Nofima reports

Social Sustainability in Norwegian Fisheries – Evolution and Resilience in Fleet and Industry

Nøstvold, Bjørg Helen; Svorken, Marianne; Ødegård, Anne Mette; Andersen, Rolf Kristian; Young, James A.

Publication details

Publisher: Nofima AS

Issue: 16/2019

Number of pages: 38

International Standard Numbers:
Printed: 978-82-8296-595-8

Open Access: green


Tragic reports about abuse, slavery and child labour in the international seafood industry both onshore and at sea is getting increased public attention leading to increased demand towards the Norwegian seafood industry to document their social sustainability. This report is an answer to that demand. In 2018 the Norwegian fleet consisted of more than 6 000 vessels and over 11 000 fishermen, and the onshore processing industry employed more than 9 000 people. The report describes Norwegian laws and legislation, controlling regime, trade union involvement and opportunities for sanctioning violations of human rights, safety and working conditions and social security. Norway is one of a few countries which have ratified and fully incorporated ILO 188 into laws and legislations. Onshore, the Working Environment Act is one of many legislations tightly regulating safety, security, obligations and conditions for the workforce in Norwegian industry. In addition, the onshore industry is covered by an extended collective agreement, which secures the minimum wage. The results show that Norway has a system that covers most social sustainability issues mentioned in international agreements. It is undeniable that Norwegian workforce rights are significantly stronger than in most other countries. There is no indication of violations of the serious elements, i.e. slavery, trafficking or child labour. However, there are some challenging areas, especially concerning foreign labour. Authorities and trade unions are continuously working on improvements within documentation, communication and prevention.