The Norwegian minister of fisheries and coastal affairs, Lisbeth Berg-Hansen, has promised further public investment in cod breeding, but only if the industry gets involved.
According to Nofima, the cod farmers have said: “No problem, we’ll be involved.”
Last week marked the 10th anniversary of the National Cod Breeding Programme.
“Most people know that this is an industry that is struggling, and many have lost a lot of money in recent years,” said the minister during the ceremony.
“But there are several bright spots. The world needs more food, seafood is healthy, and the ocean’s meadows remain very little utilised. And discerning customers want cod all year round, not only in the season for wild fish. Therefore, we will continue to invest in cod breeding, provided that that business sector joins us in investing.”
In 2001 that the government decided to establish a national breeding programme for cod, and since the start of the project, more than NOK300m has been invested in the breeding efforts.
During the 10-year period, scientists have succeeded in breeding farmed cod that grow 30% quicker than wild cod. With each year that passes the growth potential increases by 3%.