Norway Sees Potential in Iranian Seafood Market
Norway’s fisheries minister has indicated that a newly sanctions-free Iran could become a lucrative seafood market for the Scandinavian country.
“With the repeal of sanctions, we are facing a unique opportunity,” Per Sandberg was also quoted as saying by London-based provider of international seafood business news Undercurrent News.
“It’s not every day a market with 80 million people opens overnight.”
In September, Sandberg will become the first Norwegian minister to visit Iran since sanctions were lifted in January. Accompanied by an industry delegation of seafood suppliers and maritime companies, the minister will size up the local aquaculture industry.
“The Norwegian aquaculture industry is a world leader when it comes to knowledge and technology,” he said.
“We are seeing increasing interest in our solutions. Iran has made it clear that they want growth in their aquaculture and this may provide opportunities for the Norwegian suppliers.”
Sandberg also believes it is possible to increase seafood exports to Iran.
“Norway exports fish to 140 countries. It is important to constantly develop new markets. Currently we sell small fish to Iran, but we see a positive trend and the potential could be huge,” he said.
The annual per capita consumption of fish in Iran is 10 kg as against the global average of more than 20 kg, according to Iran’s Fisheries Organization.
Iran itself is a major producer and exporter of seafood.
A record high of more than 1 million tons of seafood were produced in the last Iranian year (March 2015-16).
Exports stood at 82,000 tons worth $350 million for the same period, registering a 15% rise compared to a year before.
Shrimp accounted for 13,000 tons of the figure, which indicates a 10% increase compared with a year before.
Vietnam and the UAE were the main destinations for Iranian shrimp.
Plans are underway for cage farming of 20,000 tons of fish every year, mostly in the northern provinces of Gilan, Mazandaran and Golestan. According to the Management and Planning Organization of Iran, financial incentives will be granted to potential investors in the field of cage farming. In this new cultivation method in Iran, cages are placed in lakes, ponds, rivers or oceans to contain and protect fish until they can be harvested.
Last year’s caviar production stood at 1.5 tons, over 65% of which—worth $1.7 million—were exported to Japan, Germany, the UAE, Britain, Italy, Belgium, South Korea and Norway.