Hofseth’s mountain farm plan faces criticism

Hofseth's planned mountain mine salmon farm

Resistance is growing against a plan to build a huge land based salmon facility at a former mountain mining site in Norway.

The project, which will trade as World Heritage Salmon, is being opposed by a number of environmental groups, however. The latest to come out against it this week is the national archive organisation, Riksantikvaren.

The company behind the proposed farm is Hofseth, which is planning to use the site on the Sunnylvsfjord, an abandoned olivine mine, for a flowthrough facility producing up to 100,000 tonnes of salmon per year. It would be one of the largest of its type in the world.

It will comprise 15 tunnels housing the fish tanks, utilising flow-through technology, and would benefit from its own smolt facility nearby.

The site, in Møre and Romsdal county, is not far from the Geirangerfjord World Heritage site, northeast of Bergen, designated as an area of exceptional national beauty by the UN agency UNESCO.

Riksantikvaren told the broadcaster NRK that it fears discharges into the fjord   from the land farm would threaten the natural balance of the area.

Its spokeswoman, the antiquarian Hanna Geiran said: “The world heritage status hangs particularly high, and only the most valuable places in the world are entered on the list.”

She also maintained the release of nitrogen into the fjord would be damaging.

Norway has committed to comply UNESCO’s regulations, and Geiran said that it is the Riksantikvaren’s responsibility to see to that we take care of these values.

She also fears for marine life in the fjord, geological values and consequences for world cultural values, if the farming facility is built.

Hofseth believes that its project will be environmentally-friendly and will not have any effect on the area. The county’s planning authority has approved the plan, and the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries has also determined that it will not have an adverse impact.

Steep sided fjord with boat

Seven sisters waterfall, Geiranger, Geirangerfjord, Norway

 

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