Seafood Norway, the industry employers’ organisation, has broadly welcomed the new Labour-led coalition government’s strategy for the sector. The plan includes a commitment to encourage investment and innovation, and increased funding – generated by the aquaculture sector – for local authorities.

CEO Geir Ove Ystmark said his organisation sees a strong investment plan for export industries, along with a green shift and profitable jobs.

“Seafood is designated as a key in all these aspects and thus undoubtedly becomes a sunrise industry in our country, “ he maintained.

“The world needs more climate-friendly and nutritious food and Norway has all the prerequisites to become an even stronger power in seafood.

“The incoming government has seen the enormous opportunity this industry has to build new green industry and create many more jobs along our coast.”

The government’s plan, known as the The Hurdal platform, also provides for simplification and facilitation of business activity, which Seafood Norway had called for.

Seafood Norway also believes the government’s policy on aquaculture is sound. Ystmark continued: “They establish coastal and fjord-oriented aquaculture as the mainstay of the industry, while at the same time there are promising ambitions for innovation in new technologies and aquaculture at sea.

“It is very important that there is a high pace in the development of the licensing system for aquaculture at sea, and we look forward to constructive cooperation with the government on this in the future.”

He added: “It is also gratifying to see that the Labour Party and the Centre Party continue the aquaculture tax settlement where a production tax was introduced in addition to the aquaculture companies paying for the opportunity to produce more fish.

The stability and predictability of the tax regime is crucial. The industry must contribute to the community, and especially give back to the municipalities we operate in. So that the municipalities’ share of the Aquaculture Fund is increased is an important measure that the industry supports.”

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