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Une Bastholm is the MDG leader. The party will only grant new permits for closed fish farms and require closed technology on all existing farms by 2025. Photo: Iselin L Hauge.
Une Bastholm is the MDG leader. The party will only grant new permits for closed fish farms and require closed technology on all existing farms by 2025. Photo: Iselin L Hauge.

Norway’s Green Party (MDG) wants all fish farms to be required to use closed technology by 2025, it says in its manifesto for the country’s general election on Monday.

The MDG also wants to restrict new licences to closed fish farms only, and to ban growth of existing farms before 2025 unless they have zero emissions, zero lice, zero escapes and low mortality.

The party’s other proposals include intensifying the supervision of aquaculture activities by all relevant authorities, strengthening independent research on how aquaculture affects ecosystems in fjords and sea areas, and introducing both a ground rent tax and an environmental tax on farming.

One seat

The MDG currently hold just one of the 169 seats in the Norwegian Parliament, which is elected by proportional representation, but small parties can wield influence beyond their size because of the need for parties to form alliances to govern.

The proposal to used closed technology by 2025 is similar to a policy being pursued by Canada’s minority Liberal administration in British Columbia. The Liberals, who are also fighting a general election, want to “transition” net pen salmon farming in BC into some form of unspecified closed containment by 2025.

In Scotland, the Greens – who have formed an alliance with the ruling Scottish National Party and have two ministers in government - also want to transition salmon farming into land-based facilities, although the SNP doesn’t support that policy. In an interview earlier this year,Scottish Greens co-leader Lorna Slater, who is now Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity, admitted that she didn’t know where Scotland’s salmon farms were located.