Norway has hunting and fishing traditions dating back thousands of years. Nature has been kind to Norway, giving it a coastline extending to a length of more than 83,000 km, including islands. More than 200 different species of fish and shellfish ihabit Norway´s coastal waters. Norway is also a pioneering nation in the development of modern aquaculture.
There are FISH FARMS located along the entire coast, and fish farming has become one of Norway´s largest industries, produced in a clean ocean environment, to consumers in more than 150 countries worldwide.
WHEN and WHERE to Fish
Anyone over 16 years of age fishing for sea char, salmon, sea trout, or inland fish, must pay an annual fee. Fishing in the sea or in the fjords is free of charge. The fee is paid by bill form obtainable from Post Offices. Special inland and crayfish fishing licences are available for couples and children aged between 16 and 20 years.
A local fishing licence - the price of which varies regionally - must also be purchased. Licences are sold at sports suppliers, tourist offices, hotels and campsites etc. A licence usually applies to a certain area. Many kinds of fish - many challenges. There are Sport Fishing records regarding 87 different salt water fish in Norway and many of these fish can be found along the coast of Norway.
Information about many different species living along the Norwegian coast. As we say in Norway "Skitt fiske!"
There are few tastes which compare with the flavor of Norwegian Salmon or Ocean Trout. This delicacy is keenly appreciated by international chefs and gourmets who relish its delicate color and fine texture. By having a rigid enforcement of their cold, clear coastal waters, the Norwegians have succeeded in producing a superior quality salmon. No longer wild Aqua culture, the farming of seafood, has virtually eliminated the seasonal fluctuations in salmon harvesting. Whereas fresh wild salmon is only available for a few months of the year, Atlantic salmon and Ocean trout can be harvested daily.
The tradition of flyfishing in the sea is based on the seatrout in the spring, summer and in the autumn, and still most of the sea-going flyfishermen is after this Queen of fishes. During the last years it has become usual to practice this kind of fishing all year round. The most used places for sea-trout fishing is in more or less brackish areas.
The sea-trout seems to be wandering between river outlets/brackish areas and more salty areas continuously all year round. At temperatures bellow 10 C the sea-trout is often found near the beach whilst it tends to be moving out as temperatures rise in the early summer.
Stays mainly near the sea bottom, where the cod lives off what it can find there or it moves higher up in the sea among the prey fish such as herring and coley. Total depth variation is from the surface to 150 metres deep. Cod is omnivorous and is best fished with a jig, hanger (hooks with action plastics) and bait. Cod spawns in the spring when the water keeps approximately 5 degrees. The sport fishing record in Norway is 37,5 kilos.
From the coldest waters, during the darkest nights of the year, emerges an exceptionally light and delicate wild-caught fish. But the journey from sea to table is not one to be taken lightly. Skrei is a true wonder of nature and a culinary delicacy unlike any other. This extra-premium wild Norwegian cod in its prime must meet strict quality standards to be considered Skrei. "Skrei" comes from the old Norse for "Wanderer"
The Saithe (Sei) stock in Norwegian waters is usually divided into two groups, living north and south respectively of 62 degrees N latitude. Both of the stocks have remained at a relatively stable level. Saithe is both a pelagic fish and a bottom-dwelling fish, living at depths of between 0 and 300 metres. It swims in shoals, which can be enormous where there is plenty of food.
The Monkfish or Anglerfish, (Breiflabb) can easily be recognised by its huge head, which constitutes half its entire length. Monkfish are found in tidal waters and down to depths of 600 metres, but during spawning season in the spring, they may go as deep as 2500 metres.
Monkfish generally spawn in the waters to the West of the British Isles. In the past, monkfish was only caught as a bycatch in Norway, but more recently, commercial fisheries have started targeting monkfish.
Stays freely in the sea and near the bottom but not any deeper than 30 meters. It eats other fish and some crawfish. Pollack is best fished with colourful hangers as jigs, rubber worms and flies. Pollack spawns in the early summer when the water is warm. The sport fishing record in Norway is 13,7 kilos.
Arctic Char (Røye) is the name given to farmed Norwegian Char. Thousands of years ago, when the polar ice cap receded from our land area, Arctic Char had already adapted to the harsh, cold, challenging environment of Arctic Norway.
The fish had developed a migratory pattern in which it alternated between the fresh water of rivers and lakes and the salt water of the sea. In addition to being Norway´s oldest freshwater fish, Arctic Char is also the one that lives the farthest north.
The most renown fish in southern Norway is probably mackerel, and it improves throughout the summer. Mackerel can be willing to bite and often provides large hauls. Fishing for sea trout can be challenging in the spring and summer.
There are three species of redfish (Uer) in Norwegian waters. Those that are sold commercially are usually common redfish (Sebastes marinus) and rosefish (Sebastes mentella), whereas Norway redfish (Sebastes viviparus) is too small (max 32 cm) to be sold commercially.
Redfish are found along the edge of the continental slope at depths of 100 to 500 metres, although individual specimens have been caught at depths of up to 900 metres. In the Norwegian Sea, redfish are pelagic fish. The three species have different dispersals, which overlap each other.
PRAWNS / SHRIMPS
Deep-water prawns (Reke) are found in the fjords, offshore banks and in the Arctic regions. The pink deep-water prawn is the most common prawn in most catches. Deep-water prawns thrive in cold water and occasionally disappear altogether from known shrimping fields in the south of Norway if the water temperature gets too high.
