Aker attacks Norwwegian Government fish reform plans Published: 25 June, 2012
AKER Seafoods, one of Norway’s most important fishing companies, has issued a strong statement criticising Norwegian Government proposals for tightening delivery obligations for the country’s cod trawler fleet.
Aker described the move as possible “active euthanasia” for the industry and says will particularly affect its catching and processing operations as well as those of other companies in a similar position. The statement said: “The proposals are surprising and not very thoughtful.” They would not provide more raw material or safeguards for fishing jobs along the Norwegian coast.
The Government proposals are currently being circulated to Norwegian fishing companies for their comments and observations.
Thomas Farstad of the company’s processing operation Norway Seafoods said: “We have been looking forward to the Fisheries Minister to present a seafood message that points to the creation of a profitable Norwegian whitefish industry. But we see that the government’s proposed measures will make conditions for the industry even harder.”
Mr Farstad pointed out that three out of four jobs have been lost in the Norwegian fillet industry since the mid-1990s, with more than 2,000 people losing their livelihood in this sector. Norway Seafoods was one of the few players with processing operations providing 600 jobs along the coast and it had further investment plans for the north of the country.
But the industry has been losing money for a long time and the Government’s proposals would mean the situation would go from bad to worse.
“We have always said that the universal service obligation is neither the problem or the solution for the manufacturing industry. The (processing) plants will be required to buy fish they can not use. The industry has not the money to buy this fish and the risks losing money for every pound of this,” Mr Farstad added.
Aker said the Government’s proposals were serious for everyone involved in the groundfish industry and the company was very concerned about them.