GATH and the Ålesund Business Association put a spotlight on the aquaculture industry under Arendalsuka. There will be a meeting between Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Bjørnar Skjæran and several key players. The aim is to shed light on opportunities and challenges for the aquaculture industry. The event takes place on Tuesday 16 August from 12:15 – 13:15 on board “Vision of the Fjords” at langebryggen in Arendal.

In addition to Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Bjørnar Skjæran, Marion Remøy from Sparebanken Vest, Roger Hofseth from Hofseth International, Ivar Rekve from Eksfin, Paul Birger Torgnes from Seafood Norway and Erik W. Jakobsen from Menon Economics. The players know the aquaculture industry very well and topics to be highlighted are market access, value creation and ripple effects as well as sustainability and financing. The conversation is led by Lene Trude Solheim, general manager of GATH and the Ålesund business association.

Marion Remøy holds a master’s degree in OPERATIONS Shipping, Trade &finance from Cass Business School in London and a Master’s degree from NHH, and has also completed an AFA (Authorized Financial Analyst Study) from NHH Executive. She has more than 15 years of experience from banking and finance with industry expertise in the maritime industries; where she has held roles as an analyst, customer advisor and member of the credit committee. In recent years she has worked specifically with sustainable finance and green restructuring for the seafood industries, and recently she took up the position of Head of Fisheries and Aquaculture at Sparebanken Vest. Sparebanken Vest is Norway’s third largest savings bank with a strong market position and presence in the counties of Møre og Romsdal, Vestland and Rogaland. The Bank has a strong ESG focus and a significant portfolio and investment in the fisheries, aquaculture and associated industries.

Roger Hofseth is CEO of the Hofseth International group, which has over 500 employees and is Norway’s largest salmon processing company. The companies in Hofseth cover the entire value chain in the production of salmon fish within a short distance at Sunnmøre. Hofseth from Ellingsøy in Sunnmøre started with two empty hands and many ideas. With flair for the purchase and sale of fish and a distinctive ability to get through ideas, he set early grand goals on how to succeed in processing fish. In 2004 he bought a disused dairy factory in Syvde and was the following year up and running. 10 years later, the company also started farming. The vision was to create as much locally as possible and he saw America as an exciting market.  Today, Hofseth exports to 23 countries and is the largest exporter of salmon products to the United States.

Erik W. Jakobsen holds a master’s degree in business administration and a PhD student from the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration. He established Menon Business Economics together with Leo Grünfeld in 2006 and was a former Managing partner in the company. Erik has for about 10 years been professor of strategic management at University of Southeast Norway (USN). Jakobsen has written a number of books and articles, including Who owns Norway (Universitetsforlaget, 2006), A value-added Norway (Universitetsforlaget, 2001), Expansion and Corporate Strategy (Gyldendal, 2015), and Attracting the winners (Kolofon, 2003). Jakobsen has 25 years of experience as a researcher, advisor and speaker. His core areas of expertise are strategic analysis, industry competitiveness, corporate and ownership strategy, organizational design, cluster development and economic policy.

Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Bjørnar Skjæran has a professional background as a farmer and self-employed person, but has been a full-time politician since 2011. Skjæran was a member of Lurøy municipal council for 28 years, from 1987 to 2015, the last four years as mayor. He did not stand for re-election in 2015. The same year he was elected to Nordland County Council and was group leader of the Labour Party there. In the autumn of 2019, he was again elected to the county council, and is deputy leader of the county council group. In 2013, Skjæran was elected as a member of the Central Committee of the Labor Party. He has been deputy leader of the Labour Party in April 2019.

Paul Birger Torgnes is currently Chairman of the Board of Seafood Norway and CEO of Fjord Marin Holding AS and Chairman of the Board of Aquaculture Innovation AS. Torgnes is also a board member of about 20 companies in the seafood industry, among others. Frøy ASA, Fiskerinæringens Forskningsfinansiering AS, Norsk Havbrukssenter AS, Torghatten Aqua AS and Campus BLÅ AS. He has also previously been CEO. in NoraAqua (now EWOS), and Fjord Seafood ASA (now one of the pillars of MOWI), as well as President of ISFA (International Salmon Farmers Assn., and Vice President of FEAP (Federation of European Aquaculture Producers Assn.), Secretary General of the Norwegian Fish Farmers’ Association and 10 years in the Directorate of Fisheries as well as political advisor to the Minister of Fisheries in the Willoch government. Torgnes is educated as a fisheries economist from Bodø University College (Now Nord University), as well as additions from the Norwegian College of Fisheries Science.

Ivar Rekve is director of Eksfin for Fisheries and Aquaculture and the SME market. Rekve holds a master’s degree in economics and has 20 years of experience from banking and finance. Eksfin promotes Norwegian exports by assisting Norwegian companies, foreign buyers and their banks with a wide range of government loans, guarantees and competent advice. Since 2015, Eksfin has contributed NOK 12 billion in loans and guarantees to the seafood industry. Eksfin has products to meet needs within the entire value chain for Norwegian aquaculture – from production at sea and on land, financing to service vessels and wellboats, and processing.

For more information contact:
Lene Trude Solheim, GENERAL MANAGER GATH and Næringsforeningen Ålesund region
Mobil: 900 38 658