Containers are loaded on board to be transported from Norway to London. Photo: Øyvind Sætre

Norway ships fresh salmon to London

Norway is sending weekly consignments of fresh salmon to the UK by sea in under 48 hours, Fish Farming Expert’s sister site reported.

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The first cargo of salmon was loaded by farmer Bremnes Seashore aboard the Vega Vela on Monday evening, after being harvested in the morning, and was due to arrive in London today.

The fish was taken from Bømlo, in Sunnhordland, south of Bergen, and picked up by a refrigerated container operated by Kjell Birkenes Transport.

The Norwegian government has supported the initiative with NOK 25 million funding from the Norwegian Coastal Administration.

Providing an alternative to road haulage will result in a 60 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions, according to an assessment by FreiXchange.

More containers

And the more salmon that is transported with the ship, the better the calculation will be, since the ship's discharges are then distributed among more containers.

The new route, run by North Sea Container Line (NCL), strengthens the export network for salmon from Western Norway to the United Kingdom, and brings imported goods on the return to Norway.

Norwegian salmon exports to the UK saw an upward trend during the Covid lockdown. Figures from the Norwegian Seafood Council (NSC) in May showed a 20% increase on the amount of whole fresh salmon exported from Norway to the UK compared to the same week in 2019.

London is also a central hub for sending salmon across Europe and beyond, to export markets worldwide.

Bente Hetland, managing director of NCL, said: ‘It is a proud day for North Sea Container Line that we are the provider that succeeds in transporting fresh salmon by sea. 

Potential customers

‘Together with existing and potential customers in industry, seafood and consumer goods, we have analysed export and import goods between the Norwegian coast and the UK. 

‘The result is now evident at the start of a new container line every week from Western Norway to London. 

‘NCL has received a grant from the Norwegian Coastal Administration to move salmon from road to sea; this proves that cooperation between supplier, customer and authorities is possible to make it happen.’

According to Vesselfinder, the Vega Vela was this morning still sailing to Tilbury Docks in London, expected to arrive at 15.30 today.