“Knowledge should trump feelings”

Aslak Berge

Skills development is crucial in order to realize the potential of value creation within seafood, Norway’s Prime Minister believes.

Competence, competence and understanding of value creation.

These are the key words that Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg emphasized when she explained how the Government will facilitate increased marine value creation as a basis for financing Norway’s welfare in the decades to come.

Solberg is on the podium at the Hotel Royal Garden in Trondheim, central Norway, this Wednesday morning, opening the Seafood Norway’s annual conference, the fisheries and aquaculture industry’s largest employer organisation.

“We focus on knowledge and expertise. The unskilled will be fewer, the professional requirements will be higher. This also applies to fisheries and aquaculture,” she said.

“We must have knowledge of how the business sector works,” she added. “We need strengthened focus on education. We need predictable framework conditions and strengthened infrastructure,” adding that her government had increased government spending on transport by 75 per cent.

Sustainable management of marine resources is, both historically and in the years ahead, absolutely essential for value creation in Norway.

Key assumptions
“I am a fan of feelings in politics, but knowledge should trump emotions. Occasionally, the discussion about the oceans becomes more based on emotions than knowledge. Sustainable management is a prerequisite for offshore industries,” she pointed out.

She used the opportunity to kick the opposition, calling the eagerness for increased taxation of the aquaculture industry “short-term thinking”. She noted that the Liberal Party and the Conservative Party had been quite clear in their recommendation of the basic resource rent tax. Last weekend, the Centre Party (SP/Senterpartiet) scrapped the resource rent tax.

“We’ll see where it ends up eventually,” she says, granting a short break to the audience before adding: “But we will receive the committee’s recommendation.”