Fisheries minsister Bjørnar Skjæran: "The government wants to facilitate greater growth and value creation along the coast."

Norway to re-auction unsold fish farming permits

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The Norwegian government is to make a second attempt to sell salmon farming permits left on the shelf in last October’s auction of extra biomass allowance (MTB).

Under Norway’s “traffic light” system, salmonid farmers are given the opportunity to buy permits to grow more fish in areas given a green light for expansion.

Permits are normally snapped up, but last year farmers were put off by government plans for a 40% salmon tax, and a quarter of the MTB remained unsold.

8,243 tonnes

Some salmon farmers also took up the state’s offer of refunds for extra biomass bought for a fixed price of NOK 200,000 per tonne earlier in the year. They said the salmon tax meant the extra MTB wasn’t worth that amount.

A total of 32,887 tonnes of MTB were offered in last year’s auction, of which 24,644 tonnes were sold for a total of NOK 3.8 billion. The remaining 8,243 tonnes of MTB was unsold, and that is what the government now plans to offer, having in the meantime had its salmon tax approved by parliament at a lower rate of 20%.

Norway’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries is now issuing a consultation with a proposal for the design of an auction. The aim is to hold the auction during September, although a final date has not been set.

Fisheries minsister Bjørnar Skjæran said: "The government wants to facilitate greater growth and value creation along the coast, and plans to sell the remaining capacity through a new auction in the autumn."