Firda Seafood on the trout market: “A perfect storm”

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Earlier this summer, Firda Seafood harvested its last salmon at its facilities in Gulen, Southern Norway. Now the owner Ola Braanaas is purely a trout farmer. It doesn’t seem to be a happy choice for him.

“In January, Russia, the main trout market, was closed. Not long after, the COVID-19 arrived, making the transport to the second-largest trout market, the United States, far more difficult. On top of this comes the reduction with the traffic light scheme,” Braanaas told Bergens Tidende.

Braanaas runs Firda Seafood, a family-owned, fully integrated salmon and trout farming company based on the west coast of Norway.

As a result of the government’s traffic light regulation, (which determines which districts in the country can boost their harvest) Firda Seafood, which has its entire trout production in PO4 (production region 4 .ed) must reduce its biomass by six per cent. Braanaas said he sells “everything the market can take” but that it’s not enough to meet the reduction requirement.

“We cannot sell the fish at far below production costs, as we risk being sued for dumping, We’ve experienced that before,” Braanaas told BT.

Dumping is a term used, when a country or company exports a product at a price that is lower in the foreign importing market than the price in the exporter’s domestic market.

Firda Seafood has applied and received a refusal by the Directorate of Fisheries to temporarily exceed the volume limit. This refusal has been appealed to the Ministry of Fisheries.

“If we are told to still comply with the requirement, we will have to grind up 600,000 kilos of first-class food. There are 2.4 million dinners,” Braanaas told the publication.