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Norway campaigns for transparent fish farming

Officials in Norway are on the barricades after negative coverage of Norwegian farmed salmon in the French press. Even though salmon export remains high, they demand transparency.

“Transparency, openness and research – that’s really the key factors for the industry,” said Else Berit Eikeland, the Norwegian ambassador to Canada during her visit in Campbell River on Tuesday, July 6th.

Eikeland, who has Norwegian parents, was on a tour of three Canadian fish farming companies.

There’ve been concerns about Norwegian farmed salmon in the French press ever Risks on a Plate,” a documentary proving that Norwegian salmon does not respect the approved maximum toxicity levels, was shown on July 28th.

So far, a Norwegian Statistics survey has revealed the decline in salmon exports is minimal. The 0.3 percent decrease compared to the previous week shows the French documentary did not have a radical impact upon the demand for salmon.

With increasing consumer awareness, companies have begun to make sea lice sampling data available to the public.

“People are much more concerned about what they eat, and also more concerned about environmental issues,” Eikeland told Campbell River Mirror.

She also highlighted that regulations and control regarding farmed salmon are strict in Norway, similar to the ones in Canada.

According Lars Liabø, chairman of Kontali Research Company, salmon is still generally perceived as being a healthy dish because of its Omega 3 content, which is why export numbers remain constant.

“There is a shortage of salmon and consumers are willing to pay for the product. This has given salmon producers an incredible first half year. I see no reason why the market will change in a negative direction for the second half of 2010,” he tells NTB.

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