Norwegians eating less fish, survey finds

Norway may produce some of the finest fish in the world, but its six million inhabitants are turning away from it, says the country’s Seafood Council.

Consumption of salmon and other seafood in Norway is now at its lowest level for at least 20 years.

Despite being the largest producer of Atlantic salmon, prices have skyrocketed in the shops. The Seafood Council believes this is one of  the main reason Norwegians are buying less.

It says: “In 2003, we ate an average of 21.22 kilograms of seafood per person in this country. Last year, the figure was 18.96 kilos. There is a decrease of close to 11% (10.65%), according to calculations based on figures from Flesland Market Information.

“The reasons for Norwegians’ declining seafood consumption are complex. Lack of knowledge about preparation, time constraints and availability may explain something. But the price increase must also take a good share of the blame.”

Seafood Council CEO Christian Chramer said: “- We see that it is seafood products that are increasing in price the most and people buy less of them.”

Despite Norway being one of the world’s wealthiest countries, sales of cheaper seafood have increased recently. This suggests that people would like to have fish, says CEO Chramer.

The Seafood Council survey also found as many as seven  out of 10 Norwegians said they wanted  to eat more fish.

To estimate how much seafood the population ate, turnover figures from wholesalers and suppliers, supplied by Flesland Market Information, were used.

It provided an overview of the total amount of seafood sold to shops, restaurants and large households, measured in product weight. The measurements say nothing about wastage, however, or about fish that are not eaten for various reasons. Thus, the consumption figures may be lower than estimated.

To get a picture of seafood consumption, the survey also looked at how often people eat seafood.

A new, international survey conducted by Ipsos for the Seafood Council supported the new  consumption figures. The Seafood Council said: “Norwegians are not particularly good at eating fish as often as they should. Only four out  of 10 said they eat fish or other seafood as often as the health authorities recommend. This is  below the international average.”

The Portuguese are at the top of the fish-eating list. There, more than seven  out of 10 said that they eat seafood twice a week or more. The Germans and the Swedes were bottom of the list.

The Seafood Council’s survey was carried out three times during 2022. It covered a total of over 37,000 people in 16 countries worldwide, including Norway.

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