No change expected in Norwegian fishing policy after election win –

No change expected in Norwegian fishing policy after election win Published:  16 September, 2009

NORWAY is expected to continue with its tough no-nonsense fishing policy following the re-election of its centre left governing party yesterday.

The result handed a narrow win to Premier Jen Stoltenberg who has managed to steer Norway through a difficult recession with the lowest unemployment rate in Europe at only three per cent.

Mr Stoltenberg has indicated that it will be business as usual on all fronts including fishing and fish farming which are still important to Norway’s economy despite massive oil and gas reserves. The only question is whether Helga Pedersen, Norway’s highly successful fisheries minister will remain in her job or be moved to another government post.

Although Norway is not in the EU, she has effectively campaigned against Europe’s controversial policy of fish discards to the extent that major change is now on the cards in European waters. With more than 20 million tonnes of fish thrown back into the sea she described the practice as a terrible waste of a valuable food resource in a hungry world. Ms Pedersen has also been successful in helping to reduce the overfishing of cod in the Barents Sea

Over the past few decades Norwegian fishing has moved from a largely unrestricted industry into one that is highly regulated with quotas and licensing arrangements. The Norwegians are very protective of their grounds even though some European and UK (mainly Scottish trawlers) do have limited access. Norwegian fisheries has also won several plaudits from the Marine Stewardship Council for its stock management.