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Geir-Inge Sivertsen, third from the left, among other new ministers today. Photo: Harrieth Lundberg.
Geir-Inge Sivertsen, third from the left, among other new ministers today. Photo: Harrieth Lundberg.

Norway’s fish farmers have a new man in charge of the sector following today’s official appointment of Geir-Inge Sivertsen as seafood and fisheries minister.

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Sivertsen, a Conservative, replaces the Progress Party’s Harald Tom Nesvik, who stepped down when his party withdrew from Norway’s coalition government in a row about the repatriation of an Islamic State bride and her two children.

The new minister, who has an engineering degree from the Norwegian Institute of Technology (NTNU) steps up from the position of state secretary (vice-minister) to trade and industry minister Torbjørn Røe Isaksen.

Robert Eriksson: Traffic light system is a priority.
Robert Eriksson: Traffic light system is a priority.

Salmon expansion

Robert Eriksson, chief executive of Seafood Companies, which represents the fishing and aquaculture sectors, said the most important task for Sivertsen would be to quickly put in place the new “traffic light” system that will define where salmon farming will be allowed to expand.

“That growth must provide equal opportunities for the entire aquaculture industry,” said Eriksson. 

“Furthermore, I would like a more offensive minister in relation to setting framework conditions that can ensure more profitability in the seafood industry. I hope he continues efforts against fishing cheats. But his most important task will be to ensure good market access for Norwegian seafood to the world markets.”

Trine Danielsen joins the ministry from BluePlanet Academy.
Trine Danielsen joins the ministry from BluePlanet Academy.

Aquaculture experience

Sivertsen has brought aquaculture experience into his department by appointing Trine Danielsen as his state secretary.

Danielsen started her professional career as a head of smolt production in Skorildsmolt in the early 1990s, then became feed consultant for EWOS at the end of the same decade and then production manager in Timar in Portugal (sea bass and sea bream) in the first half of the 2000s.

From 2004 to 2011 she was head of the Center for Aquaculture Competence (CAC), a large-scale salmon farming R&D facility owned by Mowi, Skretting and AKVA Group, before becoming mayor of Hjelmeland Municipality in the period 2011 to 2015.

She has been chief executive of BluePlanet Academy, which claims to be the world’s largest e-larning platform on aquaculture, from 2019 until today.

Danielsen has a degree in aquaculture engineering from the University of Bergen (1991), an Msc in zoology from NTNU (1995) and a business administration from the University of Nordland (2009).

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