‘Frog in a pot’: DNB Seafood exec sounds alarm on complacency in the salmon farming sector

Editorial Staff

‘The Norwegian voter is more important than the French consumer’, Dag Sletmo discusses future of salmon industry at Sjømat Norge meeting.

Dag Sletmo, senior vice president at seafood lending giant DNB Bank, has likened the salmon farming industry to a frog in a pot of gradually heating water.

This analogy was part of his presentation at Seafood Norway’s annual meeting in Tromsø, discussing the ‘Seafood 2035’ strategy.

Asked to talk about the future of the industry, Sletmo highlighted both positive aspects, such as salmon farming’s potential role in addressing global warming and biodiversity collapse, but also warned of the negative impacts, citing local environmental issues and animal welfare concerns.

Dag Sletmo, Senior Vice President at DNB. Photo: Andreas Witzøe

He emphasized the need for the industry to address its PR problem and advised a shift in narrative towards sustainability rather than financial gains.

“The reputation problem needs to be fixed,” he wrote on LinkedIn, hinting at the need for the salmon industry to balance global market demands with local societal and environmental responsibilities. “Remember that the Norwegian voter is more important than the French consumer.”

A key point, according to Sletmo, is the need for a sense of urgency in addressing industry challenges. Something that is difficult, he noted, given the paradox where current problems are limiting supply growth, thus maintaining high salmon prices and profitability.

‘This is the only industry where the worse you do, the more money you make’

“Create a new narrative about the industry based on sustainability, to replace the money-focused story the industry likes to tell (new export record!) and to replace the media’s ‘death & depravity’ narrative,” he said.

Without prompt action, warned Sletmo, the negative aspects of these issues may come to dominate.

“It’s important to act now, and not get too comfortable as the temperature rises, like the frog in the pot,” he concluded.


Related Articles