The catch-based fishing industry is a source of significant value creation in the county of Troms in northern Norway. The industry employs almost 2,000 people in Troms and generated tax revenues of NOK 346 million in 2015.

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These are the findings of a recent study of the ripple effects of the catch-based fishing industry in the county of Troms, conducted by Nofima on behalf of the Troms Chamber of Commerce.

The report shows that the catch-based fishing industry makes a significant contribution to value creation in the county. Almost 2,000 of the county’s residents worked in this industry in 2015 (on land and in the fishing fleet).

Around 1,100 people worked at sea, while the onshore catch-based industry employed around 800 people, spread over 39 active companies. These are important workplaces, most of which are located along the seaward coastline from northern Troms to southern Senja.

In addition, landings in Troms from the fishing fleet from the rest of Norway employ some 800–1,000 fishermen from western Norway and to Finnmark.

The catch-based fishing industry creates significant value in Troms county, the ripple effect analysis shows. From left: Senior researcher Roy Robertsen in Nofima, board member Lasse Holm in Næringsforeningen in Tromsø, researcher Thomas Nyrød in Nofima, senior researcher Edgar Henriksen in Nofima and general manager Lars Valdermo in Troms Fryseterminal. (Photo: Wilhelm Solheim / Nofima)


NOK 1.1 million per fisherman

Large fish stocks and high quotas have contributed to an upturn for the catch-based fishing industry in the county. Value creation per Troms fisherman was NOK 1.1 million in 2015. This yielded an operating margin in the fleet of 21 per cent.

The onshore part of the industry is also profitable. Here value creation per employee was approximately NOK 648,000, with an operating margin of roughly 5 per cent in 2015.

In addition, landings in Troms from fishermen from other parts of Norway provide the foundation for value creation in their respective home counties.

“The report shows that significant wealth is also being created in the catch-based industry. Tromsø is the largest fishing port in the county, but there is also a lot of activity at sea and on land along the seaward coastline from northern Troms to southern Senja. While ‘the seaward coastline’ largely depends on the coastal fleet from Troms and the rest of Norway, the city of Tromsø is more dependent on Norwegian and international sea fishing fleets. Both are very positive for business development in the county,” says Lasse Holm, chair of the board of the Troms Chamber of Commerce.

Nofima scientist Roy Robertsen, one of the authors of the report, comes to the same conclusion.

“Tromsø is by far the largest fishery municipality in the county of Troms. 59 per cent of the Norwegian landings of fish and shellfish were in the municipality of Tromsø, while the Senja region accounted for 30 per cent and northern Troms for 10 per cent in 2015. Only 1 per cent of the landings were in southern Troms,” says Robertsen.

Foreign vessels accounted for significant landings, most of which were in the city of Tromsø. Foreign vessels land roughly as much fish in Troms county as vessels from Troms. 69 per cent of the total volume is landed in Tromsø, when foreign landings are included.

The city of Tromsø is a national and international fishing port, and the vessels that call here purchase goods and services along the Tromsøysundet.

Focus on central and northern Troms

Of the on-average 800 people employed in the land-based industry, around 460 people worked in companies located in northern Troms, 330 people in central Troms, while 10 people were employed in the fishing industry in southern Troms in 2015.

“Very little fish is landed in southern Troms, but the county’s largest fishing vessel owning company is located here. Tromsø, Lenvik, Karlsøy and Berg were the municipalities that had the highest number of employees in the catch-based industry on land in 2015,” says Robertsen.

NOK 346 million in taxes

According to the report, the companies and the employees in the catch-based industry contributed NOK 346 million to the public purse in 2015. Taxes from the companies and the employees on land amounted to NOK 85.6 million, while the total tax contribution from fleets was NOK 261 million: NOK 89 million in corporate tax and NOK 172 million in income tax paid by people working in the fishing industry.

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