3 Mar 2021
Aqua culture report 2040 fishing man diving

Key megatrends exposed in aquaculture and fishing industry

Authors
Eirik Moe

Nordic Family Enterprise leader and Marine and Aquaculture Sector Leader

Partner with broad experience from the professional services and corporate advisory industry. Dedicated to skiing and arctic cod fishing during winter and boating in summer.

Merete Skage

EY Nordics Strategy and Transactions Partner

Dedicated transaction partner who cares about making a positive difference. Focus on aquaculture. Enjoys the hectic transaction cycle. Thinks best while on a mountain top.

Maria B. Helsengreen

Nordic Sustainability Consulting Lead, Partner/Principal, Consulting, EY Norway

3 Mar 2021

The fifth edition of the trend guidance and benchmark report for the Aquaculture industry is here. This year also with a 2040 forecast.

EY presents the development within this prominent sector, leveraging the extensive seafood company database (EY-SCD) with insights from thousands of companies, ranging from technical solutions to production and export of salmon and trout.

The Norwegian Aquaculture Analysis 2020 exposes that global trade and export to distant markets may face increasing challenges in the future. It also presents how the growth trend for the industry will continue.

New in this year’s analysis is a comprehensive outlook section. We have discussed potential scenarios towards 2040 with a range of industry experts. Based on these conversations and the development trends we observe, we offer a sneak peek into the potential state of the aquaculture sector in 2040.

Increased competition and a volatile global trade

For the seafood industry, global trade and export to distant markets may face increasing challenges going forward. Not only do we see protectionist discriminatory interventions, such as toll barriers and break up of Trade Agreements and Unions, there is also an all-time high number of armed conflicts and new logistical challenges brought on by Covid-19 that underline the vulnerability of global trade.

We observe an increasing consciousness and awareness about sustainability and preventive health. This awareness affects the whole value chain and not just aqua farming. The latter has been experiencing volume constraints due to biological challenges, regulations and a need for technical development. 

Combined this may lead to structural implications in the location of production — potentially making land-based aquaculture, close to consumers, a more compelling option, together with the offshore opportunities, with its biological improvements. 

Growing world population with hunger for Norwegian fish

The positive megatrends in this industry undoubtedly attract new players in the market. However, we believe that Norwegian aquaculture has a golden opportunity to continue to evolve as the world’s primary cluster.

Once again, we observe growth:

  • The sea farming subsegment experienced record-high revenues, predominantly explained by the increase in the number of grow-out seawater licenses and improved utilization of the maximum allowed biomass
  • Well-boats continue to reap super profit, but one of the surprises in this year’s analysis is the subsegment transportation on sea shows a negative EBITDA effect, the first observation with negative development in a decade
  • A continuing trend is indicated of companies using Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) as a way of growing the top line through strengthening product offerings and market position
  • Enhanced focus on biology and fish health in the sea farming industry has led to an extraordinary growth for the feed subsegment

The combination of international potential and a world-leading starting point makes this opportunity unique on a Norwegian scale. But will Norwegian aquaculture be able to keep ahead of competition toward 2040? The answer is: It depends.

Download The Norwegian Aquaculture Analysis 2020 and learn about the potential success factors – and the potential pitfalls ahead.

The quality of The Norwegian Aquaculture Analysis was acknowledged, winning The Hallbars Awards 2020 for Sustainability Reports in category in Category E08 Audit Firms. A total of 702 reports from 78 countries participated in the competition for the Food and Drink sector.

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Presenters

Merete Skage

EY Nordics Strategy and Transactions Partner

Maria B. Helsengreen

Nordic Sustainability Consulting Lead, Partner/Principal, Consulting, EY Norway

Summary

EY is once again honoured to publish our annual The Norwegian Aquaculture Analysis. The fifth edition of the trend guidance and benchmark report leverage the unique and extensive EY seafood company database (EY-SCD), which includes key financial data for 2,399 companies and value chain data for 1,082 companies.

EY, as a multidisciplinary provider of professional services to the industry, possesses in-depth insights into the characteristics of each value chain segment. Specialized seafood sector teams are in numerous seafood clusters and marketplaces around the world. 

About this article

Authors
Eirik Moe

Nordic Family Enterprise leader and Marine and Aquaculture Sector Leader

Partner with broad experience from the professional services and corporate advisory industry. Dedicated to skiing and arctic cod fishing during winter and boating in summer.

Merete Skage

EY Nordics Strategy and Transactions Partner

Dedicated transaction partner who cares about making a positive difference. Focus on aquaculture. Enjoys the hectic transaction cycle. Thinks best while on a mountain top.

Maria B. Helsengreen

Nordic Sustainability Consulting Lead, Partner/Principal, Consulting, EY Norway