The legendary Lofoten fishery

Photo: Terje

“The fisheries are, and will hopefully always remain, Norway’s most important gold mine”.
So wrote the Norwegian Parliament in 1816.


Every winter, huge numbers of cod, or skrei, migrate to Lofoten from the Barents Sea in order to spawn. This has provided a living for people in the region for almost five thousand years.


In other words, the Lofoten Fishery is an ancient livelihood. The fisheries eventually grew so big that they also became important for people far outside Northern Norway. In fact, over the past thousand years, the seasonal fishery has been of vital importance for the whole nation.


Following the history of cod makes for a fascinating journey through Norway’s history. Sagas, legislation and court records, old accounts and regulations dating back to the 11th century all paint a clear picture. It was the cod that gave us the power and money necessary to establish the church, an

administration, monarchy and government and, eventually, our own parliament. The cod made it possible to build the nation stone-by-stone. Without it, people would not have settled in Northern

Norway. Bergen, Ålesund and Kristiansund would never have come into existence. And what about Oslo and the rest of Southern Norway? READ MORE about The legendary Lofoten fishery