Saturday, 21 May 2016

Under the Surface, Kjersti Sandvik, Glydendal, Norway - The Not so Small Blip, Marine Harvest

Sandvik has a telling section in her new book, Under the Surface, that speaks to the issue of what fish farm companies exist for. Their spin is that they provide employment in hard up areas, and revenue. But if you have been following the algal bloom disaster in Chile, in May 2016, you will know that 5,000 staff have been laid off in 2016 alone, and only those laid off in Chile. Many more than been laid off around the world in the past year. Marine Harvest let go 60 employees just before Christmas several years ago. Nice company.

This is typical for fish farms, and many of the news articles cited in my News Bites posts, show workers getting laid off around the world:, by Cermaq, Marine Harvest and so on. The News Bites post contains, so far this year, 500 negative news stories in the world wide press about the negative consequences of fish farm/seafood industry companies.

An image of a fish farm fish is pretty unappetizing:

Answering the purpose question, Sandvik puts it this way:

"Fredriksen decided to retain Marine Harvest as the name of the aquaculture company.

The merged holding company owned 24 percent by farming licenses in Norway and had to apply for an exemption ownership restriction, which they got. But now butted company ownership limit of 25 percent. Tor Olav Trøim, Fredriksen's right hand, called the owner restriction
"A molbotankegang by Norwegian authorities ". He believed that it inhibited Marine Harvest's commitment on making farming industry profitable for investors. IN 2010 complained Marine Harvest ownership restriction in for the EFTA Surveillance Authority. It was victory. esa concluded that the Norwegian ownership limitations for aquaculture was contrary to the EEA Agreement rules on the free establishment. That fall sent the Norwegian Fisheries and Coastal Affairs, Lisbeth Berg-Hansen, circulated a proposal to repeal the then ownership limitation of 25 percent.

Just before the coalition government resigned in 2013, was limit how many licenses a company can own, moved once again. A company could now sit up 40 percent of the Norwegian licenses, but had to fulfill requirements for processing, apprenticeships, research and
development by how many concessions the company hadde. 25

The idea was to ensure that aquaculture helped jobs along the coast. This requirement removed the government Right Progress Party and called it a formality. Steward of Marine Harvest, Stein Mathiesen, however, looked at it as more than a formality. He was not delighted with the decision to remove the requirement for processing, research and apprenticeships. "It is a concern when the company can do as they please. It opens a new and unknown door, which allows the mind run free, "he said to Intra-Fish. 26

In other words, he worried that the company will take advantage of the opportunity to get rid of machining the high cost country Norway. Norwegian Seafood Association, NSL, had
however reason to rejoice that this requirement was removed. In its annual report for 2013 finds that processing requirement and the other proposals to the government, is unrealistic. NSL perceive processing, apprenticeships and contribution to research as 'tax' they believe will work.

"Demands for 'social' does not work in other industries and will not work in the long term in the industry. This is because the course will be required to maximum return on investment and the greatest possible TRS. The value of local ownership can not compensated with requirements and fees, "says the association's report for 2013. 27

This is pure word for money. Here rejects NSL short and fine that the industry has no other responsibility than to ensure maximize the return to shareholders. Fish farmers owe
no society something. That they receive help themselves to the community area, obliging them not to provide something back to the community. This reveals the organization that it does not understand how dependent it is also of all related services and infrastructure society facilitates and pays with taxpayers' money."


So, fish farms exist solely for shareholders, and do not want to waste their money on the social side amenities because it gets in the way of making money for shareholders. They don't want to have limits on the percent of farms they can own, where the country of origin of the company is, don't want to contribute to processing, apprenticeships, contribution to research and so on. 

Go buy Sandvik's book if you speak Norwegian, and it you don't, I will from time to time give you these, semi-translations from Google, of bits and pieces from the book,

But loud and clear: fish farms are not about providing jobs, and having a positive social outcome. That is just fish farm spin.

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