Norway push to process more fish at home


DEMAND is growing in Norway for more of the fish it exports to be processed at home before leaving for overseas markets.
The country, say critics, is giving away jobs and money by sending out whole fish.  For example, more than 85 per cent of the salmon produced by the aquaculture industry is exported in this way.
By halting this trend almost 8,000 processing jobs could be created, particularly in the remoter coastal communities where work is at a premium.
The figure for all varieties of fish is 69 per cent because more white fish is processed before it leaves the country.
The issue was taken up by Renate Larsen, chief executive of the Norwegian Seafood Council, during her review of the 2017 export performance.
She said: ‘Looking over time, the processing rate (in Norway) has fallen. In 2010, the proportion of unprocessed fish for exports from the white fish, pelagic and aquaculture industry was 66 per cent. By 2017, the proportion of unprocessed fish had increased to 69 per cent.’
She pointed out that only 17 per cent of salmon was now processed before being exported, while the volume of processed cod had also declined.
Other industry observers believe the proportion is far too low and are calling for a major expansion of the home processing sector.
Iceland has recently adopted a similar approach of processing more of its fish before it leaves the country, but the policy has led to concerns in the UK, where there has been a reduction in whole fish supplies, to the Humber in particular.
Norway\’s fisheries minister, Per Sandberg, said: ‘The seafood industry is one of Norway’s most important export industries.
‘And the 2017 export record consolidates the industry\’s position. The government\’s ambition is that the seafood industry will grow and create more jobs.’
Picture: Norwegian fisheries minister Per Sandberg


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