Oslo approves major salmon growth plans

A TOTAL of 47 fish farming companies, including many of the big names in the business, have been given permits to increase production using the environmentally friendly ‘traffic light’ scheme, says the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries.
The value of the applications when the deadline for new licences expired last week, and based on 449 permits, is worth 947 million kroners (£87 million) and is expected to lead to a growth in ‘green’ biomass of 7,897 tonnes.
The move is expected to bring huge economic benefits to many coastal communities because two years ago the Norwegian Parliament (Storting) decided to set up an Aquaculture Fund allowing 80 per cent of revenues from growth to be distributed among urban and rural municipalities.
In this case the figure is expected to be around NOK 700 million. Payments will be made every October.
The deadline for new applications ended on January 31 and, says the Directorate, comes after several years of only relatively modest expansion.
It is also the first of two rounds of expansion, a fixed price sale this time and an auction sale in the spring. The ultimate goal is growth of six per cent.
Fisheries minister Per Sandberg (pictured) said: ‘This shows our faith and commitment to the industry, which itself has great ambition.
‘It will also provide a great deal of income for the local communities where the growth will take place. And they will receive even more money after the auction sales.’
Marine Harvest is the largest investor, paying around NOK 168 million for 86 permits in five separate areas, in which it hopes to increase production by around 1,400 tonnes.
SalMar (Nord) has received 32 licences for a project output of 626 tonnes for which it is paying just over NOK 75 million.
Another big player, Cermaq, has received 50 permits for a production total of 884 tonnes at a cost of NOK 106 million.
Nova Sea, meanwhile, has been granted 32 permits at a cost of almost NOK 64 million (532 tonnes).