A high-level delegation from India, led by Parshottam Rupala, the Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairying, alongside Dr. L. Murugan, Minister of State for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying, and Neetu Kumari Prasad, Joint Secretary (Marine Fisheries) of the Department of Fisheries, embarked on a significant visit to Norway. The purpose of the visit was to foster bilateral cooperation between India and Norway in the domain of fisheries and aquaculture.
The delegation’s engagement kicked off with their participation in the renowned Aqua Nor 2023 Exhibition, where they had the opportunity to interact with international delegates, aiming to bolster ties between the two nations in the realm of aquatic resources management.
The second day of the visit saw the delegation visiting the smolt production facility of Lerøy, a prominent Norwegian company, located in Belsvik. The facility employs an advanced onshore Recirculation Aquaculture System (RAS) to ensure sustainable fish production. Later, the delegation explored Lerøy’s state-of-the-art salmon hatcheries situated at Storskogoya, which highlighted the magnitude of the aquaculture industry in Norway. With nearly 1000 offshore farms established by private companies, aquaculture stands as Norway’s second-largest industry.
Following the hatchery visit, the delegation ventured to the SINTEF ACE facility, a full-scale laboratory designed for the research and testing of novel aquaculture technologies. The lab facilitates practical experiments and trials under controlled and real-world conditions, further exemplifying Norway’s commitment to innovation in this sector.
An integral part of the visit was the delegation’s participation in the Aqua Nor 2023 Exhibition at Trondheim Spektrum. The delegation engaged with various enterprises, exploring avenues for potential collaborations and future partnerships. Notably, during a visit to AkerBiomarine’s stall, the landing of Chandrayaan-3 on the lunar South Pole was broadcasted, receiving widespread applause from attendees.
Minister Rupala, along with Dr. Murugan, engaged in bilateral meetings at the Clarion Hotel Trondheim, Brattørkaia. The meetings were held with Bjørnar Skjæran, Minister of Fisheries and Ocean Policy; Yngve Torgersen, DG, Aquaculture Department, Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Fisheries (MTIF); Astrid Holtan, Director, Trade Policy Department, MTIF; Ragnhild Moritz-Olsen, Advisor, Trade Policy Department, MTIF; and Cristian Valdes Carter, Director India & Commercial Counsellor, Innovation Norway. Discussions revolved around strengthening cooperation in fisheries and aquaculture, and an invitation was extended to the Norwegian counterparts to visit India.
Addressing the media during the exhibition, Minister Rupala expressed his appreciation for Aqua Nor’s organizers and highlighted the presence of cutting-edge technologies at the event. He acknowledged the efforts of Bjørnar Selena Skjaeran, the Minister of Fisheries and Ocean Policy, in fostering productive interactions over the past two days.
Responding to inquiries, Minister Rupala noted India’s status as the world’s second-largest aquaculture producer and its aspiration to become a global leader. He underscored the commitment of India’s leadership, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in bolstering the fisheries sector, evident through the establishment of a dedicated Ministry and increased budget allocation for the welfare of millions of fishermen.
The Indian delegation’s visit to Aqua Nor 2023 is expected to pave the way for strengthened collaboration between India and Norway in the dynamic field of fisheries and aquaculture.