Norwegian exporters were preparing for increased sales of seafood to Japan, since much of Japan’s own important seafood industry has been destroyed or possibly contaminated by its recent earthquake, tsunami and nuclear power plant damage.
“We have received signals that there will be much more demand for fresh salmon, since large portions of Japan’s own fishing industry was located in areas destroyed by the earthquake,” Jørgen Christiansen of large seafood firm Marine Harvest told newspaper Aftenposten.
Japan has traditionally the largest per capita consumption of seafood in the world. Around 5 percent of Norway’s total exports have gone to Japan, mostly salmon and mackerel. That looks likely to rise, as Marine Harvest workers prepared cases of salmon this week that was caught on Wednesday, cleaned, packed and ready for air shipment to Osaka via Copenhagen and Doha in Qatar, with arrival on Saturday.
France remains the biggest export market for Norwegian salmon. Norway’s total seafood exports in February were valued at NOK 4.8 billion, up 15 percent from the year before despite a downturn in shipments to China, which remains angry with Norway over last year’s awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo. The increase was linked to high salmon prices at present.
Views and News staff