Blue mussel farming : a comparison of the Norwegian and the Canadian industries
AuthorYtrøy, Egil Henning
Since the 1970s, many attempts have been made in Norway to turn blue mussel farming into a growth industry. Total production has increased during the last ten years, but prices have decreased and the value of the Norwegian production has fluctuated greatly. Many blue mussel farming companies have failed. Hence, the results have not been as expected. The Canadian story is different. In contrast to what has happened in Norway, some Canadian provinces – notably Prince Edward Island - have had a great success in blue mussel farming. During the same period they have developed this activity into a viable industry. This thesis compares the development of blue mussel farming in Norway and Canada. Why has the Canadian industry fared better than its Norwegian counterpart? In order to highlight the issue, the thesis focuses on the bottlenecks and barriers for the development of blue mussel production in the two countries and how these challenges have been dealt with. The study is based on interviews with eleven different companies and five different governmental and membership organizations in selected regions in Canada and Norway. In addition, a wide range of secondary sources have been used. The main findings are that the two industries are facing rather similar natural challenges. Toxicity is a common threat and at the moment invasive species is becoming a growing problem in Canada. What differentiates the two industries is that blue mussel farming in Canada was initiated as a response to declining fisheries. This may partly explain why the Canadian industry has been more successful. The infrastructure for industrial support also seems to be better co-ordinated in Canada than in Norway, and the Canadian producers have the benefit of a large domestic market and proximity to the US market, while the Norwegian producers have a small domestic market and greater difficulties gaining access to the well-established European market. However, these conclusions must be regarded as provisional considering the limited amount of data on which this thesis is built.
PublisherUniversitetet i Tromsø
University of Tromsø
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