As the consultation period on the Aquaculture Committee's report presented by the Norwegian government last September is about to close on January 2, the newly appointed Norwegian Minister of Fisheries and Ocean Policy, Cecilie Myrseth, has announced a new parliamentary report on aquaculture in which she will review the entire permit system.
"There is a need for a thorough review of all the various permits for aquaculture," said the Minister. "The goal is to establish a more comprehensive system that ensures sustainable development and contributes to creating value along the coast. Norway aims to be a world leader in aquaculture, and we must prepare ourselves to meet both current and future challenges."
Myrseth is thus echoing the idea that Linda Nøstbakken, Chair of the Government-appointed Committee on Aquaculture, had already indicated when she presented it to the former Norwegian Minister of Fisheries and Ocean Policy, Bjørnar Selnes Skjæran. "The regulation of aquaculture should, to a greater extent than today, be directly aimed at the aquaculture industry's actual impact on the environment. This is more effective than today's indirect regulation through permits," Nøstbakken said then.
The report focuses on four key issues affecting the future of the Norwegian aquaculture industry: biosecurity (including sea lice and disease outbreaks), spatial planning and management, environmental impact, and fish welfare. At the time of its presentation, the most striking of its recommendations was to change the current traffic light system to a new comprehensive management system that provides stronger incentives for sustainable choices.
All this, Minister Myrseth has now said, will be taken into account when drafting this new parliamentary report, which will begin to be prepared early next year, once the consultation period has closed. "The Aquaculture Committee has conducted a thorough review of the permit system in the aquaculture industry. We will follow up on the report and feedback when we embark on the development of a new report," she claimed.
"The aquaculture industry is evolving at an impressive pace. It has been almost ten years since a report on aquaculture was presented to the Parliament, so it is definitely time for a new review," Cecilie Myrseth concluded.