High salmon prices boost optimism

Export prices for salmon have reached their highest point since early 2002, cheering Norway’s hard-pressed seafood industry.

Export prices for salmon have reached their highest point since early 2002, cheering Norway’s hard-pressed seafood industry.

Salmon is now commanding as much as NOK 25 per kilo (about USD 1.50 per pound), meaning fish farmers along the coast can turn a profit for the first time in years.

Optimism is rising after a lengthy period with losses and several bankruptcies among seafood producers.

"We salmon producers can be incredibly effective, if we’re given the chance," Willy Berglund of Aurora Salmon in Troms told news bureau NTB. Aurora has 24 concessions and is one of the largest salmon producers in Troms and Finnmark counties, with 18,000 tons of salmon expected to be farmed this year.

Aurora Salmon, however, is fully owned by Nordlandsbanken Invest following the bankruptcy to Daafjord Laks last summer. Berglund has set clear economic, environmental and production goals to avoid new losses.

The seafood industry as a whole is working to prevent overproduction, which in the past has sparked falling prices and EU sanctions.