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Historical archive

New licences for the farming of salmon, trout and rainbow trout

Historical archive

Published under: Stoltenberg's 2nd Government

Publisher Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs

The Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs has 7 November 2008 brought before Parliament Bill no. 1 annex no. 4, relating to new licences for farmed salmon, trout and rainbow trout. The Government will allocate 65 new licences in 2009 as follows: Finnmark 7, Troms 8, Nordland 15, Nord-Trøndelag 7, Sør-Trøndelag 8, Møre og Romsdal 5, Sogn og Fjordane 5 and Hordaland 5. Of these, 5 licences will be reserved for applicants who wish to engage in organic aquaculture-production. The licences will be granted at a fixed cost and applicants will be prioritised on the basis of certain defined criteria.

The Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs has 7 November 2008 brought before Parliament Bill no. 1 annex no. 4, relating to new licences for farmed salmon, trout and rainbow trout. The Government will allocate 65 new licences in 2009 as follows: Finnmark 7, Troms 8, Nordland 15, Nord-Trøndelag 7, Sør-Trøndelag 8, Møre og Romsdal 5, Sogn og Fjordane 5 and Hordaland 5. Of these, 5 licences will be reserved for applicants who wish to engage in organic aquaculture-production. The licences will be granted at a fixed cost and applicants will be prioritised on the basis of certain defined criteria.

"Aquaculture is an important industry for Norway. This licensing round will contribute to increased value-creation along the coast, open up the industry for new operators and offer a potential for growth in existing companies", says Minister of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs, Helga Pedersen.
The licence fees will accrue to the State, but the Government proposes to award the relevant county authorities up to NOK 195 million of the revenue from the licence fees - in the form of funds which these county authorities may use as they wish.

The licences will be granted following competition between applicants, in which particular priority will be accorded the following criteria:
• small and medium-sized operators in the industry
• operators  who will promote processing and value-creation in the  coastal districts of Norway.

In assessing the number of licences to be granted in 2009, the Ministry has taken into account factors such as  sustainable growth, environmental- and fish health considerations, market trends since 2005 and future market prospects and developments in other major countries of aquaculture production. The 65 new licences represent an increase in production capacity of around 7%.

"Such an increase in the production capacity can be achieved within an environmentally acceptable framework. Norway has strict environmental regulation of its aquaculture industry, but both the industry and the authorities must continue to work to reduce the impact of aquaculture on the environment", says the Minister of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs.

In its preparatory work, the Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs has held meetings with a number of municipal and county authorities as well as industry organisations and has received input from environmental NGOs. In addition, the Directorate of Fisheries, on behalf of the Ministry, has assessed which geographical regions are best suited for an increase in aquaculture activities, taking into account the environmental situation, fish health and other relevant factors.

The Government has assessed the regional allocation of the licences on the basis of environmental sustainability, industry and district-policy considerations. An assessment has also been made of the distribution of the key wild salmon stocks and where the impact from salmon-lice and escapees is greatest. Due to the existing environmental situation and taking account of the current fish-disease situation in Western Norway, the Government is of the view that relatively few licences should be awarded to this region and that the licences granted to this area, inter alia, should be used to change the locations of existing fish farms in order to improve the health- and disease situation. The 5 licences earmarked for organic production may be granted to any county.

The new licences will be granted at a fixed fee of NOK 3 million in Finnmark and NOK 8 million in the rest of the country. The licence fees will accrue to the State, but the Government proposes to award the relevant county authorities up to NOK 195 million of the revenue from the licence fees - in the form of funds which these counties may use as they wish. At the same time, the Government proposes to increase the budget for the Ministry of the Environment by NOK 20 million to strengthen the initiatives relating to wild salmon.

Before a licence is granted to an applicant, the county councils will be consulted on industry development policy assessments in light of the existing county plans, including in which areas of the county it is desirable to increase aquaculture activity.

"This proposal follows up on the Government's "Strategy for a competitive Norwegian aquaculture industry". Our proposal will also provide a boost for the counties' economies, for the benefit of society in general and for the local communities", concludes Minister Helga Pedersen.

Before the end of the year, the Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs will submit a draft of the licence allocation regulations.

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