Oslo opens way for sea farming expansion

Norwegian seafood minister Harald Tom Nesvik

NORWAY has mapped and identified 11 extensive new zones down its 1,650-mile long coastline that could be suitable for the future development of sea based offshore aquaculture.

The Directorate of Fisheries, which carried out the work in co-operation with the Institute of Marine Research, said the areas will probably have to go through further impact assessment before final approval.

The mapping has been limited to parts of the coast one nautical mile outside the baseline, but within Norway\’s exclusive economic zone.

The Institute of Marine Research said it was able to provide knowledge on physical environmental conditions, ecosystem impact and salmon\’s environmental requirements, which also ensure good fish welfare and preventing the spread of infection.

Some of the site suggestions have come from the fish farming industry itself.

The move is seen as a clear indication that the current Norwegian government is committed to a significant expansion of offshore fish farming over the coming decade.

The Directorate of Fisheries said: ‘The overall assessment also includes physical environmental conditions set against limit values for good fish welfare.

‘It is not known which technology will possibly be used at sea, and to what extent this will dampen the fish\’s experience of the physical environmental conditions inside the facility.’

The proposals have now been sent to the Ministry of Trade and Industry for further consideration.

The Directorate also made it clear that it will not complete a survey of all possible marine development areas, adding that others may be proposed in the future.

Meanwhile, seafood minister Harald Tom Nesvik has said that the new traffic light system for salmon and trout farming of all types will come into force in the New Year.

The scheme pinpoints areas of the coast where aquaculture can and cannot be carried out.

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