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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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Faroe Islands

The Faroe Islands inhabit around 50 thousand people (Hagstova Føroya, 2017a). The national economy is highly dependent on fisheries and aquaculture. Capture fisheries and aquaculture accounted for 96% of total exports in 2016, where pelagic species accounted for 43% and demersal species for 7.5% (Hagstova Føroya, 2017b). Around 43% of fish exports were frozen and 33% fresh chilled (Hagstova Føroya, 2017c). Fisheries and aquaculture accounted for 15% of the GDP in 2013. The coastal fishery is however not very important to the economy, especially compared to aquaculture and the pelagic fishery. The export value of aquaculture products increased by almost 500% from 1993 to 2015 and the pelagic fishery has become very profitable in recent years, with the landings value going from EUR 23 million in 2000 to EUR 56 million in 2015 (Vørn, 2017). This has left the economic contribution of the coastal fleet rather insignificant.

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