Hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation

The outback is by age-old tradition very important also as a recreation arena in Norway, where a sizeable segment of the population go to enjoy hunting, fishing and trekking. These values, too, are promoted under the stewardship of sustainable forestry.

Sales of hunting and fishing licences are of great economic importance to many individual landowners.
Sales of hunting and fishing licences are of great economic importance to many individual landowners. Credit: Terje Rakke/Nordic Life AS/Innovation Norge

Forest roads allow timber to be hauled out of forest areas, but they are also the gateway for hunters, fishermen and outdoor enthusiasts.

Outdoor recreation is highly valued among a majority of Norwegians. TNS Gallup's Nature and Environment Survey of 2014 shows that nine out of ten are interested in the outdoors and outdoors activities.

The great outdoors is a treasure trove for adventure and recreation. At the same time marketing of guided tours and activities supports a considerable volume of employment in non-urban districts.

Sales of hunting and fishing licences are of great economic importance to many individual landowners. A wide range of nature-based adventure products contribute to local employment and wealth creation across the country. And demand is increasing, both at home and abroad.

Valuable regional programmes

Hunting has long traditions in Norway, and the arranging and sale of hunting trips is an important source of income for many landowners. Facilitating hunting and the hunting experience are valuable regional programmes. NINA estimates that the local economic value (synergy effects included) may be as high as 1,3 billion NOK in the hunting year of fall 2017 and spring 2018.

This requires a realignment towards meeting the needs expressed in market demands, through closely coordinated management policies for the utilization of agriculture, forest and tourism resources.

Many landowners have already successfully combined nature-based adventures with traditional forestry and food production.

State ownership

The Norwegian state owns large areas of forest and land - about one-fifth of mainland Norway. Half of these lands are so-called state commons, areas open to everyone. State owned forests and rangelands are managed by State Forests ("Statskog"), making this government agency the contry's largest landholder.

Wild reindeer
Wild reindeer Credit: Colourbox

Promoting sustainable hunting, fishing and outdoor activities is one of the priority objectives of Statskog.

The management of state forests and rangeland is also an important tool for supporting viable local communities - which hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation contributes to.

A harvest of game resources

In 2018 the Ministry for Agriculture and Food took over the responsibility for that part of the administration that includes the game harvest, i.e. the animal species which may be hunted. The rationale for this, among others, was the opportunity to increase support for the development of industries based on sustainable use of wilderness resources.