Haakon 'safe,' but drops controversial fish-farm visit – Fishupdate.com

Haakon ‘safe,’ but drops controversial fish-farm visit Published:  25 January, 2008

Crown Prince Haakon

AN official royal visit to Chile has been trimmed once again, with Crown Prince Haakon dropping a long-planned visit to a Norwegian-controlled fish-farming operation because of labour and security trouble. Palace officials insist the crown prince is in no danger, though.

According to Aftenposten, Chilean authorities advised the crown prince against going ahead with a visit to fish-farming facilities run by AKVA Group and Marine Harvest in Puerto Montt. Norway’s ambassador to Chile, Pål Moe, told reporters the visit was cancelled because of an ongoing labour conflict at both plants.

No threats were lodged against the crown prince, and Chile’s protocol chief Antonia Pena said “it’s not dangerous for him to travel to Puerto Montt.” Rather, the Chilean authorities issued a press statement that they didn’t want such a high-ranking person as the crown prince to visit places hit by such a conflict.

Environmentalists and critics of salmon farming had called for Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit to cancel their entire trip to Chile. They claimed that Norwegian-backed fish-farming operations in Chile exploit local workers and threaten wild salmon in the area.

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