Pandalus borealis is a species of caridean shrimp found in cold parts of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The FAO refers to them as the Northern Prawn.
RED KING CRAB
The Red King Crab is a valuable resource, but as a non-native species, great care is taken in Norway to prevent it from dispersing to new areas. Thus, one of the main objectives of the management of the Red King Crab is to limit the stock as much as possible west of 26 degree E longitude (the North Cape).
Edible crab are found along the Norwegian coast from the Swedish border to Troms county, and an increasing by-catch of the species in gillnets indicates that the resource is spreading northwards. Their spawning grounds are relatively sheltered sandy bottoms, while adult males, settling juveniles and nursery grounds are found in rocky areas exposed to the open sea. The main crab fishery takes place in shoal waters from the outer skerries, some 10-25 nautical miles from the coastline, to the fjords. In mid-Norway and Helgeland, the peak crab fishing season is from August to November.
Snøkrabbe or Chionoecetes opilio, also known as snow crab, is a predominantly epifaunal crustacean native to shelf depths in the northwest Atlantic Ocean and north Pacific Ocean. This crab genus is found across northern parts of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. There are seven species in the genus Chionoecetes, all of which bear the name "snow crab." Chionoecetes opilio is also related to Chionoecetes tanneri, commonly known as the tanner crab, and other crab species found in the cold, northern oceans.
Plaice (Rødspette) is a flatfish that has its eyes on the right side, and smooth grey or brown skin with numerous characteristic red spots. The species is common in the North Sea from the intertidal zone down to depths of 250 metres.
Turbot (Piggvar) is a member of the Scophthalmidae family of flatfish and is almost completely circular. Turbot has both its eyes on its left side and has large, bony knots on its dark eyed side. It lives in the intertidal zone and down to depths of approximately 80 metres.
Haddock stays near the bottom at a depth between 30 to 130 meters. Here, it lives on shell, worms, starfish, roe and small fish. It is best fished near the bottom with a combination of bait and hanger. Haddock spawns in spring when the water is at 6 degrees. The sport fishing record in Norway is 6,04 kilos.
Halibut is a bit of a challenge for the sports fishermen. It stays on the bottom at depths between 70 and all the way down to 800 meters. It bites both on bait and jigs on the bottom. Halibut lives of other fish. It spawns in mid winter. The sport fishing record in Norway is 113,9 kilos.
Greenland halibut is an Arctic fish that is not found in water warmer than 4 degree C. It is similar to Atlantic halibut, but its blind side is a little lighter than its eyed side. The spawning grounds for Greenland halibut extend along the edge of the continental shelf between Vesterålen and Spitsbergen.
The lobster is one of the largest crustaceans found in Norwegian waters. However, it grows very slowly, roughly 2-3 cm per year, and the females only reach maturity when they are about 23 cm long. Lobsters only thrive in shallow waters, down to depths of 40 metres, with rock or stony beds where they can find plenty of good hiding places.
In Norwegian mussel farming, the blue mussel is the dominating species. The blue mussel can be found along the entire coast of Norway. It is often found in the tidal water zone, where it can dominate both in numbers and production. The blue mussel has a high tolerance for varying environmental conditions and its natural extensiveness is often regulated by biological factors such as predation and competition.
Ling stays from 40 to 400 meters deep and lives on Norwegian prawns, crabs and other fish on the bottom. The bait must therefore be placed on the bottom. Ling spawns when the water is between 6 and 10 degrees. The sport fishing record in Norway is 37,2 kilos.
Stays too on the bottom between 100 and 450 metres deep. Here, it feeds on Norwegian prawns, crabs and other demersal fish. Tusk spawns in spring. The sport fishing record in Norway is 16,05 kilos.
Whiting stays near the bottom at a depth between 15 and 100 meters, where it lives off small fish and crawfish. The bait should stay just above the bottom. Whiting spawns in spring. The sport fishing record in Norway is 2,76 kilos.
The coalfish is perhaps even more likely to be accidentally caught when fishing sea-trout than what has been told about the cod. It is often moving closer to the surface than cod, especially during summer, and coalfish caught accidentally during summer months tend to be bigger than the cod. Bigger by no means carry any suggestion that this fish is more tasty than the cod.
Coley can be found down to 80 metres. It moves freely in the sea and lives on small crawfish, krill, and small fish. Coley is best fished with a jig and hanger.
Spawns in the late winter when the water is approximately 7 degrees. The sport fishing record in Norway is 22,7 kilos.
Catfish stays near the bottom at a depth between 10 and 120 meters. It lives of crabs, crawfish, sea urchin and mussels. It is best fished with a combination of jig and bait on the bottom. Spawning occurs in late winter. The sport fishing record in Norway is 13,64 kilos.
Flounder is a typical demersal fish that lives on worms, snails and small fish down to a depth of 150 meters. It is mostly fished with bait on the bottom. Flounder spawns in spring. The sport fishing record in Norway is plaice at 5,17 kilos, fluke at 2,37 kilos and turbot at 15 kilos.
SOME SALMON RIVERS
Salmon River Senja
SOGN & FJORDANE
MØRE & ROMSDAL
The fisheries at Lofoten has been the basic occupation for people living here since times unknown.