HARALD Tom Nesvik has been elevated to the post of Norway’s first seafood minister.
He was appointed fisheries minister a year ago after his predecessor, Per Sandberg, resigned over a controversial trip to Iran with his new girlfriend.
Nesvik’s promotion and new title have been created to encompass Norway’s position as a multi-seafood country and as the world’s largest farmed salmon producer.
In a reference to the importance of aquaculture, he said: ‘I am happy the title has now been made official because the seafood industry is more than just fishing.
‘The seafood industry is today one of Norway’s most important industries and has the potential to grow further.
‘There is also a growing demand for Norwegian technology and equipment for a growing fisheries and aquaculture sector.
‘Good market work in the future will be decisive if we are to succeed with the great ambitions we have for this industry.’
Whether it was through fish farming or conventional fishing, Nesvik said future food production would increasingly come from the sea and he would continue to work to achieve that goal.
One of his first jobs as the new seafood minister will probably be a visit to key markets in Asia, including South Korea, this autumn.
He is also keeping a close watch on Brexit events in the UK, another important market for Norway’s seafood sector.
This, he said, was something beyond his country’s control and was therefore difficult to prepare for.
But he also said that once Brexit settles down there could be new opportunities for Norway’s salmon processors because they may face the same tariffs as Poland, Denmark and France and could therefore compete on an equal basis.