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Fish in net cage. 
Photo: The Norwegian Seafood Council.Fish in net cage. Photo: The Norwegian Seafood Council

The Norwegian Aquaculture Act

01.01.2014 // This document presents the Aquaculture Act, its background and main content.The Aquaculture Act entered into force 1st January 2006. A brief introduction of the aquaculture industry and details of some elements in the Act are included.

This document presents the Aquaculture Act, its background and main content.The Aquaculture Act entered into force 1st January 2006. A brief introduction of the aquaculture industry and details of some elements in the Act are included.

The Aquaculture Act of 2005 was reviewed in 2013, The main changes to the Act were:

  • In order to divide between wild and escaped farmed salmon, and to find the responsible farmer after escapee incidents, the Ministry adopted a legal basis to introduce mandatory tagging of aquaculture animals. Further, the Ministry adopted a legal basis to introduce mandatory use of sterile fish. The use of sterile fish will reduce the consequences of escape incidents in salmon farming, as it prohibits farmed salmon to spawn with wild salmon. The use of both sterile fish and mandatory tagging raise questions concerning animal welfare, and an actual introduction of these requirements is not likely for a couple of years.
  • In order to finance the removal of escaped aquaculture animals (salmon), the Ministry adopted a legal basis to establish a pool, financed by the entire salmon aquaculture industry, which will cover the cost to remove escaped farmed fish from a representative numbers of rivers.
  • Several adjustments were made regarding the penal provisions of the law, among them a revised system for administrative sanctioning. The new system i.e. provides that only companies can be given administrative fines and introduces a regime of control liability. Private individuals can still be prosecuted, but this requires gross negligence from the individual.  
  • The supervisory authority was given a legal basis to exchange information with other supervisory authorities and instruct the aquaculture industry to provide information electronically.


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The Norwegian Seafood Council