Producers tempted back to salmon permit auction

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The latest salmon and trout farming permit auction in Norway has raised around NOK 1.5bn (£113m), it has been reported.

The licences should have been sold a year ago, but the auction was boycotted by several companies in protest over the salmon tax . A call for it to be postponed was ignored by the government.

The government decided several weeks ago to sell off the unsold permit – and this time it was well supported. The auction included companies who pulled out in 2022, and the permits involved carried a maximum permitted biomass of 8,240 tonnes.

Fisheries Minister Bjørnar Skjæran said interest was strong and the event showed that aquaculture still offered attractive investment opportunities.

“The government wants growth in the aquaculture industry within controlled and sustainable frameworks. There has been great interest in the residual auction and the competition for permit capacity has been high,” he said.

Skjæran added that a significant proportion of NOK 1.5 bn collected would go back to coastal communities through the Aquaculture Support Fund.

The main auction last year resulted in 24,644 tonnes of MTB being sold for a total of NOK 3.8 billion (£287m).

Last December more NOK 3bn (£250m) is to be distributed to Norwegian coastal communities from the government’s aquaculture fund. This was shared by more than 140 local and county municipalities.

Cermaq is thought to have secured the largest proportion of the biomass that was up for sale – around 60% according to some reports.

Mowi and SalMar, who boycotted last year’s sale, also purchased a number of permits.

 

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