The chairman of Mowi, the world's largest salmon farming company, said Wednesday that a Norwegian government proposal to place a 40 percent tax on the sector would have devastating consequences.

"The farming industry has been through many difficulties, but this is the most dramatic event the industry has ever experienced," Mowi chairman Ole-Eirik Leroy told IntraFish sister publication Dagens Naeringsliv.

The proposal sent salmon farming shares plummeting on the Oslo stock exchange. More than NOK 12 billion (€1.4 billion/$1.1 billion) was shaved off the market cap of Mowi alone from Tuesday's close through mid-day trading on Wednesday.