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Interview – DNB Bank

made it possible to farm in the colder waters of Iceland, and in Finnmark and in region 12 in Chile too. Iceland can also provide energy quite cheaply, which makes the land farming stage of production more cost efficient. Arctic Fish is now building a new hatchery with a capacity of seven million smolts a year of 300 to 500g. ‘The current is stronger and the water is colder there, things that can be challenging, But the technology and the way fish is farmed is better now than it was some years ago, so Iceland could be doable,’ said Hvistendahl, adding that Icelanders are very good at marketing their fish, thanks to their fishing experience. Salmon production is small at around 10,000 to 20,000 tonnes, said Sletmo, but he predicts this could rise to 100,000 tonnes with Norwegian involvement – ‘some players are talking even bigger but then you have to open up new areas in Iceland’. Hvistendahl said: ‘You have to invest and wait for a long time before you get the salmon. The cash flow out today is next to nothing but it will grow gradually before it reaches 100,000 tonnes, we think in five years.’ DNB has a longer established interest in North America, with an office in New York, and has financed fish farming for most of the salmon companies in Canada. ‘We have done some new financing in Canada this year but we have been with some of the Canadian players for a long time and the Norwegian owned ones,’ said Hvistendahl. The Canadian government is now promoting investment in the sector, a relatively recent development and, as in Scotland, one that is linked to the oil industry. The market potential for suppliers worldwide to the fish farming industry is large. There are many markets that could be developed


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over time. One example is Iran, which Norwegian fisheries minister Per Sandberg visited in September. His Iranian counterpart said: ‘We have had 80 per cent fisheries and 20 per cent aquaculture. Now we want 50/50 and we need help from Norwegian companies. You are pioneers and very good at technology.’ Hvistendahl and Sletmo said they are not currently engaged with Iran, though that might change. Two Norwegian companies, AKVA Group and Aqualine, have signed a deal to supply technical equipment to help Iran expand its aquaculture production. ‘Iran is eager to increase their fish farm sector. In order to do so they would like to have a lot of good equipment,’ said Hvistendahl. ‘They are interested in Norwegian technology and competencies – if you are a country that wants to develop this area it’s natural to look for Norwegian suppliers.’ There is also huge investor interest from Asia to buy Norwegian companies, following the acquisition of Cermaq by the Mitsubishi Corporation in 2014. Hvistendahl said: ‘It is difficult for us to find a lot of Asian companies where we can be relevant as a bank to finance. But we have a lot of contact the other way round.’ FF

we “haveNowa kind of super cycle but growth will come sooner or later

16/01/2017 11:23:30

Profile for Fish Farmer Magazine

Fish Farmer Magazine january 2017  

Serving Worldwide Aquaculture Since 1977

Fish Farmer Magazine january 2017  

Serving Worldwide Aquaculture Since 1977