The first-hand value of fish and shellfish delivered by the Norwegian fishing fleet adjusted for inflation, increased 60% over the past 20 years

The first-hand value of fisheries by the Norwegian fishing fleet adjusted for inflation, has increased 60% over the past 20 years. Photo: Norges Sildesalgslag

The first-hand value of fish and shellfish delivered by the Norwegian fishing fleet was NOK 23.9 billion (€2.27 bn/£2bn) last year. Adjusted for inflation, the increase is a whopping 60% over the past 20 years.

These statistics were revealed in a new report delivered by Nofima and Menon on behalf of the Norwegian Fisheries and Aquaculture Industry’s research funding (FHF). 

In 2021, 2.59 million tonnes of fish and shellfish were landed from the fishing fleet, a slight decrease from 2.62 million tonnes the previous year. But even with a small reduction in the amount of catch, the overall first-hand value increased by NOK 1.1 billion (€104.4m/£92.38m) to NOK 23.9 billion (€2.27 bn/£2bn). In percentage terms, this is an increase of 4.5 percent from the previous year.

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The employment effects from fishing activity in 2021 were 18,800 employed. Of these, 10,700 worked directly in the fisheries, while 8,100 worked in suppliers to the industry. 

“Even with structuring and fewer vessels, the fisheries are still very important for settlement and business development in many municipalities,” says researcher Audun Iversen in Nofima. 

Approximately 250 municipalities

The direct value creation is distributed among approximately 250 municipalities. Fishing companies are largely concentrated in Northern Norway and Western Norway, so that the overall ripple effects are greatest in these regions. Total employment is greatest in Troms and Finnmark (3,800), Møre and Romsdal (3,400), Vestland (3,200) and Nordland (3,000). 

Norwegian fisheries provide significant value creation. In 2021, net value creation of NOK 21.4 billion (€2bn/£1.8bn) was created from the fisheries

“Value creation in the fishing fleet was 13.8 billion (€1.3bn/£1.15bn), while 7.6 billion (€720m/£638m) of the value creation is ripple effects with the fleet’s suppliers,” says project manager Roy Robertsen in Nofima.

The direct value creation in the fisheries is distributed with 46 percent as remuneration to the fishermen, 45 percent as profit to the capital owners and 9 percent in taxes to the state, counties and municipalities. 

The total tax effects in 2021 are approximately NOK 5.8 billion (€550m/£486m). The researchers have calculated that around NOK 4.9 billion (€465m/£411m)  of this goes into tax payments to the state, while around NOK 720 million (€44.5m/£39.4m) goes to the municipalities.

The number of vessels has remained relatively stable at 6,000 in recent years, but last year fell to 5,600. Much of the fleet is still small vessels under 11 meters in length. These make up 80% of the fishing fleet, but an increasingly large part of the catch is taken by larger vessels.

Structuring the fishing fleet has meant that the quotas are collected on fewer vessels, which in turn leads to the construction of new and larger vessels. 

“Changes in fleet structure and new construction also lead to changes in the ripple effects, both in the composition of what is bought, and geographical changes,” says Thomas Nyrud, researcher at Nofima.

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Value of Norwegian fisheries increased 60 percent over 20 years

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