BREXIT and its impact on the Norwegian seafood industry will be the focus of a major summit meeting in London today.
As speculation mounts in the Oslo media that a no-deal scenario could almost bring exports to a halt in a worst case scenario, three senior Norwegian government ministers, fisheries minister Harald Tom Nesvik, the foreign minister Ine Eriksen Søreide, and minister for business affairs Torbjørn Røe Isakse, will be at the summit, demonstrating the importance of the event.
‘There are many in the seafood industry that are uneasy because of the uncertainty surrounding Brexit,’ said Hans Frode Kielland Asmyhr, who heads the Seafood Council’s fisheries mission in the UK.
‘This seminar is probably the only event of its type that can shed light on the seafood industry in both Norway and the UK.
‘Right now, nobody knows what the world will look like for Norwegian exporters selling seafood to the UK. It depends on what happens the next few days, the next few weeks or the next few months.
‘At the seminar we will therefore consider different scenarios that may arise. But we already know a great deal about the consequences for market access if the result would be a hard Brexit.’
Speakers include Renate Larsen, chief executive of the Seafood Council, and two senior UK seafood executives, Dan Aherne, CEO of New England Seafood, and Stuart Caborn, senior procurement officer for Young’s Seafood.
The UK is Norway’s fourth largest seafood market, worth more than £5 billion a year, with salmon exports increasing by 28 per cent. But Norwegian companies based in Scotland may be able to make up some of any shortfall.
One of those companies is Mowi, formerly Marine Harvest, and its group communications manager, Ola Helga Hjetland, told the website sysla.no that the company has a considerable volume of fish in Scotland so it should not be a problem supplying the UK market.
Picture: Norwegian fisheries minister Harald Tom Nesvik