The big Norwegian fish farming permit auction this week netted more than half a billion pounds sterling – or just short of six billion kroner.

A total of 30 aquaculture companies paid the record amount and they will share new licenses capable of producing an additional 27,000 tonnes a year. At least NOK two billion was spent in Nordland alone.

The auction, delayed from earlier in the summer because of the coronavirus pandemic, was organised by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, which offered new permits for farming salmon, trout and rainbow trout. The Ministry said:

‘The permits have been sold in production areas along the coast where the environmental situation is considered good (green under the traffic light system), and gives a growth for the Norwegian aquaculture industry of more than three per cent’.

Fisheries and Seafood Minister Odd-Emil Ingebrigtsen added:

‘We now have sold new salmon permits for a record high NOK 6 billion, twice as much as the previous auction. This confirms that we have a forward-looking and offensive industry. This is good, and important for jobs and value creation along the coast’.

A total of 42 companies registered for the auction, with 30 of them being successful in obtaining permits. Everything was sold. The Minister added:

‘I am pleased that so many companies have bought new permits, and that there was great variation among the breeders who won. This shows that auctions can be a good form of allocation for small, medium and large fish farmers’.

Among the big spenders was SalMar, which paid NOK 1.76 billion for licences capable of producing 8,000 tonnes, Cermaq, which spent NOK 451 million, Eidsfjord Sjøfarm AS at NOK 462 million, Måsøval Fiskeoppdrett AS at NOK 484 million and Mowi at NOK 300 million.

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