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Photo: The Norwegian Coast Guard.Photo: The Norwegian Coast Guard

Exercising resource control

Together with The Directorate of Fisheries and the sales associations, the Coast Guard is responsible for exercising resource control. The Coast Guard is subordinated to the Ministry of Defence and one of its primary missions is to monitor the fisheries.

The ocean areas subject to Norwegian fisheries jurisdiction and surveillance are six times bigger than the Norwegian mainland. The Norwegian exclusive economic zone, the fishery zone around Jan Mayen and the protection zone around Svalbard have traditionally been, and still are, the Coast Guard’s highest-priority task.

On average, ocean-going trawlers fishing in Norwegian waters will find themselves inspected by the Coast Guard three to four times a year, while the conventional vessels of the ocean-going fleet can expect to be visited once or twice a year.

The Coast Guard’s resource control is directed mainly at the Norwegian and foreign ocean-going fishing fleet.

Around 70 percent of the Coast Guard’s resources are used on inspections; other tasks are in the areas of exercise of sovereignty, search and rescue preparedness, ambulance service and assistance to the fishing fleet.

Priority tasks
Resource control has hitherto been directed largely at selected problem areas. Emphasis has been on checking that there is no fishing in areas that have been closed, and checking for illegal fishing in the border areas. Another important task is to ensure that catches are not reported from zones and areas other than where they were actually made. Cross-loading of fish from foreign fishing vessels to other vessels in the Barents Sea is a priority attention area. 

Apart from certain seasonal fisheries, the Coast Guard’s control of coastal fishing is limited. The control is often performed in collaboration with The Directorate of Fisheries.

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