Coastal village . Photo: The ministry of fisheries and costal affairs
Environmental aspects of fisheries and aquaculture
Norway is currently the world’s second largest exporter of seafood from capture fisheries and aquaculture, exporting to more than 150 countries. Sustainable management of living marine resources and maintenance of clean and productive oceans is an important part of Norway’s success, as well as a prerequisite for future growth.
Norwegian management of living marine resources is based on unbiased, non-political scientific advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) and the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research (IMR). The principle of sustainability is one of the pillars of the Marine Resources Act, which entered into force on January 1st 2009. This Act will safeguard that our living marine resources are managed also for the benefit of future generations.
Norway work actively to preserve the marine environment and minimize negative impact to the marine ecosystems from fishing activity. Maintaining biodiversity, reducing by-catch and protecting vulnerable species and habitats are therefore focus areas in the Norwegian management regime. Norway introduced a ban on discards in 1987. Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing has been the focus of attention for several years. IUU fishing – predominantly carried out by vessels flying flags of convenience or of states not exercising control over vessels flying their flag – was reduced by 60% in the Barents Sea from 2005 to 2007 as a result of several successful management measures, many in close cooperation with Russian authorities.
Environmental aspects of the Norwegian aquaculture industry are regulated through the Aquaculture Act, the Food Act and the Pollution Control Act, and in accordance with these laws environmental issues are addressed in both the licensing process and during operation. The aquaculture industry, research institutions and the authorities work continually to minimize negative interactions between wild and farmed fish and other parts of the marine ecosystems.