Control and enforcement

The fisheries regulations are enforced both at sea, when the fish is landed and when it is exported. At sea, the Coast Guard is responsible for inspecting fishing vessels and checking their catch against their log books.

Both Norwegian and foreign fishing vessels are subject to stringent controls in all Norwegian fishing waters. The activity of the Coast Guard is generally considered vital for the functioning of the management regime as a whole.

The Coast Guard performs more than 1800 inspections of Norwegian and the foreign vessels that fish in Norwegian waters annually. Vessels over 24 meters (15 meters for vessels from EU) are required to carry satellite transponders that makes it possible to track their activity 24 hours a day all around the year.

Cooperation between the affected states

Controlling the fishing on shared fish stocks requires close cooperation between the affected states. Norway currently has co-operative agreements with Russia, Iceland, England, Ireland, Scotland, Sweden, Denmark, Faroe Islands, Netherlands, Germany, Portugal, Canada and Poland.

Also the Directorate of Fisheries inspects activities on the fishing grounds.

Upon the landing of catches, the landings data are checked against the fishing rights of the vessel. This task is performed by the fish sales organizations and the Directorate of Fisheries.

The Directorate also performs physical inspections of landings. When irregularities are detected, at sea or on landing or through later controls, serious cases are referred to the courts.

Black list of vessels

The growth of illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing over the last decade represents a particular challenge to enforcement. The covert nature of such activities, involving flags of convenience, transhipments at the high seas, and landings in remote ports, necessitates cooperation among agencies in a number of countries in order to come to grips with it.

Norway adopted a black list of vessels that had been engaged in IUU activities in Northeast Atlantic waters in 1994, and banned such vessels from fishing in Norwegian waters. The concept of a black list has later been adopted by several regional fisheries management organizations where Norway is a member.

Updated: 19.03.2015