Tax threat prompts Mowi to rescind Norway biomass expansion
Company warns government that it can farm ‘anywhere in the world’
The world’s biggest salmon producer, Mowi, today became the latest of several Norwegian fish farmers to cancel the purchase of extra biomass in Norway in response to government plans to impose a 40% “resource” tax on the industry from the beginning of 2023.
Mowi, which farms salmon in Scotland, Ireland, Canada, Chile, and the Faroes Islands as well as Norway, also warned the Norwegian government that it was not bound by geography ad that its farming could take place “in sea and on land anywhere in the world”.
In a stock market announcement today, Mowi stated: “In light of the Norwegian government’s proposal for a 40% resource tax on Norwegian aquaculture, and a resulting total tax of 62%, Mowi is cancelling its acquisition of 914 tonnes MAB for a total value of NOK 183 million. The government’s tax proposal means that Mowi can no longer justify the purchase price.
Mowi is a global company and salmon farming is not bound by geography ... Norway stands to lose its leading position within aquaculture to other countries
“Mowi respectfully advises the government to reconsider its resource tax proposal. The aquaculture industry is of great importance for the future of Norway, and it is in the nation’s best interests to see it grow, however, this proposal will severely damage the ability and willingness to make investments. A tax rate of 62% will put an end to many significant investment plans along the Norwegian coast, leading not only to less employment locally but also to a massive diversion of funds away from coastal communities.
Sea or land
“Mowi is a global company and salmon farming is not bound by geography – it can take place in sea and on land anywhere in the world, close to its major markets. If the proposal for 62% tax is approved by parliament, then the Norwegian aquaculture industry faces the greatest setback in its 50-year history, and over time Norway stands to lose its leading position within aquaculture to other countries.”
The company’s decision to cancel the purchase of extra biomass follows moves by Scottish Sea Farms co-owners SalMar and Lerøy – Norway’s second and third-largest salmon farmers respectively - to do the same. Nova Sea, which harvested 43,500 gutted weight tonnes last year, and a smaller farmer, Emilsen Fisk, have also rescinded purchases of extra biomass.
Lerøy, Cermaq, Nordlaks, and Nova Sea have also frozen investments in Norway until they know whether the tax, which has still to be ratified by Norway’s parliament, the Storting, will go ahead.