Anglers threatening to sue Norwegian salmon companies

two people in a small boat

Norway’s salmon farmers could be facing further legal action on top of the price fixing claims from UK retailers, consumers and the European Commission, it emerged yesterday.

This latest threat comes from the country’s anglers and sports fishing groups who were faced with the closure of 33 salmon rivers earlier this week, mostly in the south of Norway.

The government has banned salmon fishing in these rivers because it is worried by the low level of wild salmon stocks. It is possible that normal fishing activity will not be resumed until at least next year.

So far, most of the rivers in the north of the country have escaped action.

Now the sports groups are threatening to sue salmon farming companies, claiming they are largely responsible for the situation.

Geir Moholdt, Chairman of the sports fishing organisation Gaula Elveeierlag told the national broadcaster NRK that his members want the farming companies to recognise the serious consequences they have inflicted on the wild salmon stocks in Norway.

He said lice, fish escapes and infections were the biggest threat to wild salmon stocks and the companies had to take responsibility for this.

Moholdt said fishermen “were shocked by such a brutal decision” but recognised there were so few wild salmon in some of the rivers there was very little left to fish for.

He argues that it is now time for the aquaculture industry to bring in closed cages.

In response, the employers’ group Seafood Norway said low wild salmon stocks were happening in countries or areas where there is no salmon farming, citing Sweden and eastern Scotland as two examples.

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