Successful trip to Norway

In the beginning of November 2011 the 10 finalists in the Seafish-organized National Fish & Chip Awards 2012 — were invited on a trip to Aalesund, Norway, to look at the frozen-at-sea whitefish industry. This is where a lot of their cod and haddock is actually coming from.

Successful trip to Norway

The Norwegian whitefish catching sector, of which Ålesund is regarded as the capital, does most of its fishing in the Barents Sea. The stocks are healthy and the cod quota shared by Norway and Russia in these waters will be 751,000 metric tons next year (an increase of 7 percent from this year), while the 2012 haddock quota has been set at 318,000 metric tons (an increase of 5 percent).

The Award finalists were told there’s a huge abundance of North Atlantic cod, while the haddock now has the largest spawning stock on record.

By filleting and freezing at sea, the fleet can deliver the high quality that the UK market demands. The products are usually processed and frozen within four hours of capture. 

After looking at the production facilities on board the factory trawler "Ramoen" and the freezing plant at Vartdal outside Ålesund, the finalists were taken on a fjord trip on board two older vessels from Vartdal to Ålesund, where dinner was served, based on seafrozen fillets.

Before going back to UK the Award finalists also were informed on the healthy stocks in the Barents Sea and on the sustainable management of the stocks by a scientist from the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research.