“I think the industry has completely communicated it wrong when talking about biomass and proteins”

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Petter Sandberg, chairman of The Salmon, believes the viewing centre is about more than just telling people how the aquaculture industry works.

PHOTO: Andreas Witzøe

Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg officially opened The Salmon in Oslo on Wednesday. The viewing centre itself has been open since October last year and has since then had over 5,000 visitors. One of the main goals of the centre is to convey knowledge about farming to young people in the Oslo region. This can now start now that The Salmon’s auditorium part of the centre is finally opened.

“We must tell what fantastic product salmon is, not only talked about biomass and proteins,” Sandberg told SalmonBusiness.

He is best known as the owner of Alex Sushi, recognized as one of Oslo’s best sushi restaurants. Now Sandberg is also chairman of The Salmon, which had an official opening on Wednesday. He will now run this together with the owners Lax Expo’s Aino Olaisen and Nova Sea CEO Odd Strøm.

Petter Sandberg, Aino Olaisen and Odd Strøm stood in the door and welcomed the guests. PHOTO: Andreas Witzøe

“They came to me with the idea and I totally agree. The industry has completely communicated this wrong. Salmon is so much more than previously communicated,” he said.

Much more than just words
The first thing you see when entering The Salmon is the fishing disc in the small cafe at the centre. In the corner there is a closet with The Salmon’s own smoked produce.

It has been 18 years since Sandberg started Alex Sushi at Solli in Oslo, he takes the knowledge of salmon as a raw material with him further into the job as chairman of the board at The Salmon. For him, it is not just education and training of young Oslo citizens who are in the focus.

“Salmon is a fantastic raw material. It is good, and it’s ok with a showroom but salmon is so much more than knowledge, you have to taste it too,” said Sandberg.

The centre has several stations with interactive learning attractions. PHOTO: Andreas Witzøe

No one would have been interested in wine if they didn’t taste it
The taste will come hand in hand with knowledge at The Salmon. Whether it’s through the interactive screens inside the centre, in the control centre where you have direct pictures from a fish farm or out on the outdoor café through tablets.

“No one would have been interested in wine either if they didn’t taste it. Therefore, we must combine knowledge with tasting. It should be an experience,” said Sandberg.

“Many chefs in, for example, France and the United States, who receive Norwegian salmon are surprised by how good the quality is. This is what we must get communicated,” he added.

PHOTO: Andreas Witzøe

Technology and development
In her speech on Wednesday, Solberg promoted the importance of the Norwegian aquaculture industry-leading technology and development.

“We want growth, but it must be sustainable. And I want Norway to lead the development in the industry. Continued growth is important for the Norwegian economy,” said Solberg and added:

“The sea is why we have the welfare we have in Norway today. We have shown that we can make good use of the resources in the sea and have long traditions for it. We must continue with that. Technology and development are important for creating sustainable industries in the sea.”

The control room at The Salmon has live pictures from a fish farm. PHOTO: Andreas Witzøe