Ex-jour­nal­ist Nor­way’s new seafood min­is­ter

Fish Farmer - - All The Latest Industry News From Europe -

NOR­WAY’S Labour Min­is­ter Tor­b­jørn Røe Isak­sen is to take over the job of run­ning the coun­try’s fish­eries and seafood min­istry – at least for the time be­ing.

He re­places Geir Inge Siver­sten, who re­signed af­ter just 39 days in the post – one of the short­est in Nor­way’s his­tory.

Siver­sten stood down amid con­tro­versy over ac­cept­ing sev­er­ance money from his lo­cal govern­ment job while be­ing paid as a min­is­ter – money he later re­turned.

He was also crit­i­cised for his links to a Ma­sonic lodge which in­cluded a num­ber of seafood ex­ec­u­tives as mem­bers.

Prime Min­is­ter Erna Sol­berg had said she still had con­fi­dence in Siver­sten, but po­lit­i­cal pres­sure and crit­i­cism be­gan to mount, forc­ing him to of­fer his res­ig­na­tion.

The new man, Tor­b­jørn Røe Isak­sen, a for­mer jour­nal­ist and edi­tor, does not ap­pear to have any close links with ei­ther fish­ing or aqua­cul­ture.

He has asked to keep his job as min­is­ter of Labour and So­cial Af­fairs while run­ning the fish­eries de­part­ment at the same time, which sug­gests it may be a stop-gap ap­point­ment.

Aged 41, he was once named Nor­way’s most tal­ented young politi­cian. Isak­sen is a mem­ber of the Con­ser­va­tive Party and served as min­is­ter for Trade and In­dus­try un­til Jan­uary this year, when there was a govern­ment reshuf­fle af­ter a fall-out with Pro­gres­sive Party mem­bers of the rul­ing coali­tion govern­ment.

The seafood in­dus­try has yet to com­ment on his ap­point­ment, but it may not be happy that this is the sec­tor’s fourth min­is­ter in lit­tle over 18 months, when it is fac­ing a num­ber of se­ri­ous is­sues, not least the im­pact of coro­n­avirus on ex­ports.

Above: Tor­b­jørn Røe Isak­sen

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