Consultancy firm PwC has cast doubt on whether Norway will achieve the government’s stated aim of five million tonnes of annual salmon and trout production by 2050.
The 2021 edition of the firm’s Seafood Barometer sets out three scenarios for growth; pessimistic, base case and optimistic. The pessimistic forecast – based on pandemic conditions – estimates annual production of only 1.8 million tonnes in 2050, while the base case estimates production at 3.7 million tonnes. The optimistic scenarios is that the five million tonnes target will be achieved.
The report notes some positive developments, including the adoption of multiple methods for controlling sea lice and an increased focus on sustainability. It also notes potential challenges, such as the growth of ambitious land-based projects which could divert capital away from investment in Norway’s marine farms.
Marte Vassbotten, a manager with PwC’s consulting arm based in Bergen and a co-author of the report, said: “We are not quite where we should be. There must be new rounds of licenses, and this must come faster.”
She noted that the first Seafood Barometer, in 2017, found that “sustainability” did not rank very highly as an issue for fish farmers; the 2021 report found that sustainability is now seen as one of the key drivers for growth.
Vassbotten said: “I think many companies see that customers are much more concerned with sustainability now. And their customers again, the consumer, are more concerned about it, she says. Seafood is more climate friendly than some other foods. Nevertheless, it is important that the industry reduces its climate footprint in the future.”