Fishing for the future
For Norwegians, fishing is so much more than an industry — it’s a craft. The skills have been passed down through the generations and we see it as our duty to nurture stocks even richer than the ones we inherited.
Find out how we’re leading the charge when it comes to research, fishing regulation, investing in new technologies and the protection of marine and coastal fisheries.
The importance of fishing
The Food and Agriculture Organisation has highlighted the crucial role of aquaculture in meeting the world’s demand for seafood. As one of the largest suppliers of seafood, we have a responsibility to ensure that our resources are consistent and sustainable to support this global demand.
Changing with technology
Fishing technology has greatly improved in the past 50 years, enabling us to catch at increasingly lower depths. With this newfound fishing territory comes great responsibility to protect the sea’s ecosystems. The Norwegian authorities, research institutions, environmental organizations and, of course, the fishing industry itself, work together to ensure that the industry remains stable, sustainable and safe, while complying with the development goals of the industry.
To reference Arctic Fisheries/Barents Sea Arguement
Protecting our fish
Quotas control the fishing of individual species, ensuring that stocks have the time they need to recover and thrive each year. We use two methods to calculate our quotas:
- Ecosystem-based management: Looks at the marine environment as a whole, assessing how different species interact with one another.
- Precautionary approach: Making a conservative estimate that takes into account factors of uncertainty.
The Marine Stewardship Council’s fishery certification programme recognises and rewards sustainable fishing practices. 100% of our North East Arctic cod and haddock stocks are MSC certified.
A strict ban on discards
It is quite simply a waste of resources to discard what quotas will not allow you to bring ashore. It also affects the fishery statistics, making it nearly impossible to calculate stock sizes. Norway was the first country to ban discards in 1987. Our regulations allow fishermen to bring what they catch to shore, but they are not allowed to sell it for profit.
Working with others
Around 90% of our fisheries are shared with other nations, such as Russia. We must work together, through forums such as the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea and the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC) to protect them. Currently, Barents Sea cod is considered to be one of the best-managed stocks in the world, with virtually zero cases of illegal fishing.
Norway also cooperates with organizations that support the preservation of the environment and sustainability, the Norwegian Sea Export Council (NSEC) works closely with WWF Norway.
Relying on research
The Institute of Marine Research (IMR) is responsible for controlling Norway’s marine resources. It conducts research into species numbers, helping us to gauge how healthy our stocks are. It works in conjunction with several other countries as the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES).
It is also important to ensure that fishing activities are carried out at the right time, in the right areas and with the right equipment. At sea, this is the responsibility of the Coast Guard of Norway, and it represents around 70% of the resources of the Coast Guard. On land, the Norwegian Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs conducts periodic inspections of fishing vessels.
Keeping you safe
You can trust Norwegian seafood. The Scientific Committee for Food Safety conducts regular risk assessments, while the Norwegian Food Safety Authority introduces new measures and guidelines to ensure that Norwegian seafood is always safe and enjoyable to eat.
For more information on how we are ensuring the long-term health of the Norwegian oceans, please visit the Barents Sea website: