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Outlook 2017: Marine Harvest CEO Alf-Helge Aarskog

It's been yet another busy year for Marine Harvest, and with a new acquisition on the cards in Canada, things don't look like slowing down anytime soon.

Still very much the largest salmon producer in the world, Marine Harvest had a mixture of fortunes during 2016. Like many others, its Chilean operations were impacted by the algae bloom, however, as the year drew to a close the company also announced plans to expand in Canada.

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Marine Harvest's CEO  Alf-Helge Aarskog gives IntraFish his thoughts on the year gone and the one yet to come.

What were the three most significant developments for your business in the seafood industry in 2016?

In 2016 we experienced a significant setback in our operation in Chile, we lost more than 3 million fish in the algal bloom. Thanks to a very good effort from our employees the crisis was handled in a very good way, but we rather to have sold these fish to our customers.

The planning and execution of our next feed plant in Scotland has been done in a good way. Now we hope to receive the final permits and commence the building process and finalize the most modern and efficient and environmentally friendly feed plant in the world by 2018.

Continued improved product and market development in the US. We have been completing a new factory in Dallas which we have high expectations for, and at the same time we have continued to be innovative with more consumer friendly products into the US market place.

Morpol has been rebuilt and redesigned and expanded in 2016, and is now a modern factory of close to 100,000 square meters. We have installed a sushi factory and significantly improved efficiency and yield management and at the same time done a tremendous job in product development that will benefit our customers going forward.

Looking ahead, what will be the three most important developments in 2017?

Normalized trade relationships with China would be very important for products with Norwegian salmon as origin.

Approved development licenses in Norway will modernize farming technology, which is important in regards to future growth in production. Marine Harvest aim to solve the sea lice issue which is hampering growth. I believe new production technology can play a vital role in this issue. This will not be solved in 2017, but let us hope we can start.

In Marine Harvest we hope to get the paperwork and approval for our acquisition in Canada approved, and that we can start to develop a new business unit during 2017.

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