In December, the EU proposed new requirements for the Norwegian food industry, in which it partly asked for improved purification of discharge water in a move that is affecting salmon harvest facilities.

The regulation now requires companies to use best available technology (BAT) to clean all the waste water from their facilities, including water used to clean fish as well as the equipment.

These treatments can cost between NOK 30 (€2.6million/$2.8 million) and NOK 100 million (€8.7million/$9.5 million) per plant and typically require a combination of chemical and biological cleaning to remove particles, nitrogen and phosphorus, according Norwegian news site Teknisk Ukeblad

But almost all large fish processing plants in Norway have applied for exemptions from this new requirement, including Norwegian fishmeal and fish oil producer Pelagia.