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A proud history
Did you know that seafood is the most important driver of economic activity along the Norwegian coast? And that the rest of the world tends to associate Norway with fish?
In Norway, fishing has a history that dates back over ten thousand years. For many centuries, fishing has provided a foundation for business activity and exports. In order to understand Norway, you must therefore also understand its history as a fishing nation.
In modern times, the seafood industry has over a short space of time grown into a force for revitalisation. New technology, which is being developed at breakneck speed, is a key success factor, both to make the industry more efficient and to come up with good solutions to climate-related and environmental challenges. Sharp minds are needed for that.
One area where this is relevant is reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Thanks to technological development, training and establishing clear goals, Lerøy cut its greenhouse gas emissions by eight percent from 2020 to 2021. In 2022, Lerøy came in the top 10 of PwC’s annual climate index, which ranks companies according to the reduction in their greenhouse gas emissions over the past year. That didn’t happen by chance.
Engelsen is backed up by Janicke Eckhoff, a project manager at the Norwegian Seafood Federation, the body which represents the industry.
What do young people want?
For the past year, the Norwegian Seafood Federation has been running a fact-finding exercise called Next Generation Seafood. It is looking at what young people – both those working in the seafood industry and those considering it – think of the industry. The Norwegian Seafood Federation has come into contact with a lot of young people through reputation surveys, qualitative surveys and workshops, as well as through outreach work.
The study is not representative of all young people in Norway, but its findings do show that many young people care about a long-term approach to climate change, and about the economic outlook and reputation of the seafood industry, particularly with respect to its environmental footprint and fish welfare.
There is no getting around the fact that the industry hasn’t always had the best reputation. Focusing on green, climate-friendly development is therefore vital to its future. In a rapidly changing society, where the economy and food availability are rising up the agenda, a growing number of people are realising the important role the seafood industry actually plays in Norwegian society.
A global workplace
Over recent years, there has been a big change of pace in the industry. This includes the introduction of new technology in aquaculture, land-based fish farms, closed-system aquaculture, offshore fish farms and digitalisation. In the seafood industry, you can therefore work in your small local community or out in the big wide world.
Part of the challenge is reaching students where they are. Students who are taking courses that are relevant to seafood and aquaculture, but who do not live along the coast, would like more contact with the industry.
In Oslo, salmon producer Nova Sea has therefore set up The Salmon, a visitor centre for salmon farming and the seafood industry. This is helping to increase people’s knowledge about the industry, even in places far away from the industry’s heartlands.