Norway’s salmon giants facing welfare crackdown

Fish farm for breeding for rainbow trout and salmon fry in net cages. Concept aquaculture pisciculture.

Norway’s “big six” fish farming companies are set to come under close scrutiny from the Norwegian Food Safety Authority next year.

Particular attention will be paid as to how well they handle fish welfare and health issues. It is hoped the move will lead to more effective welfare measures.

The companies have not been named, but it is clear from recent reports on welfare issues who they are.

The Authority, along with the Norwegian government, is reported to be worried about an increasing number of mortalities and disease issues in recent months. It hopes to adopt new methods when auditing the companies during 2024

The examinations will be carried out to identify many of the major challenges linked to animal welfare which have been documented by groups such as the National Audit Office.

Ingunn Midttun Godal, managing director of the Food Safety Authority, said: “The largest farming companies own the most fish.

“We believe that an improvement at system level at these companies will lead to increased welfare for most fish. Any deviations or points requiring improvement must be followed up at all levels within the companies.

“Good health and welfare of the fish is a pre-requisite for further development of the farming industry.”

The aim of the audits, which will be carried out by the Authority, is to put in place new and more effective inspection methods.

The reports will be published on the Authority’s website after each individual audit, it says.


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