Retten til fiske i havet utenfor Finnmark

  • Carsten Smith


The rights to marine fishing outside Finnmark in North Norway Fishing in the ocean outside Finnmark – particularly in the fiords and coastal waters – has through centuries been a basis for the coastal Sami (”Sea sami”) villages and culture. These Sami are part of the Sami people who are the indigenous people of Norway. The resource situation in the ocean fisheries has in the last decades necessitated regulations with special permissions and quotas. This article discusses whether the coastal Sami in Finnmark – the most Northern county of Norway – has a right to fishing based on international law and irrespective of the national regulations. The discussion deals with the report of 2008 from the coastal fisheries commission that presented draft legislation prescribing extended quota rights for people living along the coast of Finnmark. Moreover, people living in the fiords should have a priority right for fishing in their fiord. A main point is also whether the non-Sami inhabitants of Finnmark shall benefit from the indigenous right to fishing which is answered positively. The draft furthermore proposes establishing a county authority with special fisheries powers. The last part of the article is a discussion with the Attorney General who has criticized the use of international law in the commission report. The author of the article chaired the commission and had the main responsibility for the international law part.

Keywords: Fishing rights, Sami rights, indigenous law, county authority, Attorney General

Citation: Arctic Review on Law and Politics, vol. 1, 1/2010 p. 4–27. ISSN 1891-6252

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How to Cite
Smith, C. (2010). Retten til fiske i havet utenfor Finnmark. Arctic Review, 1(1), 4-27. Retrieved from
Original Articles
Fishing rights, Sami rights, indigenous law, county authority, Attorney General