The fishery for Norwegian Spring Spawning Herring has rich traditions along the western coast of Norway. Fishing herring with gillnets is a methode used for hundreds of years. Some fishermen still use gillnets and get permission from the sales-organisation to sell herring in the harbour.
The film below was made west of Karmøy in March 2013. One fisherman had set the net at daytime, for only 20 minutes. Enjoy.
This short film shows a traditional way of catching cod in coastal waters in Norway. This type of fish trap is only allowed in the cold months (October – April). I am not a professional fisherman and am only allowed to use ten of these traps. This winter I have only used 3-4 traps simply because that is enough. The fish traps have two chambers which the cod is led into. Between the chambers there is a net (8 meters long) which leads the cod (and other species) into the cambers.
Below you can see some pictures of cod caugth in such fish traps this winter. It is a cold hobby, and the traps can stay in the sea for 4-7 days before you empty them. By using 4 fish traps there is at least one nice cod to bring home.
In the 1970′s the basking shark was a common shark in The North Sea. Fishermen were hunting the big shark in spring and summer. For many Norwegian fishermen this hunt was an important part of the income.
The basking shark was not used for food but this large shark had a lot of valuable liver. The oil extracted from the liver was highly priced as it was used in high-temperature-engines. In the 1970′s the fishermen also cut off the fins which was sold to Asia and used in shark-fin soup.
This fishery (or hunt) has now been banned for a couple of decades. The price of the liver (and oil) has dropped due to synthetic alternatives.
During the 1980′s it was clear that the basking shark was not as numerous as in the past. Overfishing, a drop in prices and the moral aspect about this catch led to a stop in this hunt. In Norwegian waters it is not allowed to hunt for basking shark, Greenland shark or porbeagle.
It is easy to judge what former generations did for a living and the hunt for basking shark may look cruel to most of those who see the film. Still the hunt for basking shark was one of many fisheries and the film shows a piece of cultural history. Here is another film from this fishery.
The curled octopus (Eledone cirrhosa) is not common in Norwegian waters, but sometimes it crawls into a lobster pot or becomes an unexpected by-catch. The pictures on this page shows curled octopus from different locations along the western coast of Norway.
The first curled octopus (above) was taken in a pot while fishing for Norwegian lobster in 2012. Photo: Bjørnar Akselvoll. The color of the octopus is usually shades of red, brown or orange but the octopus has the ability to change its color-pattern.
The octopus above was caught in 2003 and I do not recall the story about this catch. Photo: R. Gjerde. The curled octopus seen below was taken as a by-catch while fishing with net in a fjord (Hardangerfjorden) two years ago. Photo: Kåre Grønsnes.
Taking pictures of the catch is in this case done because the curled octopus is a rare sight along the Norwegian coastline. The curled octopus on this page were released after the photo-session. As this octopus is rare in Norway, we have no tradition of eating them.