The complexity of reaching further production growth in the Norwegian salmon farming industry : a two-pronged approach to qualitatively evaluating technological development
MetadataShow full item record
- Master Thesis 
The Norwegian salmon farming industry currently finds itself in a state of radical technological development. Many industry actors have recently undertaken large-scale projects to test the structural and economic feasibility of new operational technologies as a means of replacing the industry’s primary production infrastructure. This phenomenon has largely been spurred by the government’s institution in 2017 of a developmental licensing scheme intended to promote these initiatives. In this paper, we seek to discover the roles that these alternative production technologies play in the industry’s development. We accomplish this through the usage of two complementary qualitative methods: the application of Grounded Theory to transcripts of interviews conducted with decision-makers in the industry (n = 7), and the employment of topic modeling using Latent Dirichlet Allocation to industry news articles (n = 1,011). Our findings indicate that the industry is limited in its production volume outputs, largely as a result of legislation implemented by the government aimed to curb negative production externalities. Additionally, we find that the domestic industry faces an uncertain future with regards to its profitability. This financial metric is expected to be negatively influenced by entrant countries to the global industry. New countries have the potential to become competitive global suppliers upon the construction and operation of local land-based RAS salmon farms to produce salmon of harvest size, constituting a threat to Norway’s salmon farmers. In contrast, the usage of landbased RAS salmon farming to produce post-smolts was found to play a supportive role in the domestic industry due to its compatibility with current infrastructure and operational processes. Other alternative production technologies, such as semi-closed containment systems and offshore salmon farming facilities were not determined to play a large or immediate role in the industry’s development. Furthermore, our findings suggested that the Norwegian salmon farming industry prefers to utilize and adapt existing processes, rather than to replace them entirely.