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World cod fishing championship in Svolvær

Every year, the World cod fishing championship takes places in the waters outside of Svolvær. The competition is a celebration of the traditional fishing season in Lofoten – and an opportunity to reel in some true whoppers in spectacular Arctic surroundings.

At the end of March each year, approximately 80 fishing boats head towards Svolvær in the Lofoten Islands in Northern Norway. Thousands of guests also flock to the small island community, and around 600 of them go head to head in battle.

This is where the biggest sea fishing event in Northern Norway, The world cod fishing championship, has been happening annually since 1991.

In the depths of the ice-cold Vestfjord swims the answer to an important question: Who will land the largest “skrei”?

Essential to the coastal life

“Skrei” is the Norwegian name for cod from the Norwegian-Arctic stock, which migrates from the Barents Sea to the coast during the first half of every year. This fishing period, known as Lofoten fishery, goes on from January to April – and has been since well before the Viking Period.

This tasty catch has been the region’s most important livelihood for countless years, and it remains the main source of income for many people along the northern Norwegian coast.

This annual winter adventure has secured the inhabitants of Lofoten easy access to food for 10,000 years. Hundreds of generations of fishermen and their families along the Norwegian coastline have survived because of Lofoten and its resources.

Fish up to 30 kilos

The competition is open to both professionals and amateurs, and the combat covers both total catch and biggest individual fish.

The latter provides the perhaps biggest kicks. Cod is often massive in both size and weight, and it’s not unusual to land fish that weigh up to 30 kilos.

The competition isn’t the only thing that draws a crowd, though. People also come to join the festivities on land, which can be very festive indeed … And not least to enjoy the delicious catch on a plate.

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