A group of 25 salmon farmers from Western Norway demanding compensation from the government for loss of production volumes caused by the "traffic light" system had their case thrown out on Wednesday.
The farmers operating in production area 4 (PO4), where suing the government for lost production volumes, and demanding NOK 250 million (€24 million/$29 million) in compensation.
Under Norway's traffic light system, companies that meet certain sea lice thresholds are allowed to produce more volume.
However, the area in question was labelled as "red," and the farmers were forced to impose a 6 percent reduction on their production capacity for two years as a result.
The producers claimed in the lawsuit that the decision in capacity adjustment regulations lacked a legal basis and was based on an inadequate and incorrect factual basis.
The group sued the government in February and are now "thoroughly assessing" the verdict before potentially submitting an appeal in the next four weeks, Even Softeland, a spokesperson on behalf of the PO4 farmers, told IntraFish.
The court ordered the salmon farmers to pay the state's legal costs of close to NOK 1.8 million (€178,816/$213,462).
"We must not disregard the fact that this is a matter of such great importance, in principle we may have to go to all three levels of law," Softeland said.
Norway's Minister of Seafood and Fisheries, Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen, is hoping to further develop the traffic light system without the need to go to through the courts, he told IntraFish. He is content with the resolution of the case.
"We believe it is a correct conclusion," Ingebrigtsen said. "The verdict is comprehensive, and we will, together with government lawyers, use time in the future to familiarize ourselves carefully with the premises."