Salmon firms moving into white fish

MORE aquaculture companies are predicted to expand into the cod and haddock business over the next year or two, following a major purchase by a Norwegian salmon business trio this week.
The consortium was led by Coast Seafood, one of the world’s largest independent salmon and trout sales firms, and joined by Brødrene Karlsen and the seafood orientated businessman Gunnar Klo.
They have acquired the white fish operations of the Danish/Greenland group Polar Seafood in the northern Finnmark region of the country.
Up to now the firms have been largely involved with producing or selling farmed salmon and trout. The move is also expected to secure jobs in this remote region.
But more aquaculture firms are now looking to diversify, to be able to offer a wider selection of fish to their customers.
The biggest player in this area is Lerøy Seafood, which two years ago bought the larger Havfisk cod and haddock trawler fleet and the white fish sales company Norwegian Seafoods. And SalMar has also broken into this sector.
The specialist industry website Fiskeribladet.no said the trend was expected to continue, leading to much greater consolidation within the industry.
It added that the salmon sector had the right marketing and selling expertise, along with the financial capital to fund new investment.
The trio said in a press statement: ‘Our companies have great faith in the potential of white fish, and see great synergy opportunities from white fish and salmon links.’
Polar Seafood added: ‘There is considerable consolidation in the white fish industry. Polar Seafood has, through thorough explorations and negotiations, decided that a sale is a right decision. The most important reason is to secure local jobs and the further development of these companies.’
Polar said the new owners had the expertise and financial strength to further future new development.

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