Fisheries and marine resources

Fisheries and marine resources

There is no exaggeration in saying, that to the most controversial issues, concerning environmental protection in Norway, raised by environmentalists in Norway and around the world, include the hunting of marine mammals, fishing rights and declining numbers of marine fauna, as well as international opinions and legal regulations resulting from them.

Commercial Fishing There is evidence of this, that yet 25 Years ago, the seas surrounding the Norwegian coast were full of fish. There were no restrictions on deep sea fishing. In years 60. Norwegian fishermen were catching huge amounts of fish, mainly due to the use of sonar (echosondy), which helps locate shoals of herring and other commercially valuable species. The depletion of fish stocks has led to a reduction in catches, at the end of the years 70. the herring has disappeared almost completely. Overfishing of cod has led to a reduction in the quantity of this fish across the entire North Atlantic, in the area of ​​Grand Banks, Newfoundland (Canada] to Northern Norway.

1 January 1977 r. Norway has designated a coastal economic zone with a width 200 nautical miles jok. 370 km), which was expanded to Svalbard a little later that year, a w 1980 r. to the island of Jan Mayen. Currently, the state has agreements with the European Union, Russian Federation, Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland and Poland, determining the allowable quantity of fish caught. Recovering the herring population to the number that allowed the catch to take 20 years and required intensive environmental protection measures, including strict limitation of the number of fish caught. Although cod fishing regulations have been made, many more years must pass, before the species returns to such abundance, like it used to be.

The abundance of fish in the waters of Norway's seas also depends on the warm Gulf Stream. It is produced in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Central America, and then across the Atlantic it goes to the northern shores of Europe. The amount of inflowing water varies from year to year. The greater the influx of warm waters, the better the conditions for plankton growth in the High North, thereby increasing the amount of food for fish and marine mammals. This natural variable has been taken into account in the formulation of the rules and restrictions for fishermen.

Currently, fishing and marine farming (fish farms) they are the backbone of coastal economic life, providing work over 23 600 persons employed on fishing vessels, and also in the shipbuilding industry, in the manufacture of fish feed and fishing equipment and in processing, packing and transporting fish products. Norway catches average 2,55 million tons of fish a year,-among the largest countries involved in fishing is located on 11. place, ma 2,2% participation in the production of fish in the world.

Marine livestock industry, developing for two decades, it focuses mainly on the farming of Atlantic salmon and trout. Experiments with polar chub are underway, halibut, catfish and scallops (clams). Farmed salmon and trout constitute nowadays 35% fish exported by Norway. The main disadvantage of breeding is the transmission of diseases from farmed to wild fish. If any fish manage to escape from the enclosure, the disease spreads to individuals in the wild; it is easier to control in breeding than in the wild. This factor and the need for government regulations led to the constraints on the development of this industry. Probably in the near future, this industry may have a large share in the Norwegian economy, and also become a source of environmental problems.