The Norwegian fishing and aquaculture industry currently supplies seafood to consumers in more than 150 countries worldwide.This is healthy food, produced in a clean ocean environment.The fishing and aquaculture industry is one of Norway’s foremost export industries and is vital for settlement and activities along the Norwegian coast. It provides employment in fishing, aquaculture and the fishing industry, and has widespread effects on trade and industry as well as on research and development.
Norway controls some of the world’s most productive marine environments, with excellent conditions for conducting environmentallyfriendly aquaculture. Aquaculture production could also be increased significantly, and on the basis of many more species than those farmed today.
Norway places great emphasis on gaining knowledge of fish resources, the ocean environment and how the interplay between species functions. Simultaneously there is comprehensive regulation of fishing resources to ensure a sustainable management.
Consumers must have confidence in Norwegian seafood. Food safety throughout the entire production chain is a primary focus, and the levels of foreign substances are documented.The consumer must be able to know with certainty that Norwegian seafood is safe and healthy.
Fisheries and catches
Fishing has always been the basis for settlement and employment along the Norwegian coast.The fisherman of today is far more efficient than a few decades ago.Technological facilities and improved fishing methods and vessels mean that today’s fishermen catch much larger quantities
per man. Strict regulation with set quotas and control mechanisms is therefore necessary for sustainable development that will ensure that future generations can also harvest the wealth of the sea.
Development has moved in the direction of fewer and more efficient fishing boats. At the same time,Norway has a composite fishing fleet with respect to the size and type of fishing equipment – ocean fishing vessels and a large number of larger and smaller coastal vessels.The quality of the products and the markets where these are sold are emphasised concerns throughout the entire chain, from the moment the fish is caught at sea to when it reaches consumers all over the world. Sustainable resource management is fundamental to the Norwegian fishing policy. Simultaneously, fisheries and fishing will help to safeguard settlements and create new activity along the coast.
The Norwegian aquaculture industry is a modern, internationally competitive industry that produces high quality food in an efficient manner. In terms of value, aquaculture products account for almost half of the total Norwegian fish export.
Atlantic salmon and rainbow trout are the dominating species in the aquaculture industry, however, extensive development is taking place with a view toward farming several new species, such as cod, halibut, wolf fish and shellfish.
A licence from the authorities is required to farm fish and shellfish in Norway. Environmental considerations and efforts related to fish health and welfare are given high priority in the industry and public administration, and will be an important condition for the aquaculture industry’s ability to compete.
Research and innovation
Norway is a leader internationally in management-related research. This research provides an important basis for setting quotas for the various types of fish and for questions related to food safety and nutrition. Industry-related research in the fishing and aquaculture sector is also conducted at a high, international level. Increasingly more knowledge and expertise is required in the marine sector. Increased knowledge and expertise contribute to improved competitive abilities and new employment in existing and new industries.There are many opportunities linked to the better use of by-products, biotechnology and marine resources that have not yet been made use of.
The Norwegian focus on marine industry development through research and education is long-term.More than a billion Norwegian kroner are allocated each year from the Norwegian national budget to marine research.The objective of the new marine research and innovation programme is to ensure that Norwegian companies, to an even greater extent,will be able to offer the kind of seafood the markets demand.