Fisheries Minister Per Sandberg, front, second from left, visited during the salmon auctions. Photo: NFD
Fisheries Minister Per Sandberg, front, second from left, visited during the salmon auctions. Photo: NFD

Norwegian salmon licence auctions raise NOK2.9bn

Fourteen salmon farmers have spent a total of NOK2.9 billion (£270m) to buy new biomass licences in auctions held by the Norwegian government.

Published

A total of 14,945 tonnes of new capacity has been sold, about 97% of what was for sale.

The biggest spender was Cermaq, owned by Japanese conglomerate Mitsubishi, which bought 3,200 tonnes of capacity – 2,000 tonnes at NOK232,000 per tonne in Vestfjorden and Vesterålen, and 1,2000 tonnes at NOK166,000 per tonne in West Finnmark, bringing its total spend to NOK663.3m (£61.5m).

Marine Harvest bought 2,697 tonnes of capacity spread over four regions for NOK427.6m (£39.8m). SalMar, co-owner of Scottish Sea Farms, bought a total capacity of 2,132 tonnes, also spread over four regions, for NOK 363.1m (£34m).

The highest price per tonne was paid by Lovundlaks AS, which has around 20 employees. It bought 1,850 tonnes in the Helgeland to Bodø region for NOK252,000 (£23,400) per tonne, a total price of NOK466m (£43.6m).

Small and medium-sized companies gained almost 40% of the extra biomass - relatively an increase in their share of total capacity.

There were three auctions; a main auction, and two auctions where the licences that remained unsold were again put up for sale.

The auctions, held on Monday to Wednesday this week, came after the government introduced its new “traffic light” system, designed to ensure sound and predictable growth in the aquaculture industry.

Eighty per cent of the money raised will go to the municipalities where salmon farming takes place, along with the same proportion of NOK1 bn raised in the winter when farmers had the opportunity to buy extra capacity at a fixed price.

It means that they will be paid NOK 3.15bn (£325m) through the Aquaculture Fund, established in June 2016.

“I’m glad that many farmers have participated in the auction. The conclusion shows that we have ambitious farmers. It is good that growth in the salmon industry can contribute to more activity and workplaces along the coast,” said Norwegian fisheries minister Per Sandberg.

“For Norwegian municipalities, the result of this auction means a lot. They will now be paid to facilitate the aquaculture industry.”

Overview showing which company bought what and for what price:

Production area

Company

# tons 

Price/ton (NOK)

1: Swedish border to Jæren

EIDE FJORDBRUK AS

100

132 000

MARINE HARVEST NORWAY AS

493

132 000

7: Northern part of Trøndelag including Bindal

EMILSEN FISK AS

400

226 000

NORSK HAVBRUKSSENTER OPPDRETT AS

265

226 000

8: Helgeland to Bodø

LOVUNDLAKS AS

1 850

252 000

9: Vestfjorden and Vesterålen

BALLANGEN SJØFARM AS

200

232 000

CERMAQ NORWAY AS

2 000

232 000

EIDSFJORD SJØFARM AS

200

232 000

LOFOTEN SJØPRODUKTER AS

53

232 000

10: Andøya to Senja

EIDSFJORD SJØFARM AS

517

164 000

MARINE HARVEST NORWAY AS

806

164 000

SALMAR FARMING AS

333

164 000

STINGRAY MARINE SOLUTIONS AS

25

164 000

11: Kvaløya ol Loppa

EIDSFJORD SJØFARM AS

357

163 000

MARINE HARVEST NORWAY AS

566

163 000

NRS FINNMARK AS

300

163 000

SALMAR FARMING AS

333

163 000

12: Western part of Finnmark

CERMAQ NORWAY AS

1 200

166 000

MARINE HARVEST NORWAY AS

832

166 000

NRS FINNMARK AS

400

166 000

SALMAR FARMING AS

333

166 000

13: Eastern part of Finnmark

SALMAR FARMING AS

316

158 000