The Fishing Industry in Norway – Today & Yesterday

Rosie Magudia accompanied a group of fishermen and scientists from the UK case study, as they visited Steigen, Norway. Her post below is an update on the third day of the exchange visit. You can read about the second day here.

Rosie’s Rambling

On the third day of the exchange visit, we explored more of Norway’s prestigious fishing industry, starting with a highly efficient modern processing plant and winding up in a timeless fishing village.

During the morning, we visited the premises of Saga Fisk AS, the largest fishing company in Svolvaer, the city of the Lofoten Islands. On arriving at the factory, we were greeted with a curious mix of breath taking mountain scenery and the frantic beeping and whirring of cranes and machines. Side stepping fast moving forklifts being deftly wheeled around on the slush ice, we were shown around the processing plant.

It was here just a fraction of Norway’s prodigous cod catch was either salted or frozen and despatched to the rest of the world. Heads were being wrenched, tongues chopped out and backbones hacked. Flattened fish carcasses were flapped into boxes, the majority of them containing shovelfuls of salt.¬†¬†Interestingly, only 10% of the fish in this factory was frozen; the rest was salted and sent to Portugal.

After a light (four course lunch) we wondered around the town of Henningsvaer. A rural village with a population of approximately 400, the village offered an intriguing insight into the communality of the fishing industry here. Located around the settlement were large wooden A frame structures – some empty, some covered with fish. On enquiry, we found out that the community hangs its fish here to dry and stay cold.

As noted by one of the fishermen in the bus as we left, “in Britain, the fish would either get covered in bird mess or nicked”. While similarties abound between Norway and the UK, there are some differences…


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