Norwegian Aquaculture Bid To Be Challenged –

Norwegian Aquaculture Bid To Be Challenged Fish Farming Today Published:  02 December, 2002

NORWEGIAN fishing fleet owners are preparing their defence after a Norwegian fish farming organisation sparked controversy by stating that Norway should give up fisheries rights in return for EU market access for Norway’s fish farming sector.

The Norwegian Fishing Boat Owners’ Association says it is taking no chances and wants to make sure that its demands will be heard if Norway joins the EU. “The target is to make the government aware of our view and the problems met by the boat owners, so that the fishermen’s interest will not be sacrificed in a possible new membership negotiation with the EU,” said fishing boat owners association board leader Sigurd Teige.

Former leader of Norway’s main fish farming organisation, Tarald Sivertsen who stirred controversy when he stated that Norway should allow sales of Norwegian fishing vessels and fish quotas to foreign fishermen as an exchange for market entrance.

“This would be a threat against employment and settlement along the coast. If we lose control of recourses we lose control of everything,” said Mr Teige.

Reidar Nilsen, leader of Norway’s Fishermen’s Organisation shared Mr Teige’s fear. His organisation had taken for granted that the Norwegian fisheries resources should not be a card in the negotiations about the EC deal.

But now, pressure is on both from fish farmers and the fisheries industry.

“We need to mount initiatives, so the Government forgets this kind of talk”, said Mr Nilsen.