Promoting ocean transparency together

Our collaboration with Norway formally began in May 2022 when the Directorate of Fisheries agreed to publish fishing data for its large vessels on the Global Fishing Watch map. With this decision, Norway reinforced its commitment to transparency, reflecting its desire to make all government data publicly available wherever possible. 

Norway is the first European country to publish its vessel monitoring system (VMS) data with Global Fishing Watch. In October 2019, Norway began sharing VMS tracking information on its fisheries directorate website, updating the information on an annual basis. But the government was eager to make this data accessible to a wider range of stakeholders.

Beginning in March 2023, more than 450 Norwegian-flagged vessels have been visible on the Global Fishing Watch map. This includes vessels currently required to be fitted with VMS devices, which cover those longer than 15 meters operating globally and those longer than 12 meters that operate in specific protected areas. 

With a coastline of more than 51,500 miles, including fjords and islands, Norway is one of the world’s leading nations in marine fisheries and aquaculture production. The main capture species include herring, cod, capelin, mackerel, saithe, blue whiting and haddock.

The fisheries sector has always played a key social and economic role in the country. Currently, the fishing industry is the second largest contributor to Norway’s economy and directly employs more than 30,000 workers.


Sharing fishing vessel data

since March 2023



monitored vessels


51,500 miles


How we support Norway

Our collaboration is focused on amplifying Norway’s transparent approach to data by improving accessibility to its vessel tracking information and visualizing it on our publicly available map. Our shared goal is to support international scientific research and create a strong understanding of the fishing activity taking place throughout Norway’s waters.

The partnership between Norway and Global Fishing Watch seeks to promote transparency through the establishment of a collaborative framework for the use of VMS data and the associated Registry of Fishing Vessels maintained by the country’s Directorate of Fisheries.

“We believe that improved transparency of fishing data is necessary to reduce the risk of illegal fisheries and set the groundwork for improved compliance,”

Thord Monsen, head of monitoring, control and surveillance at the Directorate of Fisheries.

“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 of the Directorate of Fisheries in Norway.

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