The history

The first Norwegian factory trawler, “Longva”, was delivered to Longvatraal AS, Aalesund, in 1962.

The history

However, the history started many years earlier. 

Skipper John Longva, who fished off West-Greenland with the longliner “Longva”, had in 1954 been visiting the English factory trawler “Fairtry I”, when both vessels were in harbour in Greenland.  “Fairtry I” was owned by the Salvesen company in Leith (Scotland).  “Fairtry I” had many problems in the early period, especially in the production, but Longva registered that the concept:  Fishing and processing on the same vessel, was the future.

John Longva contacted the Liaaen yard in Aalesund, and together with Nils Liaaen and  Reidar Saetremyr, both Naval architects, they  started designing the first Norwegian factory trawler.  After many years with challenges to obtain financing, the newbuilding contract was signed between A.M. Liaaen AS and Longvatraal AS. 


“Longva” did also meet a number of problems in the beginning, but these were solved, and after a relatively short period “Longva” was a success.  In the sixties there were built a few more factory trawlers for Norwegian owners.  The Liaaen yard was the leading shipyard.  Later owners in other countries, especially the Faroe Islands, ordered the same type of vessels.

Newbuildings and dramatic stock reduction

The building of Norwegian factory trawlers continued in the seventies and eighties.  In the mid-eighties the outlook for the cod and haddock stocks in the Barents Sea was very good, and almost all the Norwegian factory trawlers were replaced by newbuildings in the period 1985-89.  In 1990 the fleet numbered 25 vessels.  Then, even before all of them had been delivered from the yards, the stock situation had changed dramatically, and some of the trawlers had to be sold or chartered to other countries – the Argentines, Greenland and New Zealand - or rebuilt for offshore services.

It is safe to say that the Norwegian factory trawler concept and technology has been a success story in many fishing nations, not least thanks to Norwegian ship designers, yards and key personnel (skippers, chief engineers, trawl bosuns and factory managers).

Longline fishery

The contrasts are enormous from the first wooden vessels built more than one hundred years ago to the top modern Norwegian longliners fishing today.

The Norwegian longliners are designed with the very best equipment to ensure that the fish is treated in the best possible way from it´s caught alive, one by one by hook and line, until it´s frozen on board within three hours later.

The quick freezing process locks in the quality of the fish, which ensures a quality of the absolute highest standard.

Today five longliners are producing premium fillets on board-fresh frozen at sea.

Good resource outlook

The outlook for the resources in the Barents Sea is now very good, especially for cod and haddock.  We have to go many decades back to find a similar stock situation.  This – together with first class products – means that the Norwegian longliners and factory trawlers will continue to be considerable suppliers of first class seafrozen fillets to the international market.