(VIDEO) Norway: Where Seafood Is a Way of Life

Norway is a country of bountiful seafood responsibly harvested from its clear, cold waters. 

Norway’s pristine natural environment has long been the primary influence in the lifestyles and diets of its people. Seafood is a way in life in Norway. The 35,000 square miles of pristine ocean combined with 51,500 miles of unforgiving, complex coastline are the gateway to a bounty of the world’s finest seafood—a gift Norwegians have learned to harness and responsibly harvest.

Norwegians have been fishing the abundant sea for over 5,000 years. Their skills and know-how have continued to evolve with each generation to meet the needs of an ever-expanding international marketplace and the changing tastes of consumers around the world. 

Several decades ago, Norway noticed it was coming close to exhausting some of its seafood resources, so the country immediately increased efforts to become more sustainable. Never before have there been such rich resources as there are today, as evidenced by the prominent wild fish stocks—cod, haddock, herring and mackerel.

The excellent quality of the seafood, including the clean, fresh taste, can be attributed to the cold, clear waters of Norway. Although Norwegian waters are cold, the Gulf Stream brings warmer water from the Southwest Atlantic, which keeps coastal waters and fjords relatively clear of ice, ensuring year-round access to fishing and aquaculture facilities.

“For me, the Norwegian water is fantastic. It’s so cold, so clear, so deep and so dark. The seafood is amazing, especially in the winter,” said Chef Ørjan Johannessen, 2015 Bocuse d’Or Gold Medalist.

In addition to maintaining abundant wild fish stocks, Norway’s aquaculture industry ranks among the world’s leading programs. The success story of Norwegian fish farming began with the Norwegian Fjord Trout—an ocean-farmed trout known for its deep red-orange flesh and clean, rich flavor. The trout is raised in Norway’s natural fjords—where fresh water meets seawater—creating a distinctive, pure flavor and making it safe to consume raw. The experience gained farming Fjord Trout laid the foundation for today's advanced Norwegian Salmon farming and sustainable aquaculture practices.

Added Johannessen, “Norwegian Fjord Trout is one of the best fish in the world. It’s farmed in the right way. And at four to five kilos, it’s the perfect size for a restaurant kitchen.”

“Fjord Trout is rich, fatty and clean. It’s a very unique fish,” said Chef Philip Tessier, 2015 Bocuse d’Or Silver Medalist.

“The fish live a great life,” said Johannessen. “I love Norwegian seafood. For me, the seafood in Norway is close to my heart.”

As the world’s second-largest exporter of seafood, supplying more than 150 countries worldwide, Norway understands that safeguarding the environment and abundant fish stocks for the future is the only way to continue to be a sustainable industry that so many people depend on.