The Origin

What is the origin of CodMarine?

Norway is the correct and easy answer, but the story behind this unique Norwegian product is so much more.
CodMarine is made from Norwegian Cod, a fish that spawns in the sheltered waters of the Norwegian coastline and lives in the clean and nutrient rich Arctic waters of the Barents Sea.
It is difficult to talk about Norway and the Norwegian history without talking about the cod. Cod liver oil has been important for Norway for thousands of years and norwegians have been using it to everything from natural medicin to oil lamps, to making clothes water resistance.

The Norwegian Coastline: A natural shelter for the cod to spawn

Fun Fact: Although Norway is a medium-sized country; its long coastal line with fjords actually stretches more than 100 000 km (if you count the coastal line around the island as well), more than 2 ½ times around the globe!

The Barents Sea: Pure, clean and nutritious arctic waters

Due to the North Atlantic drift, the Barents Sea has a high biological production compared to other oceans of similar latitude. The spring bloom of phytoplankton can start quite early near the ice edge, because the fresh water from the melting ice makes up a stable water layer on top of the sea water. The Omega-3 rich phytoplankton bloom feeds zooplankton and is the start of the food chain.

Fun fact: The extremely high primary production of the Barents sea supports a rich biological diversity including some of the world’: most numerous colonies of seabirds such as puffin and guillemot, rich seafloor communities with kelp-forests numerous deep water coral reefs and a unique variety of marine mammals such as walrus, bowhead whales and polar bears.

The Wild Norwegian Cod

Cod get their omega-3 fatty acids from their diet. Most of the fat of the cod is stored in the liver. It has a naturally higher level of DHA than EPA and has been used since ancient times for its properties and its vitamin content. 

Fun Fact: The largest individual on record was 1.5 m (5 ft) long and weighed 47 kg (103 lb), but usually the cod is between 61 cm (24 in) and 1.2 m (4 ft) long and weighs up to 40 kg (88 lb).

Cod Liver Oil: a Norwegian tradition

The most common way to extract the fish liver oil was to bring a large pan with water to a boil, then place the liver on top of birch tree branches, and then cook the liver from the hot steam. The extracted cod liver oil would then drip into the water. The clear cod liver oil would float up to the surface and has been highly coveted by the Norse people ever since.

Fun Fact: In the old days fishermen put cod liver oil on their clothes to make them water resistant (Imagine the smell.. ) 

The Gjendemsjø family

Lauritz and his companions built a fish-processing factory where they processed fish and finished consumer goods. Lauritz bought a new facility in Brattvåg where they processed fish. His youngest son, Leif Kjetil, used to help out at the factory after school and as his father he also fell in love with the profession. As he grew older he took on more responsibility – driving along the Norwegian coast selling fishing products to local shops.To optimize the utilization of the trimmings from the processing plant, Lauritz and Leif Kjetil got the idea to use residual material from the fish to produce fish protein and fish oil. They were actually among the first in the world to put fish oil and fish protein in two piece hard gelatin capsules and were one of the first in the world to produce omega-3 concentrates. 

As the years passed, Leif Kjetil had been greatly influenced by his fathers way of thinking. Leif Kjetil began planning the next step for the Gjendemsjø family. He wanted to create a paradigm shift in the Omega-3 industry - with focus on eco-friendly and flexible production, R&D, sustainable raw materials and new healthy marine ingredients.

Leif Kjetil had for a long time had a dream about using the trimmings, not only the liver, from Norwegian fishing boats to produce omega-3 oils. Being from a fisher family he knew very well that the fishermen threw the trimmings back to the ocean because there was no one that wanted the trimmings. Leif Kjetil was and still is very passionate about caring for resources and believes that we should utilize everything we harvest from nature – values he has inherited from his father. Pharma Marine™ decided that we wanted to partner with Norwegian fishing vessels to see how we could utilize the trimmings in a good way. As a result of this, CodMarine® was launched in 2014.

“We are proud to be a company which is rich in history and unique marine lipids. We will continue to contribute to knowledge and inspiration for present and future generations by improving people’s health by developing innovative and convenient products from sustainable sources.”
- Leif Kjetil Gjendemsjø 

Now the next generation in the Gjendemsjø family has joined the Pharma Marine™ team and together we will work to provide premium quality products that are great for our planet, your health and future generations.

Fun Fact: Leif Kjetil wanted as a young child to help his father and at the age of 8 he started cutting cod tongues. In a way you could say that this was Leif Kjetil’s first business since he was selling this delicacy to relatives and neighbors.