Norway is leading the way in sea farming
Norway's farmed fishing industry is growing, according to the BBC. The demand for seafood is increasing globally to meet rising population needs, but local industries still thrive on wild and local sourcing.
Wild fishing used to be a sustainable, common way of life for many people living on the shores of Norway. Crabs, scallops and wild salmon are abundant and sold to nearby restaurants. But now, farmed fishing is changing how the industry is structured, and it comes with its own pros and cons.
Norway's aquaculture industry is increasing, and the country is the leader in farmed Atlantic salmon. Currently only 2% of the world's food consumption comes from the sea, but by 2030 the World Bank estimates that 62% of the seafood people eat will be farm-raised.
Several problems such as sea lice infestation, escaped farmed fish into the wild, and waste pollution from nearby waters all affect the safety of the livestock. Now feeder fish have been introduced into the pens to consume the lice, taming the problem.
Marit Solberg, chief operating officer for farming at Marine Harvest, one of the largest salmon-farming operations with locations in Norway, Chile, Canada, says that the world should get used to farming more in the sea. She says, "There is so little produced in the sea - only 2% of food production globally. We have to farm more fish. We are used to farming animals on land and consumers accept that. I am sure up to 70 or 80% of food could come from the sea in future."
Others such as Elling Lorentzen of the Norwegian Fishermen's Association, believe there are more than enough fish in the sea to continue to fish in the wild. He argues, "Fishing is now more efficient and you are able to catch your quota in a shorter time than before."
Furthermore, Norway's local fishing communities thrive on sourcing locally and from the wild. Christopher Haatuft, who owns a seafood restaurant in Bergen, says he buys locally from fishermen and wishes to support the small scale industry rather than large fish farms.
Since the beginning of the 21st century, fishing vessels in Norway have decreased from 13,000 to 6,000 vessels.