Norwegian fish farming group Pan Fish has said it plans to sell its US operations and refocus its North American business in Canada.

“It is Pan Fish’s intent to be completely withdrawn from fish farming activities in the United States within the first half of 2005 if possible through a divestment,” the company was quoted by Reuters as saying.

The struggling group, which is currently controlled by banking groups Nordea and DnB NOR, has been trying to cut costs and reduce debt. Its US business is based in Washington state and has a book value of US$21m, reported Reuters.

“Pan Fish management believes conditions for profitable operations both economically and biologically are superior in Canada compared to the US,” Pan Fish said.