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Nordic Coastal Fisheries and Communities

Status and Future Prospects

image of Nordic Coastal Fisheries and Communities

Coastal fisheries play a vital role in the marine sector of the Nordic countries and serves as a backbone of the economy of many smaller coastal communities. The coastal fleets usually have a big presence in smaller, more remote fishing villages, supplying local processing companies with raw material. The coastal sector is therefore highly important for regional development, as it represents a significant part of total landings and offers employment for a large number of fishermen, processors and other supporting industries. This report reviews the coastal sectors in seven Nordic countries, which include almost 20 thousand coastal vessels that are catching close to 900 thousand tonnes a year, valued at 1.2 billion EUR. The fleets are highly variable and the individual countries do each have their unique strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, which are discussed in the report.

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Introduction

Coastal fisheries play a vital role in the marine sector of Nordic countries and often serve as a backbone of the economy of smaller coastal communities. The coastal fleets usually have a big presence in smaller, more remote fishing villages, supplying local processing companies with raw material. The coastal sector is therefore highly important for regional development in Nordic countries, as it represents a significant part of total landing and offers employment for a large number of fishermen, processors and other supporting industries. Urbanization and rapid technical developments in the fishing sector over the last few decades have however resulted in many coastal communities having to fight for their survival. While the coastal fishing sector is generally struggling to return profits, different social structures, educational opportunities and requirements towards a certain “quality of life” are causing people to migrate from coastal communities to larger cities (Heleniak, 2014).

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