Hav Line won the dispute against the Norwegian state and look forward to increasing their activities at the Port of Hirtshals


After a long battle with the Norwegian state on whether so-called production fish must be handled in Norway, the shipping company Hav Line could breathe a sigh of relief, when they on Friday 19 February were informed that their harvesting vessel "Norwegian Gannet" receives a dispensation that applies until 1 December 2030.

- Now, we can look forward and develop the activity that Hav Line and the "Norwegian Gannet" were made for, states the chairman of the board at Hav Line Carl-Erik Arnesen in connection with Hav Lines ten-year dispensation to collect and sail salmon from Norwegian salmon farms directly to the world's largest salmon terminal at the Port of Hirtshals.

The dispensation granted by the Norwegian government means that the official dispute concerning the so-called production fish - i.e. fish with defects or deficiencies - is over. The production fish can thereby be handled directly in Hirtshals instead of being shipped back to Norway. Thus, a larger volume of salmon can be supplied to the European market in the future.

"Norwegian Gannet" in front of the world's largest salmon terminal in Hirtshals
"Norwegian Gannet" in front of the world's largest salmon terminal in Hirtshals

Growth in the horizon
Member of the European Parliament and vice president in the European Parliament's Committee on Fisheries Søren Gade (V) expresses his satisfaction with the decision of the Norwegian government. At the Port of Hirtshals, there is also no doubt about the significance of the outcome of the matter.

- Naturally, we are happy about the ten-year dispensation granted to Hav Line by the Norwegian government. It gives Hav Line the opportunity to develop their business and concept even further. At the same time, the salmon farming industry has a certainty that Hav Line's concept can continue without risking the Norwegian government shutting down the efficient transport, says chairman of the board at the Port of Hirtshals Anker Laden-Andersen.

Now, Hav Line can finally offer the Norwegian salmon producers their unique harvesting and transport concept, of which the harvesting vessel "Norwegian Gannet" and the salmon terminal at the Port of Hirtshals are the core, with a sense of peace and security.

- The security that Hav Line now can offer their business partners means that the salmon volumes will definitely increase. For the Port of Hirtshals, the security of the existence of the concept means that the port's position as the salmon capital of Northern Europe Is now being manifested. Thereby, we will in general experience a growth in the salmon industry in Hirtshals, Laden-Andersen adds.

43 hours faster in the stores
The harvesting vessel "Norwegian Gannet" harvest the salmon directly from the Norwegian salmon farms after which it is soaked and cleaned on the way from Norway to Hirtshals. Finally, the salmon is sorted and packed at the terminal in Hirtshals before being transported directly to the European markets.

During the voyage to Hirtshals the salmon is soaked and cleaned aboard
During the voyage to Hirtshals the salmon is soaked and cleaned aboard

Due to the innovative Hav Line concept the transport time is 43 hours shorter from the time of the salmon harvesting at the Norwegian salmon farm until the salmon lies in the refrigerated display counter in the European stores. At the same time, the concept contributes to improving the safety on the Norwegian road network, as it reduces the number of lorries on the Norwegian roads by around 7,000 pcs. a year.

"Norwegian Gannet" has harvested salmon in Norway and Scotland, and in addition salmon from the Faroe Islands and Iceland come to Hirtshals. Thereby, Hirtshals is a central hub for salmon in Northern Europe.

Appeal cancelled
In 2020 the parties met in Bergen Tingrett (Bergen District Court) where Hav Line had filed a lawsuit against the Norwegian state. Bach then the district court ruled that the Norwegian state in the attempt to prevent the innovative transport of salmon directly from the Norwegian salmon farms to Hirtshals had shown "gross unfairness".

A few weeks after the verdict on 15 June 2020, the shipping company's temporary dispensation was extended, but already by the end of August the state chose to appeal the verdict. The appeal proceedings were planned to begin on 31 May 2021, but as a result of the newly granted ten-year dispensation, the appeal has been cancelled.