A SWEDISH journalist and angler charged with trespassing on a Norwegian fish farm is due to appear in court on November 2.
Mikael Frödin was summoned to the Norwegian District Court after he refused to pay a 1,054 euro fine for breaching the country’s Aquaculture Act, which states that you cannot be closer than 20m from a fish farm.
On July 21, 2017, Frödin, dived and filmed salmon at a Grieg Seafood site in the Alta fjord, northern Norway.
He admitted on his Facebook page to breaching the plant, but refused to admit that he committed a criminal offence.
‘We gathered information, and it is my duty as a journalist to show the public the negative impact farming has on ecosystems,’ wrote Frödin.
The film and photo material reportedly show sick and deformed fish, and will be broadcast in a documentary about the salmon industry’s alleged impact on wild fish stocks, coming out in spring 2019.
Frøden’s lawyer, Svein Holden, used the ‘principle of necessity’ defence to say that he had acted in a legal emergency, which was in the public interest.
His purpose was only to gather information to illustrate the impact of the business on the environment, said Holden, who wants all charges dropped.
But when Frödin was asked in a newspaper interview if he was sure the pictures were from Grieg Seafood’s plant in Altafjorden, he replied: ‘As far as I know, the pictures are from that plant.’
Andreas Kvame, CEO of Grieg Seafood, doubted Holden’s defence saying: ‘We obviously have a very different opinion of what emergency rights are for something. But beyond that, we have no further comments on the matter.’
Picture: Mikael Frödin (Facebook)