Bjørnar Skjæran named Norway's new fisheries minister after change in government

Published on
October 18, 2021
Bjørnar Skjæran, the new minister of fisheries and maritime affairs in Norway.

Bjørnar Skjæran has become Norway’s new minister of fisheries and maritime affairs, after the country’s Council of Ministers has confirmed the appointment.

Skjæran is the deputy leader of the Norwegian Labor Party, which reached a deal with the Centre Party to form a minority government on 8 October, following September elections. As a result of the agreement, Labour Party head Jonas Gahr Stoere will become prime minister, replacing current Conservative Prime Minister Erna Solberg. Current Fisheries and Maritime Affairs Minister Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen will as a result of the change in government leadership.

Skjæran, a farmer and truck driver, has been self-employed since he was 20 years old. He has been a municipal and county politician since 1987, including mayor of the home municipality of Lurøy from 2011 to 2015.

“Where I come from, at the far end of the Helgeland coast, it is the sea that has always provided the greatest opportunities. The fishing and aquaculture industry produces enormous values,” Skjæran said. “We will facilitate that the resources in the sea continue to provide increased activity, greater value creation, and more secure year-round jobs in strong local communities along the entire coast. And then we will lead the effort to stop plastic pollution in the sea. I want to see the whole in the fishing and sea area, and I look forward to taking on all the tasks that lie ahead of me.”

Separately, Jan Christian Vestre has been made the new minister of trade and industry. Vestre is the business manager and owner of the furniture manufacturer Vestre AS. He was previously a political adviser to the Labor Party in the Norwegian legislature, the Storting, and a political adviser in the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

“I want to work for the state and the business community to join forces to create more jobs, increase investment on the mainland, and strengthen exports,” Vestre said. “Norway is a proud industrial nation with a great ability to adapt, so we have a solid basis for creating green growth.”  

Photo courtesy of Nordland Arbeiderparti/WikiMedia Commons

Contributing Editor reporting from London, UK

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