As the Arctic ice caps melt, new areas of ocean are being exposed. Simultaneously water temperatures are changing and fish stocks are moving North. For the Norwegians, maintaining sustainable fishing as this change occurs is paramount to everybody involved.
The Norwegian government and Fiskebat – The Norwegian Fishing Vessel Owners Association – have been closely monitoring the situation and Norwegian fishermen have all voluntarily agreed not to trawl in areas where regular fishing has not taken place before. This is a precautionary measure while extensive research is conducted to assess and map the area, then develop effective and proportional measures to prevent environmental degradation. The fishing activity in future years will be determined by this heightened knowledge replacing the need for the precautionary approach.
What does this mean for people who buy and consume fish? It certainly means that if they are concerned about sustainability they can rely on the Norwegian source of origin. They can be assured that fish they are purchasing and consuming has been sourced with an incredibly high regard for sustainability.
The Norwegians take their fishing incredibly seriously. After oil and gas, fishing is the next biggest part of their economy. But it goes far deeper than money. Fishing is part of the Norwegian way of life, they are committed to looking after the oceans for generations to come as generations before them have done. Not just managing stocks but maintaining the unspoilt and pristine seas – which they value as a huge factor in the high quality and taste of their prized seafood. To do this the Norwegians have an innovative system of traceability, regulation, inspection and quotas which is regarded as the best in the world, endorsed by the Marine Stewardship Council and the United Nations.
So, the future may be uncertain in many ways, but one piece of certainty is that if you look for Norwegian seafood you’ll be doing the best you can to look after this hugely important natural resource.
Find out more at barentssea.seafood.no