Norwegian Seafood on the Rise

At the end of February, the export value of Norwegian Seafood was NOK 6.2 billion. Recent figures from Statistics Norway and the Norwegian Seafood Export Council (NSEC) show an increase of NOK 1 billion or 20 percent, in comparison with the same period in 2006.
The EU is the most important market for Norwegian salmon, although the strongest relative growth is found in the markets of Asia and Eastern Europe.
According to NSEC’s market analyst, the first two months of this year have seen a continuation of the trend in 2006, with a great market demand for Norwegian salmon. The high prices and great demand are extremely positive for the Norwegian salmon industry.


Norwegian seafood to 150 countries


Norway has hunting and fishing traditions dating back thousands of years. Nature has been kind to Norway, giving it a coastline extending to a length of more than 83,000 km, including islands. More than 200 different species of fish and shellfish inhabit Norway’s coastal waters.
Norway is also a pioneering nation in the development of modern aquaculture. There are fish farms located along the entire coast, and fish farming has become one of Norway’s largest industries.
The Norwegian fisheries and aquaculture industry is currently one of the world’s largest exporters of seafood, and in recent years just over 3 million tonnes of fish and seafood have been harvested from the sea each year. Over the centuries people all over the world have appreciated the excellent, healthy seafood supplied by Norway.


Strong growth in salmon exports to Asia


In February, exports of salmon to Asia totaled NOK 224 million. This is NOK 62 million higher compared to the same month the previous year. The strongest growth is in exports to Taiwan, South Korea and Japan.
The Norwegian seafood also plays an important role in South East Asia. There was one of the biggest and most spectacular Norwegian seafood dinners in the world and it was held in Singapore on 16 February where the guests were all people associated with the Norwegian business community. More than 75 seafood courses featuring 20different types of Norwegian fish and seafood were served to almost 800 guests.
In Bangkok on 14 March a garden dinner was held to celebrate the centennial of H.M. King Chulalongkorn’s visit to North Cape Norway and fresh Norwegian seafood was specialties flown in from Norway. Fresh smoked Salmon and Gravad lax were served to Thai-Norwegian business community under the evening of the stars.


The World’s Best Seafood


In 2007, Norwegian seafood was awarded the honor of calling itself “the World’s Best Seafood” for the fourth time, when Norwegian ocean-farmed halibut and Norwegian king crab were selected as the official ingredients for the World’s Cooking Championships, the Bocuse d’Or.
“Selection of the Norwegian seafood industry as the official supplier to the world’s most prestigious cooking competition is the hallmark of quality,” comments expert leadership of Master Chef Harald Osa.
“The evening’s guests know that Norwegian halibut and red king crab are among the finest raw ingredients in the world,” continues Harald Osa. “Here, they will be able to taste this seafood, which for most of them will be a new experience. It is a wonderful opportunity for us to introduce them to the Norwegian red king crab as a representative of our wild species.”


Norway is committed to Seafood safety


In Norway, seafood is one of the largest exports following oil. This makes the seafood industry very important for the Norwegian economy, and also makes the industry dependent on adjusting to international demands for quality and safety.
The Ministry manages Norway’s entire fisheries and aquaculture industry, ports and sea transport infrastructure. By ensuring a safe marine environment, quality management at every stage of the food chain, interaction with consumer, and international co-operation, the high quality and safety of Norwegian Seafood to consumers worldwide can be provided.
The Norwegian Food Safety Authority NFSA unites all aspects of the food chain “from sea and field to fork”. They implement regulations, performs approval, inspection, control and risk analysis to ensure seafood safety. The thorough quality management is apparent, both in the products and in the system through a self-check system. Traceability is important at each stage of the production. NFSA provides expert advice to the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Fisheries and the Ministry of Agriculture.


Eat more fish and seafood from Norway


The Scientific Committee for Food Safety weighed the nutritional benefits of eating fish against the possible risks and, from its findings, produced dietary advice for the general public on eating fish, with particular reference to oily fish. The report is based on more than 300 scientific analyses and studies.
“The health benefits derived from eating Norwegian seafood outweigh any risks.” This is the main conclusion of the report published by the Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food Safety (SCF) on 28 March 2006. The committee recommends eating at least four seafood meals a week, including both fatty and lean fish in the diet.


Growth for clip fish and salt fish


Exports of clip fish has increased by NOK 144 million to NOK 670 million. Of this, approximately NOK 400 million was sold to Brazil. Portugal is the next largest market, with a value of NOK 127 million.
The export of salt fish, including filets has increased by NOK 117 million to NOK 301 million. Portugal is the largest importer, with a value of NOK 132 million. Spain was the next largest, with a value of NOK 87 million.
At the end of February, herring exports amounted to NOK 723 million which is an increase of NOK 61 million. Russia was the largest receiver, with a value of NOK 280 million. Mackerel exports fell by NOK 64 million to NOK 217 million. China and Ukraine are the largest receivers of mackerel, while we can note declines in both Japan and Great Britain.


Most important markets


Exports to the EU increased by NOK 511 million to NOK 3.5 billion. Within the EU, Portugal is the market with highest growth. The export value is NOK 334 million, which is a 60percent increase or NOK 126 million. Norway is experiencing significant growth in exports of most products to Portugal, particularly increases in clip fish, salt fish, fresh and frozen cod, as well as salmon.
Russia is the most important market, with a value of NOK 651 million, Exports were up NOK 211 million compared to 2006. The increase is primarily due to increased exports of Salmon, trout and herring.
“Current demand for Norwegian seafood is sharply on the rise. It’s positive that more seafood is now being exported and higher prices are being commanded for a number of products, both those caught in the open seas and farmed fish,” says Egil Sundheim, Director of Market Information and Market Access at the Norwegian Seafood Export Council (NSEC).

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