Norway is one of the top three seafood-exporting nations worldwide. Norwegian seafood includes wild fish and shellfish caught in the Norwegian and Barents Seas as well as farmed fish raised in the hundreds of fish farms established in the country’s coastal waters. Prized for its taste and nutritional value, fresh, frozen or processed seafood from Norway is exported to consumers in some 150 different countries.
Norway’s coastal waters are among the world’s best fishing grounds, and are home to more than 200 fish and shellfish species. Best known today is the spawning cod, called skrei. It is caught in the icy waters off the northern Norwegian coast, and has become popular with chefs around the world. Other popular fish and shellfish species include herring, mackerel, and a wide variety of whitefish, prawns and crabs. A fleet of highly modern fishing vessels and stringent regulations help to ensure the sustainability of Norwegian fisheries.
Norway was a pioneer in the development of modern aquaculture. Fish farms dot the country’s coastline, and aquaculture has become one of Norway’s major industries. Slightly more than 40 per cent of Norwegian seafood exports are generated by the aquaculture industry. Norwegian salmon is by far the most widely exported farmed fish, and is valued for its appetizing colour, flavour and environmentally-sound production. Other farmed species include salmon trout and various shellfish, and efforts are also underway to initiate cultivation of additional species, such as halibut and cod, for commercial purposes.
Seafood is an excellent source of easily digestible protein, vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. Norwegian seafood is available in a wide array of different products, including fresh fish, frozen fish fillets, smoked fish, dried and salted fish (klippfish), fish burgers and other processed fish products such as breaded, tinned and marinated products. Norwegian salmon has also gained popularity on Japan’s quality-conscious sushi market.