Towards economic, environmental, and social sustainability in the Norwegian salmon farming industry (REBALANCE)

Towards economic, environmental, and social sustainability in the Norwegian salmon farming industry (REBALANCE)

Towards economic, environmental, and social sustainability in the Norwegian salmon farming industry (REBALANCE) 1920 1080 Ocean Decade

Lead institution:

Western Norway University of Applied Sciences – Norway

The grand challenges of climate change and social justice mean that industrial food systems should not only strive to become economically sound but also environmentally and socially viable. This project examines interdependencies between the economic, environmental, and social dimensions in the Norwegian salmon farming industry.

This industry is economically well off with high profitability (especially in the last decade) but has been confronted with several (and mounting) environmental issues (sea lice, ocean floor waste, escape of fish, feed ingredients). It has also been criticized for a lack of contribution to value creation and value capture both locally and nationally. To strengthen its legitimacy, the industry needs to reduce its (negative) environmental impact and increase its (positive) societal impact. This project will elaborate on how the Norwegian salmon farming industry can grapple with environmental issues that currently hinder expansion and growth, and at the same time contribute to societal wellbeing. The project will identify barriers and drivers for ongoing transition processes, investigate dilemmas associated with rebalancing the economic, environmental, and social dimensions, analyze how the industry can ensure legitimacy, and explore the role of policy for these transition processes. The study will be based on a combination of register data, case studies of selected salmon farming hubs, stakeholder interviews, socio-technical configuration analysis (STCA), and Discrete Choice Experiments (DCE). The project will develop new knowledge about how the salmon farming industry can develop onwards in ways that are not environmentally harmful, and that contribute tovalue creation and value capture both locally and nationally. Our combination of economic geography, sociotechnical transition studies, and the literature on sustainable business models provide new insights into how the plethora of transition opportunities is materialized.

Start Date: 01/01/2024
End Date: 31/12/2027

Lead Contact: Stig Erik Jakobsen (sjak@hvl.no)

challenges: 1- Understand and beat marine pollution, 3- Sustainable Blue Food, 4- Sustainable Ocean Economy
type_of_action: Project

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