Norway Becomes First European Nation to Share Tracking Data on Global Fishing Watch Map

One of the world’s leading seafood exporters will help facilitate greater ocean governance

The Issue

With a long, indented coastline and rich waters comprising deep glacial fords and bays, it is no surprise that Norway is known as a maritime country. Norway is a world leader when it comes to seafood—its wealth is linked to its coastline. Fishing is a vital part of the country’s history, culture and economy. In terms of value, it’s the second largest exporter of seafood products in the world.

Norway is also a leader when it comes to fisheries transparency, and has become an influential voice on ocean issues. Since 2019, Norway has shared data showing the movements of its fishing fleet on its Fisheries Directorate website as part of efforts to make information public whenever possible. 

Our Work

In 2023, Norway took another big step in transparency by publishing data from its vessel monitoring system on our map—the first country in Europe to do so.

The vessel tracking system currently covers around 600 industrial fishing vessels of at least 15 meters in length, mainly operating in Norwegian waters and the northeast Atlantic Ocean. This number is set to increase in future, as Norway seeks to require all commercial fishing boats to regularly broadcast their position via its monitoring system.

Norway joins a growing number of countries, from Ecuador to Papua New Guinea, that are sharing their vessel monitoring data on our map. We hope its example will encourage other developed countries to demonstrate their commitment to transparency, sustainable fishing and ocean governance.

“Wild living marine resources are a common good and belong to everyone. When a commercial fishing fleet is licensed to utilize this common good, we are obliged and committed to share fisheries data documenting the environmental footprint of commercial fishing activity. We hope that others will follow this approach and share more fisheries data.”

Frank Bakke-Jensen,Director General, Directorate of Fisheries, Norway

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