Fisheries Development Cooperation

Norway is a major fishing nation with responsibility for large ocean areas and important fish stocks. Experience from our long history of fisheries management has for decades been passed on to developing countries so that they can develop and exploit their marine resources in a sustainable manner.

The fisheries development cooperation is coordinated by the Centre for Development Cooperation in Fisheries (CDCF). A successful fishing industry depends on the interaction between four areas: resource research, fisheries legislation and regulation, control of fishing activities, and sanctions against those who violate the laws. 


A key element in Norwegian fisheries cooperation with developing countries has for decades been the operation of, and activity around the research vessel "Dr. Fridtjof Nansen." The ship is currently operated in collaboration with FAO in the project EAF Nansen.

In order to perform sustainable fisheries management, a survey of the resource base and good statistics are required. CDCF assists developing countries in establishing research into resources and good statistical procedures. It provides a better overview of the size of fish stocks at their disposal, as well as the catch of each fish type. Training in analysing statistics is also provided.

CDCF provides advice on how fisheries should be managed with regard to access to resources. In the case of aquaculture, CDCF conveys technology and knowledge on broodstock, fry production and fish farming in the sea. 

Legislation and control

CDCF helps developing countries to establish a national policy for fisheries and aquaculture with accompanying laws and regulations. Our experience of managing Norway's economic zone is the basis for these countries to learn how to establish and enforce their own economic zones at sea.

To ensure that fisheries are sustainable over time, a monitoring function must be established to ensure compliance with existing regulations. So-called IUU fishing, which is illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, is a major threat to the world's fish stocks.

Several international agreements have been adopted to ensure that fishing occurs in an orderly fashion. CDCF encourages developing countries to join the international agreements, and assists the national fisheries management bodies in establishing systems for the control and monitoring of fisheries. In several places CDCF contributes by helping to develop a functional Coast Guard.

A help to many

CDCF also engages in knowledge exchange in other subjects such as the relationship between the fisheries and the petroleum industry, fisheries economics and bio-economy.

Over several decades, a large number of countries have received advice and help to develop their fishing industries. Currently Mauritius, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Mozambique, Indonesia, Malaysia and Namibia are receiving such assistance.

CDCF is managed by the Institute of Marine Research. Other agencies that contribute to the CDCF are the Directorate of Fisheries, the Food Safety Authority, the Veterinary Institute and the National Institute of Nutrition and Seafood Research (NIFES). The projects are funded mainly by Norad and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Information on Norwegian assistance to natural resource management (in Norwegian).

The Report to the Storting "The world's leading seafood nation" with sub-title "International Development Cooperation" (in Norwegian).