OSLO, March 8 (Reuters) - The Norwegian government plans to auction off new licences for salmon production during the spring of 2018, the Ministry of Industry and Fisheries said in a statement on Thursday.
The new permits would contribute to an expansion of the salmon farming industry after several years of stagnating growth, it added.
The auction will form part of a previously announced plan to expand the industry by an average of six percent every second year, corresponding to about three percent annually, a ministry spokesman said.
The ministry has previously sold permits in a fixed-price contest with an estimated impact on growth of two percent, and the new auction could add up to four percent on top, corresponding to some 15,000 tonnes of salmon.
Environmental restrictions may however result in a somewhat different number, the ministry said. (Reporting by Ole Petter Skonnord, writing by Terje Solsvik, editing by Gwladys Fouche)