Giant purchases from Morocco/Western Sahara stopped
A Norwegian government owned company stops purchases from Morocco and Western Sahara, over ethical concern. The value of the purchases has amounted to around 10 million euros annually.
Published: 10.04 - 2010 13:47Printer version    
The Norwegian firm Ewos, partially owned by the Norwegian government, last night announced they had stopped purchases of fish oil from Morocco and occupied Western Sahara.

The firm has for a number of years purchased between 12.000 and 20.000 tonnes of fish oil from the region via the Norwegian fish oil importer GC Rieber.

If one estimates the fish oil at approx 60 Eurocent/kg, the Ewos purchases from the region have had an annual value between 7,2 million and 12 million euros annually – equivalent to one eight of the annual Norwegian humanitarian aid to the Saharawi refugee camps in Algeria.

Ewos claimed on its homepages last night to never have received requests from anyone to stop the purchase. That is incorrect. Both the Norwegian Ministry of Trade and Finances, as well as the Norwegian Support Committee for Western Sahara have protested the trade.

“We have been crystal clear from day one. We are glad that they take this into account and it is now in accordance with our recommendation”, stated deputy trade minister Rikke Lind today in one of the biggest newspapers in Norway, Dagbladet.

The Norwegian government urges Norwegian firm to not invest in Western Sahara or trade with products from the territory.

The Norwegian Support Committee for Western Sahara is very content of the Norwegian government’s handling of the issue.

“We are very glad that the Norwegian government has approached this affair this seriously. It is evident that their clear message has gone though in the Ewos’ boardroom”, said Sigrun Espe at Norwegian Support Committee for Western Sahara.

Ewos is a main provider of aquaculture feed in Norway and internationally, used among other things the big Norwegian salmon farming industry.

The fish oil importer, GC Rieber, has received fish oil from the occupied territories for several years. The affair got new attention as details around the trade were exposed at a investigative documentary on Swedish national TV in March. The issue has created particular attention since the president of GC Rieber is the head of the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise, thus working against the advice of his own confederation and the Norwegian government.

Ewos has announced that the purchases finally end as the current contract expires before end of June.

See story in today’s Dagbladet here (Norwegian).

See press release from Ewos (Norwegian).




Morocco occupies the major part of its neighbouring country, Western Sahara. Entering into business deals with Moroccan companies or authorities in the occupied territories gives an impression of political legitimacy to the occupation. It also gives job opportunities to Moroccan settlers and income to the Moroccan government. Western Sahara Resource Watch demands foreign companies leave Western Sahara until a solution to the conflict is found.
EU Court cases on Western Sahara for dummies


It's not easy keeping up with all the different legal proceedings relating to Western Sahara. For the sake of clarity, here's an overview of the five different cases at the Court of Justice of the European Union.
Stand up for the Gdeim Izik 25!


Leading activists from Western Sahara are condemned to sentences ranging from 20 years to life imprisonment in connection to a mass protest in 2010 denouncing the Saharawi people’s social and economic marginalization in their occupied land; the Gdeim Izik protest camp.
Support Western Sahara Resource Watch


Help us to protect the natural resources of Western Sahara for the Saharawi people. Support our work by making a donation.
Report: Moroccan green energy used for plunder


At COP22, beware of what you read about Morocco’s renewable energy efforts. An increasing part of the projects take place in the occupied territory of Western Sahara and is used for mineral plunder, new WSRW report documents. News Archive 2018 News Archive 2017 News Archive 2016 News Archive 2015 News Archive 2014 News Archive 2013 News Archive 2012 News Archive 2011 News Archive 2010 News Archive 2009 News Archive 2008 News Archive 2007 News Archive 2004-2006

Register for our English newsletter:

These web pages have been built with the financial support of the trade union Industry Energy