The Rising Tide of Norwegian Farmed Atlantic Cod

Atlantic Cod

Norwegian Atlantic Cod: Adapting to Market and Environmental Challenges

With Norway’s wild Atlantic cod fishing quotas hitting a historic low of 212,124 tons in 2024 and an anticipated decrease of up to 20% in 2025, the significance of farmed Atlantic cod in the market is growing exponentially. Despite its current small scale, aquaculture enterprises see a bright future for farmed Atlantic cod production.

Farmed Atlantic Cod: A Strategic Response to Diminishing Wild Stocks

Kontali, a Norwegian seafood market analysis firm, reported that farmed Atlantic cod production was approximately 12,000 tons last year, with an expected increase to 14,000 tons this year. Christian Riber, CEO of Norcode, Norway’s largest cod farming company, views these figures as conservative. He predicts that with the entry of more companies into the sector, Norway’s production could reach 18-20,000 tons by 2024. Norcode itself plans to increase its production annually, aiming for 10,000 tons this year, 12,000 tons in 2025, and 28,000 tons by 2028.

Atlantic Cod

Norwegian Farmed Atlantic Cod: Meeting Global Demand

The global demand for Norwegian Atlantic cod, especially after trade sanctions on Russian seafood, has significantly increased, driving up prices. At the Boston exhibition, the latest frozen price for Atlantic cod was over $6,000/ton, underscoring the commercial viability of cod farming. Riber highlighted the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of cod farming compared to Atlantic salmon, with Norcode’s breeding costs in the fourth quarter of 2023 at NOK 50.73/kg.

Moreover, markets are willing to pay a premium for farmed Atlantic cod, with the Asian market, particularly China, and the US showing a high willingness to pay for quality products. Riber emphasized the potential of the sushi and sashimi markets, especially in Asia, where farmed cod and salmon can be sold together, leveraging the Norwegian salmon industry’s historical success in market development.

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