CEO of Hav Line: “We hope and believe sense will prevail”

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CEO of the Hav Line Group, Carl-Erik Arnesen, is pleased that “Norwegian Gannet” has received temporary exemption from the requirement to sort production fish domestically.

Before the weekend the Norwegian Fisheries Minister Harald T. Nesvik sent out a press release stating that Hav Line’s harvesting boat “Norwegian Gannet” can sort production fish in Denmark until 1 July next year.

Production fish are fish with visible wounds or malformations. According to the Norwegian Fish Quality Regulations, such fish must be sorted and the faults corrected before it is transported out of Norway.

“Norwegian Gannet” improves the quality significantly, increases efficiency, creates Norwegian jobs and cuts emissions dramatically. It is completely in line with the orders from the politicians, and we are pleased that the Minister of Fisheries now seems to let reason prevail over scare propaganda from our competitors,” said Hav Line CEO, Carl-Erik Arnesen, in a press release.

“Norwegian Gannet” on the way to Hirtshals. PHOTO: Preben Andersen

“This case has been about facilitating further growth in the industry”
The vessel “Norwegian Gannet” is designed to process fish straight from the cages so that they can be harvested on board. The boat will go between fish pens in western Norway to a brand new fishing terminal in Hirtshals.

“The Norwegian Food Safety Authority, the County Governor’s environmental department, central research authorities, politicians and environmental protection organizations have all expressed their support for the project. That support has come to light and been used by the government. This case has been about facilitating further growth in the industry, while at the same time fulfilling the ambitious climate goals Norway has. It is also very much about predictability for business,” continued Arnesen.

Arnesen points out that Nofima, a leading institute for applied research within the fields of fisheries, aquaculture and food research, has documented that the project is a major boost for animal welfare and that consumers get a fresher and better end product.

“This is exactly what the Norwegian Fish Quality Regulations must ensure. The core of the attempt to stop Hav Line has been an outdated part of the regulations from 1984, about sorting production fish domestically,” said Arnesen and continued:

“We have for several months asked the government to present some form of documentation or professional support that this rule in some way prevents bad fish from entering the market. It hasn’t happened. When the Minister of Fisheries says we will find solutions in the future, we hope that he will belong to his own professional body, the Norwegian Food Safety Authority, and let them have a breakthrough for real lifting for fish quality and fish welfare,” said Arnesen.

“We hope and believe sense will prevail”
The production fish, which has been at the heart of the criticism of the project, accounts for about 2-3 per cent of the volume of “Norwegian Gannet”. Hav Line is now looking forward to proving all the benefits of the project.

“There has been an incredible amount of scare propaganda in this case. The dispensation gives a year in which we can disprove it. Then we have to read what the government has actually included in the dispensation, and there are some elements that at first reading do not make any sense. But we hope and believe sense will prevail,” said Arnesen.