Norway: Farming and fishing reel from high fuel prices – Fishupdate.com

Norway: Farming and fishing reel from high fuel prices Published:  19 June, 2008

SOME Norwegian fishermen have said say they can’t afford to take their boats out anymore, and now the state’s subsidized farmers are saying they are also being affected.

According to Aftenposten, high diesel prices, made even higher by Norway’s onerous fuel taxes, are hitting the farmers hard in the pocket.

Even though they just won what many consider a generous boost in state support for farming, budgets for fuel to run farm machinery are bursting all over.

The industry was expecting diesel costs of around NOK 793 million for 2008. Higher prices have put the cost at around NOK 990 million.

“It’s clear this is a considerable charge to the farmers’ economy,” said Per Harald Agerup of the farmers’ lobby (Norges Bondelag).

Norway’s important seafood industry is also feeling the impact of high fuel prices.

The country’s largest fishing vessel, the 94-foot Libas, remains berthed at Sotra outside Bergen because it makes “no economic sense” to take her out just now.

It’s low-season for commercial fishing and the Libas’ owner told newspaper Bergens Tidende that high oil prices mean “we really can’t afford to go out”.

The high oil prices steer the prices for the vessel’s bunker fuel.

“We have little control over this,” said Audun Maråk of the fishing boat owners association Fiskebåtredernes Forbund.

The owners aim to cut fuel consumption by 30 per cent within five years, by reducing speeds and reorganising fishing patterns.

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