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.
Coral reefs do not exist in the arctic
One of the key concerns that has been raised is about how much damage fishing vessels are causing. The first thing to note is that coral reefs do not exist in the arctic. That said, other species of coral can form smaller aggregations, as well as species of sponges and sea pens. These are species that, to a varying degree, may be vulnerable to trawling, and precautions are taken to protect them, both in national management, and as a part of MSC certification.
Using fishing gear that hovers just above the seabed
The Norwegian fishing fleet is one of the most advanced in the world. Significant progress has been made over the last decades in trawl gear to minimize the impact surface and abrasion with the sea bed. This has been driven to a large part by the fact that less drag means better fuel economy. We are always developing and implementing new gear. Some vessels are now using fishing gear that hovers just above the seabed. This eliminates bottom impacts altogether.
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.