Back­lash over Tromsø farm ban

Fish Farmer - - News European -

LO­CAL coun­cil­lors in the Nor­we­gian city of Tromsø are fac­ing a mount­ing back­lash over their de­ci­sion to ban any fur­ther open salmon farm­ing in­side mu­nic­i­pal bound­aries.

They have also or­dered a halt to the ex­pan­sion of ex­ist­ing fish farms un­less they are en­closed or land based.

An al­liance of left and green par­ties on the city coun­cil im­posed the ban last month as part of its new coastal cli­mate and en­vi­ron­men­tal plan.

But now the com­pany Nor­way Royal Salmon, which had been plan­ning ex­tra in­vest­ment with a new salmon waste fa­cil­ity in the area, has warned it may be forced to look else­where.

CEO Charles Høstlund told the city news­pa­per iTromsø that he was both sur­prised and dis­ap­pointed by the de­ci­sion.

He said: ‘As a com­pany, we de­pend on pre­dictabil­ity and it is clear that the de­ci­sion may af­fect our lo­ca­tion plan­ning, if we de­cide to move ahead with our plan to build a sep­a­rate salmon waste plant.’

He added that there was still a lot of ig­no­rance about how the aqua­cul­ture in­dus­try op­er­ated, and he ac­cused the city coun­cil of try­ing to im­pose new tech­nol­ogy that had not been fully de­vel­oped.

Mean­while, Nor­way’s fish­eries min­is­ter, Har­ald Tom Nesvik, ac­cused the city coun­cil of send­ing the wrong sig­nals to the in­dus­try and po­ten­tial in­vestors, giv­ing the im­pres­sion it was not in­ter­ested in the aqua­cul­ture sec­tor or in fur­ther growth. He said that while he re­spected lo­cal democ­racy and the de­ci­sion was es­sen­tially a mat­ter be­tween the coun­cil and lo­cal vot­ers, he was nev­er­the­less sur­prised, es­pe­cially as the mu­nic­i­pal­ity had re­cently re­ceived mil­lions of kro­ners from the Aqua­cul­ture Fund.

With a pop­u­la­tion of 75,000, Tromsø is Nor­way’s ninth largest city, cov­ers an area of al­most 1,000 square miles and lies above the Arc­tic Cir­cle.

It is a pop­u­lar tourist des­ti­na­tion for view­ing the north­ern lights. The city coun­cil has re­cently adopted a new coastal cli­mate and en­vi­ron­men­tal plan, which is be­hind the ban on fur­ther tra­di­tional net pen farm­ing.

Above: Charles Høstlund

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