May 5, 2012 / 2:20 PM / 7 years ago

Russia halts salmon imports from 13 Norwegian firms

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia temporarily halted chilled salmon imports from 13 Norwegian firms, the animal and plant health watchdog in Moscow said.

The ban followed repeated instances of microbe pollution, a spokesman for the regulator said on Saturday.

Norway’s food Safety Authority said on April 30 it had received advance notice of the ban, which does not include frozen salmon, and was working with the firms to resolve the “very serious” issue.

Russia is Norway’s biggest salmon market.

Shares in fish and seafood products company Russian Sea. rose 7 percent in Moscow on Saturday.

Norway - whose major salmon producers include Marine Harvest, Cermaq, Salmar and Austevoll - exported more than $5 billion worth of salmon last year, two thirds of it to other European countries.

The global salmon market is experiencing a glut, and many firms are struggling to shift their stocks.

Austevoll, the only one of the four firms on the banned list, was not immediately available for comment.

Russian Sea was not immediately available for comment.

Reporting by Katya Golubkova; Editing by John Stonestreet

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