Masters of the mackerel catch

Combining over a century of knowledge with the latest technology available, our fishing fleet is truly marvellous. Our colourful boats are the first step on the mackerel’s journey from sea to supper, and our fishermen go to great lengths to ensure that this first step is a golden one.  

Purse-seiner with catch

Keeping it cool

As soon as the mackerel is lifted out of the water, it is swiftly cooled on board and brought to shore. The proximity of the catching areas to our shores keeps our fish fresh, as it enables our fishermen to make multiple trips and reduces the amount of time that the fish is stored onboard the vessel. Once aboard, the mackerel is kept in sophisticated holding tanks (a large vessel can hold 12-16 large tanks), which use refrigerated seawater (RSW) to keep the fish at a temperature of around 0°C.

Gently does it

Delicious fish shouldn’t go to waste, so we’ve developed innovative solutions that avoid putting too much mechanical pressure on the fish. Our pumping solution transports the mackerel from sea to boat and then from boat to shore in the gentlest way possible.

Once on shore, the fish is filleted or packed whole and frozen immediately.

A purse-seiner with mackerel catch

The fishing fleet

Click on the numbers to see information
Infographic showing catch methods
  • 1 Purse seine

    This a ringed net that our fishermen set around shoals of fish. It is drawn shut at the bottom, trapping the shoal, which is then hauled or pumped on board. 


    The gear must approach the fish to make a catch. With the exception of Danish seine, fishermen who wish to use active fishing gear must obtain special concessions. This makes it illegal in fishing as a leisure pursuit.

A quality catch

The fishing industry is hugely important to Norway, and so we continually look for ways to improve the technology on board our fishing vessels. 

In order to make the most of the season, Norway’s modern vessels have been designed to make fishing as efficient as possible. We’ve also invested heavily in new technologies that preserve the quality of the mackerel. Our catching gear, loading systems and cooling systems have been developed to protect the fish during transit. 

Norway’s catching and loading operations have been designed to reduce pressure on the fish. This prevents damage to the fish – both the meat and the texture. It is also important to keep pelagic species cool, so our boats have large cooling tanks installed, into which the fish are pumped directly from the sea. 

How Norway gives mackerel the first class treatment:

Infographic quality

Preserved through technological advantage

Infographic innovation

We invest in ways to preserve the natural quality of the fish

Infographic showing swift cooling after catch
Gentle catch

Gentle catch + swift cooling = preserving quality the natural way

Selling at E-auction

All sales of herring and mackerel take place through an electronic fish auction system. The Norwegian Fishermen’s Sales Organisation for Pelagic Fish consults with the purchasing organisations to set the minimum price, terms of delivery and payment. The organisation also creates the rules and regulations for each type of fishing operation.

Purse-seiner with catch
Dish with mackerel and tomatoes