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Norwegian Government Under Fire over White Paper Threat to Aquaculture

19 May 2015

NORWAY - A Norwegian seafood and aquaculture firm has hit out at the Norwegian Government’s threat to potentially eliminate the current scheme for interregional biomass limits.

The Lerøy Seafood Group said that such a move that it says is contained in the government’s White Paper on the Norwegian aquaculture industry will have a critical impact on the processing of salmon in Norway.

The group’s Board of Directors said it was happy to see that the Norwegian government had acknowledged the need for a long-term perspective towards the development of important general conditions, but was surprised by the proposed way forward.

The board attacked both the level and model/indicators proposed for use in order to control future growth.

It said that all these factors, together with the Government's lack of understanding of the benefits provided by and need for an average Maximum Allowed Biomass (MAB) scheme, will make it increasingly difficult to develop the industry.

“It is sad to see that this White Paper on aquaculture, the purpose of which is to lay the foundations for a central industry with major potential for the future, is so dominated by concern for ‘momentary’ challenges,” the Lerøy board says in its first quarter financial statement.

“We hope that our national authorities agree with us in that our industry's importance for society merits relative cost-benefit considerations made on the basis of genuine knowledge rather than political wheeling and dealing in order to gain popular appeal.

“Wise decision-making by our politicians could have a decisive influence on our industry and society as a whole. We have the documentation to support this claim, provided by the analysis of the consequences of the political astuteness exercised when the resolution was made ten years ago to replace the feed quotas with the current MAB scheme.

“We believe that Norway cannot afford to ignore the opportunities provided by an efficient, globally competitive and eco-friendly production of food from the sea.”

To see Lerøy Seafood Group's first quarter results, click here.

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