Now Norwegians changing minds on fish farming

Round fish farm pens in blue sea, mountains on horizon

Norwegians are becoming increasingly negative about salmon farming, according to new polling.

The survey was carried out by Norwegian broadcaster NRK public radio and follows a series of reports about large salmon death numbers from various biological issues.

But the industry organisation Seafood Norway believes that views would be different if there were more positive reports about the industry.

NRK said the attitude of Norwegians towards farmed salmon had changed a great deal recently. Some 37% of those questioned said they were more negative about farmed salmon than before.

Most of those who have changed their minds, which included many older people this time, said that ethical and environmental factors had become the main drivers.

The industry organisation Seafood Norway believes that attitudes would change if there was more positive news about the industry in the general media. People tend to react based on how things are reported, it says

And Trond Blindheim, an associate professor at the University of Kristiania, told NRK that the farming companies need to get their act together. They had a tough task ahead of them and they needed to restore the industry’s good reputation.

NRK pointed out in its report that, although salmon farming created both jobs and income, environmentalists and others have asked questions about the industry ever since the first sea pen was set up in Norway in the 1970s.

Seafood Norway said it took people’s concerns seriously, adding it was important to acknowledge all the negative things that have been happening, especially over the past year.

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