Norwegian processing rules for production fish temporarily set aside

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Norwegian Food Safety Authority introduces emergency measures to meet weakened demand for salmon.

In a letter dated March 17, the Norwegian Seafood Ministry asked the Ministry of Trade and Fisheries to temporarily remove the rule that so-called “production fish” be sorted and processed just in Norway.

The request came on the basis of requests from the Norwegian Seafood Federation’s members to “limit the socio-economic consequences of the joint degradation in Norway, where we are all concerned with limiting the rate of spread on COVID 19,” the letter said.

On Monday night it was announced that the Norwegian Food Safety Authority will grant a temporary exemption from the rule that fish with quality defects should be sorted and processed in Norway – for the companies Mowi and Lerøy.

The organization Sjømatbedriftene appeals the decision immediately, according to a press release Monday night.

“Although the Food Safety Authority assumes as a prerequisite for its decision that processing of so-called production fish should take place at Mowis and Lerøys production facilities abroad, Norwegian producers of farmed salmon and trout can not feel reassured as long as production is not subject to control by the Norwegian authorities. In addition, one image of damaged fish is enough to destroy the reputation of a brand built up over thirty years,” says Robert Eriksson, CEO of Sjømatbedriftene.

Production fish, fish with visible quality defects, normally constitute 3-5 per cent of harvest.