Decline in Norwegian Fishermen

Fishing in Lofoten NorwayFisheries have always been, and still are, very important to Norwegian coastal villages having fishing as their main source of income. Despite rich fish stocks, figures from the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries show that there has been a gradual decline in the number of fishermen.

Down 4 Percent

By the end of 2013, there were registered 11,577 fishermen and 6,133 fishing vessels in Norway. The number of registered fishermen has decreased by 4 percent comparing 2013 to 2012. In the same period, the number of vessels has decreased by just over 1 percent, shown by preliminary surveys by the Directorate of Fisheries’ statistics department.

The number of fishermen having fishing as their main occupation is reduced from 9,825 in 2012 to 9,521 in 2013, while the number of people who has fishing as their side-job has declined from 2,223 in 2012 to 2,056 in 2013 (-8 percent).

Fewer Young Adults

From 1990 to 2013, the average age having fishing as their main occupation has increased from 39.3 years to 45.8 years.

In the period 1990 to 2013, the percentage under age 30 with fishing as their main occupation, has declined from 33 percent to 17 percent.

Persons over 60 that have fishing as their main occupation, has increased from 12 percent in 1990 to 21 percent in 2013.

Less Attractive Profession

Despite record fishing quotas and good catches, profitability is reduced. This year, the price per kilo of cod is estimated to only 11-12 Norwegian kroner per kilo (1.77 – 1.94 dollars).

According to the fishermen, the prize should have been doubled to provide profitability. All costs have increased, including costs of diesel fuel and maintenance, which means reduced profitability and lower wages.

As statistics shows, more and more young people choose more attractive careers and education in the cities. In addition to reduced profitability, fisheries have been streamlined so there is less demand for labor.


Text by: Thor Lanesskog, ThorNews

Source: The Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries 

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Categories: Nature

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