New careers in the aquaculture industry
Stiim Aqua Cluster and the Federation of Norwegian Industries have suggested these immediate measures to curb the impact of the Corona virus on the Norwegian economy. Several sectors including oil service companies and aquaculture suppliers had already made thousands of employees redundant, and now tens of thousands more risk losing their jobs. Globally the expectations are that it will take 1-2 years for the oil market to recover to the point where there will be a need for the supply and service industry.
- Financial support from the government is needed for people losing their jobs, but it is also imperative to create new jobs. The Federation of Norwegian Industries and Stiim Aqua Cluster call for immediate measures to strengthen the aquaculture industry and establish new business, says Andreas Heskestad, leader of Stiim Aqua Cluster
In a suggestion to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries, The Federation of Norwegian Industries and Stiim Aqua Cluster have suggested five immediate measures to limit the loss of jobs, and strengthen innovation and sustainable growth in the aquaculture industry. Immediate measures meaning actions that can be implemented within six months.
Good to go projects
Current analysis show 14 large projects are ready to start up in 2020 providing the government gives the necessary authorization or shortens application procedures. The 14 projects mean an investment of 10 billion kroner and will contribute to employment and economic growth. Aquaculture has already been defined as a priority industry when it comes to developing a sustainable Norwegian industry.
Members of the Federation for Norwegian Industry and Stiim Aqua Cluster represent a large proportian of companies involved in aqauculture.From left: Ole D. Kvilhaug, Andreas Heskestad, Tord Ludvigsen, Eivind Helland, Kjartan Gilje, Stål Heggelund, Arne Vagle and Lars Laukeland.
– There are many pending applications. These projects will contribute to economic growth in the industry and should be prioritized, says Andreas Heskestad, leader of Stiim Aqua Cluster
Being able to test new technology in areas with a lot of wind, weather and ocean conditions is important to develop a sustainable industry along the coast of Norway. Approving these development permits will create employment and new jobs across the country. This is a unique opportunity to strengthen the conversion from oil and gas technology to what will be one of Norway’s most important industry’s – aquaculture.
Permits for land-based facilities
The industry is also reliant on permits to expand the land-based facilities producing small salmon, called smolt. These small salmon are transferred to fish farms when large enough. The Federation of Norwegian Industries and Stiim Aqua Cluster think the government should process these applications quickly to enable these facilities to grow.
Large land-based breeding projects will secure work for the supply and service companies, as well as guarantee enough smolt for the aquaculture industry. In Ryfylke alone there are plans to invest close to 1,3 billion in the next 2-3 years.
Tytlandsvik Aqua land-based breeding facility.
Measures at sea
– Oil and gas related service industry will need government aid to move from oil and gas technology to aquaculture technology. These companies are going through a demanding restructuring process and will be important if Norway is to succeed with aquaculture. We have to make sure we keep their competence before it disappears , says Stål Heggelund, chief advisor in The Federation of Norwegian Industries
Licences for closed and semi-closed ocean facilities
The industry has developed solutions for closed and semi-closed ocean facilities. These will not impact on wild salmon, are difficult to escape from and have low emissions. The Federation of Norwegian Industries and Stiim Aqua Cluster means the industry should be licenced to encourage the use of new technology. That would reinforce sustanable growth in the fjords.
A long-term measure could be to implement technology permits enabling breeders and suppliers to develop technology together. These permits could be limited to a 15-year trial period.
– A number of areas have been mapped out along the coastline, but due to technology and equipment limitations they are not up and running. This type of technology permit would enable these areas to be used, says Erlend Sødal, Chairman of the board, Stiim Aqua Cluster
Challenges for start-ups
It´s a challenging time for Start-up companies and many face bankruptcies unless measures to support them are put in place. A lack of capital means many projects are being put on hold. Others have been stopped due to travel restrictions.
– We think Innovation Norway should be given more funding and the mandates needed to place these funds. We must not lose the innovation and competencies gained these past few years, CEO of Blue Planet AS, Eivind Helland adds. His biggest fear is losing all the innovative and viable ideas. He wants Innovation Norway to have a specific fund used only to support for Start-ups.
Stiim Aqua Cluster has approximately 75 member companies from all over Norway. The members are a mix of entrepreneurs, financial institutions, investors, fish farmers and others in the aquaculture industry, including technology companies as well as research and teaching institutions. Stiim Aqua Cluster is administered by Blue Planet AS.
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