp, a relationship where they benefit from each other’s knowledge.


“It’s hugely liberating and rewarding to know that I can always call Andrias and discuss topics related to shrimp fishing and the shrimp stock. It gives me instant access to find out if what I see in my research corresponds to what the profession sees,” AnnDorte Burmeister explains.


AnnDorte is a Senior Consultant and Researcher focusing on shrimp and crabs at Pinngortitaleriffik ­– Greenland Institute of Natural Resources. Here, she is responsible for making stock assessments. Arctic Hub meets her and trawler manager Andrias Olsen, who is responsible for Royal Greenland’s ships, at Royal Greenland’s headquarters in Nuuk.

Fruitful dialogues

The collaboration between AnnDorte Burmeister and Andrias Olsen actually arose somewhat by chance. They ran into each other at various professional events, got along well and discovered that they had a lot to gain if they could start sharing their shrimp-related knowledge and observations with each other.

“When you have common interests, it just makes cooperation so much easier,” Andrias Olsen


Along the way, AnnDorte Burmeister and Andrias Olsen’s talks spawned a collaboration between Pinngortitaleriffik and Royal Greenland – as well as with other parts of the fishing industry. They have since worked together on a number of joint projects.


“Over the years, we’ve collaborated on many different things, and we’ve had an incredible number of fruitful dialogues,” says AnnDorte Burmeister.

Collaborators with a common interest

Although they come from different worlds, they find that they have a lot in common.


“I don’t see the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources as an opponent, but rather as a partner. We’re just as interested in having a healthy shrimp population as the researchers and the rest of society,” Andrias Olsen explains.


AnnDorte Burmeister confirms, before adding: “Although Pinngortitaleriffik is on good terms with the shrimp industry and works well with it, there can never be any doubt that our advice and results are based on research. It’s impartial and science-based and not influenced by economic and political interests.”

New experiment on larger sorting grids in the shrimp fishery

Most recently, AnnDorte Burmeister and Andrias Olsen have worked with Ice Trawl Greenland A/S, Polar Seafood, Niisa Trawl and Qajaq Trawl on an experiment investigating whether it is possible to expand the distance between the bars in the grids that shrimp trawlers use for shrimp fishing.

“It’s always a great strength to receive feedback from the profession about their observations,” AnnDorte Burmeister


With a greater distance between the bars in the grids, the seagoing shrimp fishery may be able to catch a larger amount of shrimp per tow and in some areas larger shrimps. For that reason, Andrias Olsen reached out to AnnDorte Burmeister and asked if Pinngortitaleriffik would cooperate with the industry to investigate whether such an expansion would be sustainable.

Collaboration pays off

The project has been led by AnnDorte Burmeister, Andrias Olsen and Miki Brøns from Polar Seafood, and the research was carried out on the shrimp trawlers Polar Qassiut and Nattarnaq. Right now, they are busy putting the finishing touches to the report.


The example of the grids in the shrimp fishery is just one in a series of projects that the two have collaborated on. And they both believe that research and business have a lot to gain from collaborations like these.


“When working with a fishery resource, it’s always a great strength to receive feedback from the profession about their observations,” says AnnDorte Burmeister. Andrias Olsen confirms:


“And when you have common interests, it just makes cooperation so much easier.”


See more examples of how research and business can work together.