CHILE and Norway have agreed in principle to work together to fight fish crime and meet some of the common challenges facing the fish farming industry, despite being international rivals.
Co-operation on aquaculture was high on the agenda when Harald Tom Nesvik, Norway’s fisheries minister, met his Chilean counterpart, Eduardo Portilla.
Their meeting took place alongside a state visit to the South American country at the weekend by Norway’s King Harald and Queen Sonja .
The royal couple were met with a small number of protesters, who surrounded their car and shouted slogans against the Norwegian fishing industry.
One of the messages read: ‘Welcome King Harald – but not your salmon.’
However, behind the scenes, the two fishery ministers agreed that both countries had separate but common ambitions to grow their aquaculture industries in a planned and sustainable manner.
Nesvik said Chile had shown a great deal of interest in Norway’s ‘traffic light’ policy, whereby expansion is now planned around the needs of the environment.
He added: ‘Chile and Norway can make important contributions to the world’s seafood production by the way we exchange and share our experiences with each other.’
He pointed out that co-operation was already fairly well established as Norway was the largest foreign investor in the Chilean aquaculture sector, but he said there was scope for an even closer relationship.
And he praised the Chilean industry for showing a unique ability to rise above past challenges involving disease and other biological issues.
The two ministers also agreed to work together in the fight against illegal and unregulated fishing.
Picture: Norwegian fisheries minister Harald Tom Nesvik