Our fishing culture

It is not known when the story of Norway's fisheries started, but the Norwegian fisherman has existed as long as there has been life along the coast of Norway. For Norwegians, fishing is a craft – one that has taken millennia to perfect. 

The coast has shaped the character of the Norwegian people. As many as 90% of the inhabitants of this extended country live on the coast, and for the fishermen their life has been a struggle between the rough weather and the urge to go out fishing. As the Norwegians say, “The Sea gives and the Sea takes”. They have always had to struggle with the sea to reap its harvest.

We have been fishing for pelagic fish for more than 1000 years and we’ve gathered a unique body of knowledge about the species. It is a relationship of mutual dependency; the sea cares for us, so we must care for it. Nature has given us the best pelagic species and we see it as our duty to preserve and share this gift. 

Illustration: Hands holding a fish

Nature has given us the best pelagic species and we see it as our duty to preserve and share this gift.

Infographic boat

We have been fishing for pelagic fish for more than 1000 years and we’ve gathered a unique body of knowledge about the species.

Infographic three people

90 %

of the inhabitants live on the coast.

Country of character

The harbour in a fishing village

For all its unparalleled beauty, Norway’s cold climate has created a landscape that was historically difficult to farm, and the sparse settlements and tough conditions have contributed to the national character of Norwegians. The larger towns are becoming increasingly dominant up and down the country, but many of the rural values have survived the transference to the towns.
 
At first glance, Norwegians may be perceived as shy or reserved. But this seemingly indifferent façade often hides warm and sincere people who value ethics, honesty and generosity more than anything else. There is a light-hearted side to the Norwegian character, which comes to the fore on 17th of May (Norway's Constitution Day), when the entire nation dresses in red, white and blue to celebrate their beloved country. Then, in Haugesund (Norway) in August, there is the world´s longest “herring-buffet”. The feast is created by professional chefs and served to people free of charge. There are lots of activities for children, as well as herring dishes made especially for kids.

Infographic five men

5.2 MILLION

The population of Norway.

Infographic: a big and a small man. Text: 1.0 0.8 man-years

Each man-year of work in core activities in Norwegian fisheries creates 0.8 man-years of work in other sectors of Norwegian commerce.

Infographic showing money bag with the number 3.5

Every NOK of value generated by Norwegian fisheries generates 3.5 NOK in other sectors.

Measuring social impact

It's vital that the success of sustainable Norwegian seafood is not only assessed in terms of profit, but also in its benefit to people and the planet. Research has shown that growth within the fishing and aquaculture sector delivers increased labour and income for a much wider community.

Graph showing the social impact of the Norwegian seafood industry

                                           Source Sintef, https://www.sintef.no/en/

Benefitting the wider economy

Fisherman in a boat

Employment levels and gross national product (GNP) both reflect on the Norwegian seafood industry. According to SINTEF, the industry created nearly 42,000 more labour years in 2009, and more than 18,000 of these were as a consequence of the multiplier effect.

Source: NSC Market Report, 2013

In an industry worth NOK 111 billion in production, NOK 41 billion is generated in support industries ranging from transport to housing and healthcare.

Protecting the industry

Norway is a small, but proud country in the extreme north of the world. The stubbornness, spirit and passion of the people have put the country in one of the top positions within maritime industries. Oil and gas, shipping and fisheries are today cornerstones of Norwegian society – all due to the riches of the sea and the entrepreneurial spirit of Norwegians.
 
Fishing in Norway is a question of survival. Fishing is craftsmanship. Fishing is living in harmony with nature. Fishing in Norway equals developing new technologies. Fishing in Norway is about looking ahead.