Speech/statement | Date: 20/08/2020 | Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries
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Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear seafood friends,
It is a great pleasure to be here today and to be part of what is traditionally one of the most important gathering places for the international fishing industry.
Due to the pandemic of Covid 19, the Nor-Fishing exhibition is taking place as a digital event this year.
A heartfelt greeting to all of you who follow this event online!
I would like to thank the Nor-Fishing organisation for being so adaptable.
I know that you have had a vision to go digital, as an addition to the traditional exhibition.
The situation this year has accelerated this idea.
I am sure that you are the ones who will set the standard for digital fairs in the future!
This year Nor-Fishing is celebration its 60th anniversary.
It deserves the most heartfelt congratulations!
I wish you all the very best for the years to come.
A lot has happened over the last 60 years.
The world is different.
We live our lives in a completely different way.
This year has been very different for all of us.
The Norwegian seafood industry has, despite challenging market conditions, done well through the corona crisis.
As the world's population is growing, we need more food, more energy, more medicines and more transportation of goods – more of everything!
At the same time, the world's oceans are under significant pressure due to climate change, overfishing and pollution.
That is why we must think differently and be able to act differently.
There can be no healthy fisheries without healthy oceans.
I will give you some examples.
In 2017, the Norwegian government put the ocean high up on its political agenda by developing a national ocean strategy.
The strategy was followed up by a volume II last summer.
The key takeaway in this strategy is to find the right balance between protection and production.
More innovation and new technology are necessary to be able to develop this industry in the right direction.
Norwegian companies are constantly learning from each other:
We already have the world's first hybrid fishing boat.
And the world's first electric aquaculture support vessel.
Two years ago, the Norwegian government also launched a program to combat marine litter and microplastics in the oceans.
The focus is on populous and economically fast-growing countries in Asia with long coastlines, where the problem is at the greatest.
In addition, preventive measures are aimed at countries with rapidly growing economies in both Africa and small developing island states.
They receive support for projects to strengthen waste management systems and for clean-ups along the shore.
This program will contribute to goal 14 for sustainable development, which states that by 2025 the world will prevent and reduce marine pollution of all kinds.
Last year, the Norwegian government also launched the program "Blue Justice", where the goal is to combat illegal fishing.
It is time for us to realize that there is well organized crime in the fisheries sector all over the world.
And that it is urgent to do something about it.
We must therefore encourage co-operation where it is natural to co-operate and simply try to solve this in the same way as with other crime.
Today 19 countries are supporting this important program.
We encourage of course even more countries to help us fight against crime in the fishing industries, so please join!
With these measures, we hope to be able to find the right balance between protection and production.
We strongly believe that the ocean-based industries will be crucial in meeting many of today's global challenges.
Exchange of knowledge at all levels can provide great synergies both nationally and internationally.
There is no reason we should not succeed.
Investors, clients and consumers want this.
And they want to see the government take responsibility.
Many great initiatives are taken.
Not only in Norway of course, but in all over the world.
We have much to celebrate.
Conferences and events – also digital events – where we meet and share ideas, is the right way to go forward.
Norway is a seafood nation.
The ocean has always been our source of food, income and welfare.
The oceans have fed us for centuries and still feed us today.
Living marine resources are renewable, not limitless.
Norway is committed to continue working with our neighbours on management of shared stocks.
In our northern waters, the joint management by Russia and Norway has proven its capability to deliver excellent results, especially over the last decade.
This is an example that shows that the ocean has potential to deliver more food in the future, if properly managed.
The ocean will continue to play a critical part in our fortune, our destiny and our existence.
As we are moving forward, the most important is to make sure we are moving in the right direction.
A greener direction.
So that our planet remains blue.
If we manage to pull our knowledge and our experiences together, I am sure we will succeed.
Let us continue to build partnerships in innovation.
Let us continue to make business and trade.
Let us continue to find the right balance between protection and production.
We owe it to the ocean.
And we owe it to the next generations.
Thank you for your attention!