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Norway pull the brakes on land-based aquaculture permits

December 20, 2022  By  Nestor Arellano

(Image: Salmon Evolution)

The Government of Norway recently put a freeze on approving permits for land-based aquaculture projects in the country.

The six-month moratorium is meant to allow its Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries enough time to develop new regulations governing aquaculture production that will take into account advancements in land-based aquaculture.

Current regulations were created when there were clear distinctions between sea-based aquaculture and land-based aquaculture. These regulations do not take into account developments that involve hybrid systems.


For instance, Salmon Evolution’s land-based fish farm in Indre Harøy, uses a hybrid flowthrough system.

“There has been significant technological development within concepts that seek permission for aquaculture production on land. This indicates that the industry is innovative and growing rapidly. However, we see that there is a need for clearer frameworks for what is to be considered aquaculture on land, as opposed to aquaculture in the sea,” fisheries and oceans minister Bjørnar Skjæran said in a press release.

There are several pending applications for land-based aquaculture projects are awaiting processing in Norway, according to a report by the aquaculture publication, Fishfarming Expert. Companies that have applied are those using recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS), flow-through systems, or those using hybrid systems. Previously there were some applications were given to “concepts with close connection to the sea,” according to publication.

“When permission is given for aquaculture on land for a facility with a close connection to the sea, such facilities can affect the sea and sea-based breeders’ opportunity for growth within the traffic light system. For the sake of the environment and other farming activities in the sea, it is important that we avoid this,” said Skjæran.

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