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Diving in Honningsvåg, Norway - Photo: Kurt Hamann/Innovasjon Norge
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Diving in Honningsvåg, Norway Photo: Kurt Hamann/Innovasjon Norge

Legislation and rules for scuba diving in Norway

In general, diving is permitted anywhere in Norway.

Text: Sonja L. Birch-Olsen

Exceptions are military installations or fish farms. Military areas will almost always be signposted and shown on the map as well.

  • A special permission has to be obtained from the harbour authorities before attempting to dive in harbour areas.
  • If the thrill of investigating shipwrecks is your thing, remember the golden rule: Look but do not touch. Should you discover an uncharted wreck, mark the spot and inform the nearest police or maritime museum. This rule applies not only to a wreck, but also to any separate objects found under water.
  • The Norwegian authorities have passed a rule against fishing lobster by other means than the lobster pots that the regular fishermen use. It is therefore illegal for divers to take lobsters with their hands or in similar ways.
  • It is illegal to catch fresh-water crayfish.
  • Spear fishing is legal, but restricted. That is to say; it is illegal to use any type of artificial light, and to fish for salmon or trout. We emphasize also that spear guns, or harpoons, are considered to be weapons, and should be treated in such a manner, that is; loaded and used strictly under water.
  • Divers are free to catch crabs, as long as they measure at least 13 centimetres across the back.
  • Never dive on your own.
  • In Norway the international flag "A" (white and blue split flag) is approved as an indication of a submerged diver. Boating activity makes it essential that divers mark their presence clearly.
  • The police and other official personnel with the right to carry out inspections and, if necessary, confiscations in cases where a diver has applied his or her equipment illegally. Not only objects unlawfully taken up may be confiscated, but also equipment that has been used for that purpose. The same applies where illegal fishing is concerned.

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Last updated:  2013-08-02
Diving at Lyngør in Southern Norway - Photo: Niels Jørgensen/Innovation Norway
Diving at Lyngør in Southern Norway

Interest:  Diving, Coast and coastal culture

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Diving in Honningsvåg, Norway - Photo: Kurt Hamann/Innovasjon Norge

Legislation and rules for scuba diving in Norway

In general, diving is permitted anywhere in Norway.

Legislation and rules for scuba diving in Norway

Source: Visitnorway

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