Norway is one of the world’s biggest fish exporters and the most important wild fish is the cod. A selection of cod products are offered, and different markets have their own favorites.
The fresh cod has a firm flesh, it smells fresh, a delicate white colour and a mild taste. To maximize freshness the time from capture to consumption must be reduced and temperature control applied. In 2019 more than 37 thousand tons of fresh cod was exported from Norway. Denmark was the largest market, followed by Poland, The Netherlands, Spain, Britain and France.
The frozen cod can be frozen at sea onboard the fishing vessels. But a lot of the cod are brought fast to shore and frozen on land. Quick frozen and stored correctly the defrosted fish appears just like fresh fish. Around 88 thousand tons frozen cod was exported in 2019. Almost half of it was sold to China, but also to consumers in Britain, Lithuania, Poland, and others.
Norwegian salted cod has a distinctive pale yellow colour and a delicate texture. It´s flavour is mature and delicious. The fish is salted and then layered and matured for 3-4 weeks. In 2019 15 thousand tons salted cod was exported, two-thirds of it to Portugal. Smaller markets are found in Greece, Spain and Italy.
Clipfish or bacalhau is produced much like the salted cod but dried for about a week longer. Portugal and Brazil are the biggest markets and together they imported 11 thousand tons of clipfish from Norway in 2019.
Stockfish is unsalted and dried on open-air timber racks. After drying outdoors for about 3 months it is matured indoors for several months. Finally, it is sorted in 20 different classifications before export. It is the oldest preservation method and Norway’s longest sustained export commodity. Stockfish is a world class delicacy and an important part of Norway’s cultural heritage. Stockfish from Lofoten is awarded Protected Geographical Classification in the EU. In 2019 1,5 thousand tons stockfish was exported, 1 of them to Italy. Other markets are Nigeria, USA and Britain.