Håkan T. Sandersen, Julia Olsen, Grete K. Hovelsrud & Arild Gjertsen

The Norwegian aquaculture sector continues to increase both spatially and in terms of production volume, but is vulnerable to changes in weather, temperature, marine environmental conditions, and other conditions. More than a third of Norway’s aquaculture production takes place in Northern Norway, a region where the rate and magnitude of climate change is already twice that of the global average. In this article, we investigate representatives from the aquaculture industry and their perceptions of climate change and how it influences their current and future operations. Our findings show that climate change is generally not a central concern for aquaculture companies and climate change is translated into and understood as a gradual intensification of already existing problems. The industry aims at balancing their production targets with the management systems’ environmental and sustainable development requirements and focusing on short-term challenges such as lice, diseases, and market trends. Although most adaptive measures are not justified directly as climate related, the industry is highly adaptive and responsive to climate relevant changes through continuous adaptation and innovation strategies. The only measure that is genuinely climate related is the efforts of some of the actors to localize parts of their production capacity further north. The findings are based on semi-structured interviews with representatives of eight aquaculture companies whose facilities are localized in Northern Norway.

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