‘We can’t blow up large parts of our coast just to get rid of lice on farmed salmon’

Editorial Staff

Land-based salmon farming company Gaia Salmon has proposed the demolition of two islands in a Norwegian beauty spot for the creation of a new farm.

“Træna is proof that you need not head for the tropics to find paradise,” says the Visit Norway website which recommends tourists head to the remote archipelago for its unique blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage.

Now, Gaia Salmon is planning to demolish two islands and fill in a strait, covering an area equivalent to 14 football pitches to facilitate the creation of a new land-based salmon farm, according to a report from Norwegian broadcaster NRK.

The Nordland Nature Conservancy opposes the project, citing concerns over coastal ecosystem degradation and biodiversity loss.

“We cannot blow up large parts of our coast because we have to get rid of salmon lice on the farmed salmon,” leader Frode Solbakken told NRK

“The proposals for land-based farming that we have seen in Nordland and along the entire coast are interventions that can never be reversed. They have a major negative impact.”

But not everybody is against the plan.

Træna Mayor Trond Vegar Sletten, while emphasizing the need for rigorous evaluation and community involvement, was more positive.

“The creation of 40 to 50 jobs is no small thing in our municipality,” said Sletten.

“After all, we want to be a viable society. We who live here have faith in the future. But then we also have to be able to make these tough decisions on a sound basis.”

Similar ventures are planned elsewhere by Gaia Salmon, including a larger facility in Rørvik. Regulations on such projects are pending updates following a halt in 2022.


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