The Norwegian company TINE SA (known mainly for dairy products) has apparently recently decided to sell its majority shares in Salmon Brands AS (SALMA brand) according to a publication on 19.02.2012 on http://www.nmf.no/. This is probably due to the fact that “fish farm installations had difficulties during the past years” and the article mentions “steadily falling prices” of the fish, so that fish farming is no longer an interesting investment proposition.
There has also been issues in Finnvik (Tromsø) and generally in the northernmost county of Finnmark with sick fish – at least 2 million of Salmar Nords’ fish had to be culled because they were infected with Pancreas Disease (PD). According to Merck (http://aqua.merck-animal-health.com/diseases), PD “is an important economic disease of European farmed Atlantic salmon. It can cause significant losses due to morbidity, mortality and reduced production. Chronic PD has also been known as ‘sudden death syndrome’ (SDS). […] The causative agent was only isolated in 1995 and was shown to be an alphavirus, now known as Salmon Pancreas Disease Virus (SPDV).” Recent studies have indicated that it is very similar to ‘Sleeping disease virus’ of rainbow trout. “Pancreas Disease has been described in Scotland, Norway, Ireland, France and the west coast of the USA in farmed Atlantic salmon. Due to the difficulty of isolating SPDV from natural outbreaks of PD and the widespread distribution of Infectious Pancreatic Necrosis virus (IPNV), which can mask the SPDV and the disease in farmed salmon, PD is significantly under diagnosed in the field. […] Transmission is primarily due to direct fish-to-fish contact, but the involvement of other marine reservoirs such as molluscs, crustaceans and wild fish, or vectors such as sea lice, cannot be ruled out.” If you find this is scary, there’s more on that website selling pharmaceuticals to the fish industry!
The French paper Le Nouvel Observateur in December 2011 an article on the disastrous effect of fish farming on the Norwegian environment, see: http://www.rue89.com/rue89-planete/2011/12/24/le-saumon-ruine-ecologique-de-la-norvege-227529, which mentions that the Norwegian Fisheries Minister herself owns shares, valued at several million euros, in fish farms. She is the one appointing the directors of the three public organizations that are supposed to control and regulate the fishing industry, thus being both “judge and party” and not really impartial. The discussion was pursued in many French media, just before last Christmas, ruining the appetite of many French – who are among the best customers for Norwegian salmon especially during the festive season. How is the fish industry regulated in Ireland? Are its regulators as independent and as attentive as the Irish financial regulators were a couple of years ago??