Seafood growth ‘just the start’
VALUE creation from Norway’s fisheries and aquaculture sector has grown threefold in just ten years – but that is only the beginning, said Geir Ove Ystmark, managing director of Seafood Norway. Its contribution to the country’s GDP last year was NOK 93.8 billion according to fishupdate.com.
Speaking recently to a Seafood Norway annual conference in Ålesund, he said this increase in growth now pointed to seafood as one of Norway’s most important industries for its future prosperity.
‘Fisheries, aquaculture and increased value creation from the sea are emerging as one of the few industries that has the potential to fill the gap after the oil and gas (has gone).’
The Seafood Norway conference attracted some 400 delegates, along with a number of politicians, despite the current political upheaval in Oslo which has seen fisheries minister Per Sandberg moved to the justice department.
The main theme of the debates was the future of the industry and how far it can grow between now and 2030.
Ystmark said the large participation in the conference was an expression of the growing belief that fisheries, aquaculture and an expanding supplier sector were becoming increasingly important for the country.
‘It is very important that we as an industry ensure that the wider society can also see in what direction we are going,’ said Ystmark.
‘We are concerned that more people need to understand and share our desire to contribute to growth and development throughout the country.’
The figures also showed that the industry was helping to keep employment at a high level.
Later he said that to ensure greater value creation, more of the fish that Norway produces should be processed before leaving the country because it was good for employment and the economy.
Currently 20,000 people in the EU, including Britain, were employed in processing Norwegian fish.
‘We cannot have a future where a seafood nation like Norway is only exporting unprocessed fish,’ he warned
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