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The greatest cod fishery in the world

The Lofoten fishery is an annual sensation.

From January to March, every year, it is time for the Lofoten fishery again. It is the greatest cod fishery in the world and forms the basis of human settlement in the Lofotens. Stone Age finds here show that the people harvested the seas using handlines with stone sinkers and hooks made of horn and bone. This probably continued for thousands of years, way into the Middle Ages. New techniques like longlines and gillnets were used from the 1700s in the Lofoten fishery, and ever since the fisheries has been controlled with different laws and regulations. Also today the fishery is regulated with quotas to ensure a sustainable harvest of this valuable resource. In the Lofoten fishery one year is never similar to the next and there are annual variations. Some years the cod arrives early, and some years it stays out around the westernmost islands. Next year again it might come all the way into the fjords and very close to land. When motors in the vessels became more common from 1910s, the work at sea became both easier and safer.

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