Nor­way PM hails aqua­cul­ture suc­cess

Fish Farmer - - News European -

NOR­WAY’S prime min­is­ter, Erna Sol­berg, has said the coun­try needs to de­velop an aqua­cul­ture in­dus­try that can de­liver food and eco­nomic values within an ac­cept­able foot­print.

She was speak­ing at the Havbruck 2018 con­fer­ence, which gath­ered the fish farm­ing in­dus­try, along with re­searchers and politi­cians, for key dis­cus­sion on fu­ture pol­icy. The main theme of this year’s con­fer­ence was ‘Aqua­cul­ture in so­ci­ety’.

Sol­berg said of fish farm­ing: ‘The in­dus­try has been a huge suc­cess. It cre­ates im­por­tant jobs and sets off ma­jor rip­ples among com­mu­ni­ties along the coast.

‘Pre­lim­i­nary cal­cu­la­tions from Sin­tef for last year show that (fish) farmed ac­tiv­ity con­trib­uted over 62 bil­lion kro­ner in to­tal GDP value cre­ation.

‘In 2017, the aqua­cul­ture in­dus­try ex­ported one mil­lion tonnes of fish worth NOK 67.7 bil­lion.

‘There has been an ad­ven­tur­ous de­vel­op­ment with a high pro­duc­tion of salmon since the start of the 1970s.

‘Chal­lenges have been met and a large pro­por­tion of these are solved, us­ing re­search based knowl­edge pro­duc­tion.

‘Through suc­cess­ful vac­ci­na­tion pro­grammes, many dis­eases have been com­bat­ted, and the in­dus­try sup­plies seafood, pro­duc­tion ex­per­tise and world-class tech­nol­ogy.’

But there were chal­lenges ahead, es­pe­cially over the en­vi­ron­ment, feed pro­duc­tion and fish wel­fare, she ar­gued.

‘There are con­flicts as­so­ci­ated with coastal fish­ing, wildlife in­ter­ests, con­ser­va­tion in­ter­ests, out­door life and tourism that af­fect ac­cess to the farm ar­eas and, not least, the ac­cep­tance of the in­dus­try’s en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact.

‘We need to fur­ther de­velop an aqua­cul­ture in­dus­try that can de­liver food and eco­nomic values within an ac­cept­able foot­print.

‘An im­por­tant part of this - and as is the case to­day - is the def­i­ni­tion of what sort of foot­print from aqua­cul­ture is ac­cept­able to so­ci­ety.’

She cau­tioned that there were no in­dus­tries which had a zero im­pact. But ed­u­ca­tion, re­search and tech­no­log­i­cal de­vel­op­ment should help to re­duce any im­pact and cre­ate a bet­ter in­dus­try. Above: Erna Sol­berg

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