Cod farm expansion plan turned down

A bid by the cod farmer Ode AS to expand its operations in the north of Norway has been turned down by the local county council.

The Nordland county authority did not give a reason for the refusal, but it could be due to fears over recent cod escapes from other farms.

The Alesund based company had wanted to establish a facility near the village of Fornes to produce up to 3,500 tonnes of cod, the local newspaper  Brønnøysunds Avis has reported.

The Norwegian Food Safety Authority has refused the application and the Directorate of Fisheries has advised against the proposed establishment, while the State Administrator in Nordland sent the application back due to a lack of risk assessment or mapping.

The smaller Bindal municipal council had recommended that the application be granted, and the coastal administration in Nordland has given permission for its establishment.

However, it has emerged that the responsibility for granting cod farming licences rests with the county council, which has decided to reject Ode’s application.

Ode AS is one of Norway’s up and coming cod farmers. It changed its name from “Gadus” a few months ago.

Ode has around 85 employees. It says it follows an “integrated value chain” approach, and has chosen to build its entire organisation along the Norwegian coast.

Cod farming is now a growing part of Norway’s aquaculture industry, but as with salmon, fears are being expressed by the fishing industry and conservationists about the impact of escapes on the wild fish population.

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