The Norwegian government and Fiskebat – The Norwegian Fishing Vessel Owners Association – have acknowledged the concerns raised by Greenpeace regarding the expansion of fishing in the far north of the Barents Sea.
Fishing in decades-old, well-managed fishing grounds
Norwegians have been fishing in the North Barents for generations. In recent years, both climate change and a strong fish stock have given the cod stock a more north-eastern distribution. This has led to a north-eastern development in the fishing pattern of boats targeting cod over the last decade. Some of these fishing areas are indeed new, but scientific mapping of fishing activity shows that we are still fishing in decades-old, well-managed fishing grounds for cod and prawn trawlers.
The general public can track fishing vessels
We can guarantee this because all Norwegian vessels have compulsory vessel monitoring systems and electronic reporting. Even the general public can track fishing vessels through sites such as marinetraffic.com and they can also see the fishing effort distribution at fiskeridirektoratet.no. This transparency makes public inspections, such as the recent Greenpeace campaign possible. It is an important measure to assure sustainable and credible management in the future.
Norwegians treat fishing incredibly seriously
After oil and gas, fishing is the next biggest part of Norway’s economy, so the Norwegians treat fishing incredibly seriously. 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 unspoiled 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.