Oslo proposes shake-up for fish farming rules

The Norwegian government has set out its future regulatory proposals for salmon farming further out to sea.

They look set to replace the disputed traffic light scheme which governs coastal aquaculture, and propose that offshore fish farms should be treated differently.

Fisheries Minister Bjørnar Skjæran said the goal was to be at the forefront of developing the world’s most productive and environmentally offshore aquaculture industry while providing food for a growing world market.

The Minister said in a press release: “We will develop a separate licensing regime for aquaculture with strict requirements for sustainability and coexistence between different maritime industries.

“We have accelerated this work, and now we are sending out for consultation a proposal for a separate permit regime.”

The proposal is the first to be sent for consultation after an inter-ministerial working group submitted the report Aquaculture at sea – new technology, new areas in December 2018.

The consultation note builds on this report. The proposal includes the overall regime for the identification and facilitation of areas for offshore aquaculture, as well as the introduction of a separate licensing regime at sea.

The Minister added: “Experience shows that it is possible to establish farming further at sea, but then the authorities must facilitate this. At the same time, it is important to find out how to effectively handle challenges that may accompany such an operation and set a clear framework for it.”

He said the decision to place offshore aquaculture outside the traffic light scheme was taken on the recommendation of Norway’s Institute of Marine Research.


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