Salmon businesses ‘must be closer to society’

Per Grieg Jnr: 'We must understand the spirit of the times' (photo: Grieg Seafood)

THE chairman of Grieg Seafood said aquaculture companies must become closer to society if they want to be better loved and appreciated.

Per Grieg Jnr said: ‘We must understand that we have a responsibility, that we have a social contract, a ‘licence to operate’. We must understand the spirit of the times.’

According to the newspaper Bergen Tidende, the head of Norway’s fourth largest salmon company, which also has interests in Shetland, was presenting his vision for the future at an industry event.

He said the salmon sector was not loved by every section of society even though it created jobs and prosperity.

He also spoke about the need for more work on improving biodiversity and the environment.

His call to do more to win over the public is backed by Seafood Norway, the industry organisation which represents both fishing and aquaculture businesses. It said his comments represented a ‘daunting awakening’ for the sector.

Seafood Norway believes it can do more to make friends outside the industry by supporting the concept of a land tax or ‘area fee’ which would go directly to those communities and local authorities where salmon farms were based.

This would give them more money than the current aquaculture fund, which is paid for from part of the fees for granting new licences.

Seafood Norway is currently supporting a campaign against any move to introduce a 40 per cent profits tax on companies as proposed by a special committee last November. It views land tax as a better alternative for communities.