The importance of a physical presence
The government agency that works most closely with the Coast Guard is The Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries. Together, they are working actively to make sure that the Norwegian environmental model is preserved at sea and on the mainland. From a practical perspective, this includes ensuring fair business practice, fish welfare, sustainability, food safety and quality – all important Norwegian ideals.
Stein-Åge Johnsen, head of section at the directorate, explains the historical background for the establishment of a “fish police”. “The Coast Guard as we know it today was established 42 years ago, as a consequence of Norway expanding its marine area to an economic zone of 200 nautical miles. The main responsibility was, and is, enforcing Norwegian sovereignty and regulations within this zone, but a number of important social tasks have come along the way.”
Johnsen has only praise for the cooperation between the Coast Guard and the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries. “We’ve worked together on a number of successful projects”, he says, commending the Norwegian Coast Guard’s hands-on approach to how they enforce control at sea.