Seafood delight as Norway invites EEA workers

Seafood Norway CEO Geir Ove Ystmark

NORWAY has opened the door to workers from the European Economic Area which includes the 27 EU countries, along with Iceland.

The move, by justice minister Monica Mæland, should help ease some of the problems facing salmon and white fish processors.

It should also take some of the heat out of the arguments over whether certain salmon companies should be granted exemptions from processing rules.

She said EEA citizens who want to work in essential industries can now enter Norway, and mentioned seafood and general food production as being in particular need of extra labour.

Seafood Norway, the organisation which represents many fishing and aquaculture companies, has hailed the decision, saying the measure should help to ensure continued seafood production.

Its CEO, Geir Ove Ystmark, said: ‘We are pleased that the government is opening up to workers from the EEA area because it is essential that we have access to labour at this critical time.’

He continued: ‘An incredible and invaluable effort is being made along the entire coast and in all parts of the seafood industry to secure food for the markets.

‘We are of the opinion that the change will make a positive contribution to ensuring seafood production.’

Maeland explained that during the early part of the coronavirus crisis, Norway introduced temporary rules preventing foreigners without a job or residence from entering the country, a move which had negative consequences for industries such as agriculture and seafood.

She also stressed that all workers coming into Norway would have to follow strict quarantine conditions. The relaxation also applies to energy, forestry and horticulture.

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