Farmed salmon harvest. (Photo: Odin Hjellestad/Copyright: FIS)
New system to regulate salmon industry growth
Wednesday, March 08, 2017, 23:50 (GMT + 9)
The new system devised for salmon farming regulating capacity in Norway is to be launched in October despite objections from lobbyists.
The announcement was made by Fisheries Minister Per Sandberg, who explained that the new regulation, known as the "traffic light" system, will allow capacity increases in regions where sea lice levels are low while areas with medium or high levels of lice risk a standstill or cut in output quotas, Reuters reported.
One of the opponents to this new system, the Norwegian Seafood Federation, representing the interests of approximately 500 member companies in the fisheries industry, had earlier asked the government to withdraw the new model for regulating salmon output growth.
The objections stem from the fact that the new regulatory system could potentially allow the Norwegian salmon farming industry an annual volume growth of 3 per cent, but that is based on every producer being able to keep average sea lice levels below a limit of 0.2 per fish.
Meanwhile, according to several large producers, Norway's salmon production is expected to grow by about 2 per cent in 2017 after falling by some 6-7 per cent in 2016.
The new regulatory system also includes regulations on how to control sea lice in salmon farms during the critical six-week spring season.
This regulation sets a maximum prevalence of 0.2 female lice per fish and fish farmers must check a sample from all cages.
In addition, there will no longer be a mandatory joint campaign in spring to remove lice.
Those defending the new regulations stress that they are aimed at reducing the contagion from farmed fish to wild salmon, as well as limiting the further build-up of drug-resistant sea lice.