The Coastal Sámi of Norway and their rights to traditional marine livelihood
The coastal Sámi of Norway have, for thousands of years and long before the Norwegian state was established, relied on a wide range of marine and terrestrial resources. Due to increased public regulations over the past few decades, it has become difficult to continue their traditional livelihood, combining fishery in local seawaters with husbandry or other local industries on land. Fish quotas have been made tradable, and so to a large extent transferred outside the local communities. This article presents a short historical background, and discusses two legal documents from the 18th century, which are relevant for coastal fishery rights in northernmost Norway. The first is the Lapp Codicil of 1751, which may pertain to the coastal Sámi today when its founding principle – the preservation of the “Lappish Nation” (Sámi Nation) – is duly considered. The other document is the Land Acquisition Decree of 1775, which included a formalization of the sea-fishing rights of the inhabitants of Finnmark.
Keywords: Coastal Sámi, Finnmark, ancient use, sea-fishing rights, Lapp Codicil (1751), Land Acquisition Decree (1775), UN Declaration on indigenous rights (2007).
Citation: Arctic Review on Law and Politics, vol. 3, 1/2012 p. 51–80. ISSN 1891-6252
Authors contributing to The Arctic Review on Law and Politics agree to publish their articles under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International license, allowing third parties to share their work (copy, distribute, transmit) and to adapt it, under the condition that the authors are given credit, that the work is not used for commercial purposes, and that in the event of reuse or distribution, the terms of this license are made clear.