Marine Harvest is striving to lead the ‘blue revolution’ and change people’s minds about what to eat, but the challenge is how to make the salmon industry grow again.
CEO Alf-Helge Aarskog old Aquavision 2016 in Stavanger yesterday, ‘it’s hard to make a revolution with a product that’s diminishing’, as global supply decreases.
The company, which delivers six million meals a day across 80 countries, has applied for development licences for four innovative concepts, which Aarskog outlined to more than 400 delegates on the first day of the conference.
The ‘egg’, the marine ‘donut’, Beck’s cage, and the most recent idea – an ‘aesthetically pleasing’ dry bulk carrier rebuilt into an enclosed salmon farm – will all be tested for optimal fish welfare and the most cost efficient solution will be chosen as the way forward.
‘Costs need to come down,’ he said.
Aarskog also said more and better product development was also needed in the sector.
Earlier, Professor Ragnar Tveteraas of the University of Stavanger blamed government inaction for lack of growth.
‘We can never underestimate government enough when it comes to aquaculture,’ he told delegates. The industry, he said, was ‘not important enough in the political market’ and always faced ‘insufficient attention’ from politicians.
Collective industry action was needed to correct the shortcomings and failures of governments, and will allow the sector to grow and cut costs.
A full report of Aquavision 2016 will appear in the July issue of Fish Farmer.