Fishing, like dairy farming, is more than a job – it’s a lifestyle. Days away at sea, not seeing land for weeks and working in constant shifts to catch as many fish as possible during your time out in the ocean means it’s certainly not for everyone. As one of the world’s great fish exporting nations, amongst the highest Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)-certified fisheries in the world (100% of Norway's North East Atlantic cod and haddock is certified), Norway's economy is dependent on seafood and its fisheries management system is strictly regulated – after all, the country's heritage is at sea and it needs to provide livelihoods long into the future. Because of this, Norway certainly has its fair share of fishermen, who are often required to spend six weeks on the water at a time.
Sindre Johan Dyp is one of these fishermen – as a skipper, he is responsible for a crew of around thirty-two, and spends most of his life at sea. Here, he describes an average day on board the boat and why Norwegian cod is so special.
‘I wake up, have half an hour for breakfast, grab a coffee and put my overalls on. I then go straight out onto the deck, swapping shifts with two or three crew members who have been working for eight hours. For the first hour we’re just pulling in the line, catching as many fish as we can, and then spend the next hour reattaching the hooks. We repeat this process one more time, and then it’s time for a half hour break and something to eat.
The final four hours are spent ‘shooting the line’, which just means putting bait on the hooks we prepared earlier and casting them out to sea. As soon as all of them are out, we begin pulling them in again. About seven men are doing this at any time of day or night, in two shifts.