Policy Areas


The EEA Agreement does not cover the management of Norwegian fisheries resources. The co-operation on resource management between Norway and the EU is based on bilateral agreements. Trade in fish and fish products, however, is regulated through Protocol 9 to the EEA Agreement.

The marine eco-system of the waters adjacent to the Norwegian mainland provides for abundant fishing grounds and has made it possible to sustain the scattered and sparsely populated coastal settlements and communities along the entire Norwegian coastline under arctic or sub-arctic conditions over the centuries.

The Norwegian fishing industry is represented by a diversified ocean-going and coastal fleet of more than 7,000 vessels employing approximately 14.000 people. In addition the processing industry consisting of nearly 800 units and a fish farming industry holding over 2,900 licences. All in all the fishing industry provides direct employment for approximately 37,000 people, and forms a basic network of regional economic activities heavily dependent upon the sustainable and rational management of the available marine resources. Thus, the fishing industry is of vital regional and national importance to Norway.

Management of fishery resources
An important element of a sustainable management policy is to provide for basic biological data and research on fish stocks and the eco-system of the marine environment, as well as ensuring that catches are based on the best scientific recommendations available. Total catches vary according to annual variations in the size of the major fish stocks, but have traditionally amounted to more than 3 million tonnes per year, approximately 700,000 tonnes of which are farmed salmon and trout.

Norwegian management measures reflect a system of policies and instruments for the monitoring and regulation of key fish stocks based on established principles for international fisheries management co-operation, of which stringent control and enforcement of quotas and technical measures are important elements. This co-operation entails among other things the management of joint fishery resources in the Barents Sea with the Russian Federation as well as the management of joint fishery resources in the North Sea and Skagerrak with the European Union. Norway has also bilateral fisheries agreements with Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Greenland. In addition Norway is an active partner in the Northeast Atlantic Fisheries Commission, the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization and in other regional and global bodies for the management of living marine resources.

Norway is one of the largest exporter of fish and fish products in the world, which represented an export value of around NOK 37 billion in 2007. The export supplies major markets all over the world, of which the European Union, the Russian, the Japanese, the Chinese, the Ukraine The Brazilian and the USA markets are the most important. Fish exports are Norway’s second largest export commodity. Salmon and trout exports account for more than half of the export value. Other important categories of fish products are traditional products like dried and salted fish, frozen and filleted fish, and other processed products.

Fisheries policies, including management and commercial aspects. Basic facts and figures, and information booklets on the various aspects of Norwegian fisheries policy in a variety of languages are available from the Ministry of Fisheries in Oslo.

Ministry of Fisheries
Grubbegt. 1
P.O. Box 8118 Dep.
N-0032 Oslo
Tel: +47 22 24 64 27
Fax: +47 22 24 95 85

Input to and implementation of fisheries policy
Basic information may be obtained from the Directorate of Fisheries in Bergen.

Directorate of Fisheries
Strandgaten 229
P.O. Box 185 Sentrum
N-5804 Bergen
Tel: + 47 55 23 80 00
Fax: + 47 55 23 80 90

Fish stock biology and research
Information on current research activities and biological data and information is available from the Marine Research Institute in Bergen.

The Institute of Marine Research
Nordnesgaten 50
P.O. Box 1870 Nordnes
N-5024 Bergen
Tel: +47 55 23 85 00
Fax: +47 55 23 85 31

Marketing and statistics on exports of fish and fish products
The Norwegian Seafood Export Council in Tromsø provides a wide range of information on various export activities.

The Norwegian Seafood Export Council
Skippergt. 35/39
N-9291 Tromsø
Tel: + 47 77 60 33 33
Fax: +47 77 68 00 12

Paul Oma and Geir Evensen
Councellors for Fisheries
pom@mfa and [email protected]

(March 2008)

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Minister of Fisheries and Costal Affairs, Helga Pedersen. Photo: Ministry of Fisheries and Costal Affairs.

Norwegian fishing vessel.Photo: (c) Norwegian Seafood Export Council / Kjell Ove Storvik