sustainabilitY

Norwegian authorities require that the Norwegian salmon farming industry takes environmental, economic and social conditions into account.

fishing cages in a fjord
The Norwegian government have launched a strategy for an environmentally sustainable aquaculture industry. It highlights five areas where fish farming affects the environment: genetic factors and escaping fish, pollution, disease, land use and feed resources. Photo: Norwegian Seafood Council

Sustainable development meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The term sustainability was first used by the UN World Commission on Environment and Development (also known as the Brundtland Commission) in 1987. Sustainable development emphasizes environmental, economic and social conditions, and tries to find a good balance between these three aspects.

 

Sustainability, the environment and salmon farming

In 2009, the Norwegian government launched a strategy for an environmentally sustainable aquaculture industry. The strategy highlights five areas where fish farming affects the environment: genetic factors and escaping fish, pollution, disease, land use and feed resources.

In 2015, the government published a white paper on growth in the aquaculture industry. The paper states that growth must be viewed in relation to environmental factors. Different manufacturing units in Norway have different environmental challenges, and some areas are better equipped for growth than others.

The two biggest environmental challenges in the aquaculture industry today are escaping fish and salmon lice. You can read more about escaping fish and salmon lice.

 

Sustainability, economic & social conditions

SINTEF Fiskeri og havbruk and others have conducted ripple effect analyses on value creation and employment in the Norwegian aquaculture industry. The research shows that although the industry is characterized by fluctuating value creation, activities associated with aquaculture have positive ripple effects on Norwegian society and economy.

Useful links

Meld. St. 16 (2014 - 2015): Predictable and environmentally sustainable growth in Norwegian salmon and trout farming (in Norwegian only)

Strategy for an environmentally sustainable Norwegian aquaculture industry (2009)  (in Norwegian only)

UN World Commission on Environment and Development's report "Our Common Future" (1987) (pdf)

SINTEF Report. Value creation and employment in the Norwegian seafood industry (in Norwegian only)

SINTEF: Final report on growth in Norwegian food production (Dec. 2015)  (in Norwegian only)