Oslo declares war on fish smugglers


THE Norwegian government is to step up its crackdown on fish smuggling, which is thought to be worth hundreds of thousands of kroners every year.
Fisheries minister Per Sandberg has revealed that the authorities are worried by the trend and are now looking at introducing more effective measures.
He said the country was facing a major challenge, mostly from foreigners who comes to Norway with the aim of illegally taking as much fish out of the country as they can.
‘Fish smuggling can represent big values, and we fear that our current figures for this activity may just be the tip of the iceberg,’ he said.
‘Last year the authorities seized over 11 tonnes of fish, mostly in the form of cod fillets, but the actual figure is thought to be far higher than that.
‘Fish smuggling is serious for several reasons. Firstly, we do not have full control over how much fish is taken out of the ocean, and secondly, it is a financial crime which also affects our reputation.
‘Norway is a major seafood nation and we must maintain control over our fish.’
He said the government was now working on new ways to counter the menace and he has invited his colleagues in the government, including finance minister Siv Jensen and justice and emergency minister Tor Mikkel Wara, to a meeting to discuss the challenge.
‘We need to review all the regulations and see if we can find more areas where we can tighten up. It is too early to say what measures we will be taking, but we will come back soon.’


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