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Top Norway salmon farmers reject fisheries minister's growth initiative

Fri 2nd September, 2016 10:37am
OSLO, Sept 2 (Reuters) -  
    * Norway's fisheries minister Per Sandberg told Reuters that 
the country's leading salmon farmers had not applied for 
permission to increase the maximum allowed volume of fish 
(biomass) in the sea by up to 5 pct  
    * The ministry had earlier invited companies to apply for 
such an increase 
    * The cost had been set at 1.5 million Norwegian crowns  
($180,085.00) per permit, which each hold between 780 and 945 
tonnes of salmon 
    * The deadline for applying was September 1 
    * The trial period for allowing more biomass (salmon) in the 
sea will last until end of December 2019 
    * Sandberg said in an e-mail that he believed this model 
would be a good way to facilitate growth in output, and said 
smaller companies has signed up for the trial period 
    * Sandberg expressed surprise that big salmon companies 
found the proposed model too expensive 
    * He added that payments for the permits would go largely to 
the municipalities and "I think it is right that they get 
something in return for the job they are doing to facilitate 
    * Sandberg said high salmon prices over a long time, and the 
associated danger that the industry could be pricing itself out 
of some markets unless production increases, was a key reason 
for the government's offer of growth 
    * Salmon prices hit a record in July above 80 crowns per 
kilo compared to an average export price of 42.87 crowns in 
2015. They have since fallen back to 55-56 crowns 
    * Production volumes in Norway are estimated to drop 3-5 
percent in 2016 from 2015 
    * A trial period, with increased maximum allowed biomass, 
was among the measures meant to increase production by up to 5 
percent in the coming years   
    * Norwegian salmon production, which represents more than 50 
percent of global supply, is estimated at around 1.1 million 
tonnes for 2016   
    * Leading producers include Marine Harvest  MHG.OL , Salmar 
 SALM.OL , Leroy Seafood  LSG.OL , Grieg Seafood  GSFO.OL  and 
Norway Royal Salmon  NRSM.OL , non of which applied for the 
proposed permit 
    * Two of them, Grieg and Norway Royal Salmon, told Reuters 
that the price of the increase was too high and the trial period 
too short 
($1 = 8.3294 Norwegian crowns) 
 (Reporting By Ole Petter Skonnord, editing by Terje Solsvik) 
 ((olepetter.skonnord@thomsonreuters.com; 0047 23 31 65 97;)) 
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