Fish farming communities share £180 million

Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen

At least 150 coastal fish farming communities in Norway look set to share a bumper payout of more than £180 million from the country’s aquaculture fund.

The total in Norwegian currency comes to NOK 2.2 billion and demonstrates the importance of the fund to some of the more remote areas.

The spoils, which come from the granting of new farming licences, are divided up depending on the size of each community and the concentration of fish farming activities.

According to the national broadcaster NRK Frøya in Trøndelag is due to receive the most money at NOK 86.4 million (£7-million), followed by Nærøysund in Trøndelag at NOK 75.3 million (£6.1 million ), Senja in Troms at NOK 67.7 million (£5.6 million) and Hammerfest in Finnmark at almost NOK 60 million (£4.9 million).

The aquaculture fund scheme which began four years ago helps municipalities improve their social, leisure and educational facilities and is seen by some as compensation for the disruption which fish farming can sometimes generate.

The arrival of fish farming activities has also brought an additional bonus in the form of extra employment opportunities where jobs are often hard to find.

However, some coastal towns and villages have suggested that the method of distribution has not always been fair, arguing they should have received more.

Fisheries Minister Emil Ingebrigtsen has rejected these complaints, saying local communities were receiving real rewards for their efforts, adding that the country could thanks a profitable aquaculture industry for having so much money to distribute.

A new salmon tax is due to come into operation in 2022, some of which will be distributed to communities.


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