DNB seafood analyst Dag Sletmo backs Iceland to increase its impact in salmon production.

Iceland ‘has the conditions and politics to become major salmon grower’

A leading seafood analyst has tipped Iceland to become a significant player in salmon farming.

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Dag Sletmo, senior vice president at Norwegian bank DNB and former head of investor relations at salmon farmer Cermaq, made his prediction following a speech at the Aqua-Ice event in Reykjavik last week.

In a post on business networking site LinkedIn, Sletmo said: “Iceland is the world leader in fisheries, hopefully it will also become a significant player in salmon farming.

Good regulations

“The natural conditions are right as witnessed by the strong performance of the far north in Norway. That region was considered unsuited for salmon farming some years ago, now it is more profitable than the national average.

“The Icelandic politicians seem willing to learn about the farming opportunity, hopefully that will lead to good regulations. Good regulations can be a major competitive advantage in biological industries. Iceland should also be able to build a brand around its salmon and achieve higher prices than Norway - like the Faroe Islands have done.”

According to Iceland’s Food and Veterinary Authority, the industry’s potential output is expected to grow from 13,448 tonnes in 2018 to around 20,000 tonnes this year.