Mayors in mass protest over salmon traffic light plan

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A GROUP of 14 mayors along the west coast of Norway have signed a petition against government proposals to reduce fish farming in some parts of the region.

They fear it will lead to a cut in investment and jobs among the coast communities which they represent.

But what is worrying for the government is that 10 of them are members of the Labour and Centre parties who hold the reins of power in the Storting, Norway’s parliament.

And a general election is due next year with the Conservative party riding high in the polls.

The cutbacks form part of the controversial traffic light scheme which regulates salmon farming along the Norwegian coast.

The plans is to further reduce production by six per cent in certain areas. The traffic light scheme is designed to promote sustainable growth and divides the Norwegian coast into green, yellow and red areas.

Green permits further expansion, yellow stipulates no change and red means fish farming must be reduced with a consequential loss of jobs.

The mayors are demanding that the move be postponed but at the moment the government is standing firm and says companies can apply for .exemptions.

Kjell Eide, one of the Labour mayors who signed the petition, told the station TV-2 Labour was currently in power in his area, but if the government persisted with its plan it would not remain that way.

With an election now less than 18 months away the political temperature in coastal salmon farming constituencies is expected to rise over this issue and others controversies such as the salmon tax.


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