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Six reasons to choose Norwegian mackerel

What makes mackerel from Norway so special? Here are six good reasons why you should choose Norwegian mackerel. 

PhotoDreyer Hensley

1. Norwegian mackerel comes from a biological robust stock and has a low carbon footprint

Thanks to a unique environment along the Norwegian coastline, the knowledge of the Norwegian fishermen and the duty to preserve and pass these skills through generations, the Norwegian mackerel has become a popular and choice on the world’s menu. 

Because this tasty fish swim in large shoals and the Norwegian fishermen have state of the art fishing vessels, Norwegian mackerel has a very low carbon footprint, which is good for the planet. 

In its latest advice from 2022, the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea’s (ICES) assessment is that the spawning-stock size is well about precautionary limits and that the stock has full reproductive capacity.  

2. Catching mackerel at its best 

Our mackerel spends its life swimming in cold, clear waters that are full of sprat and other small fish for it to feast on.

We know that when you catch mackerel has a direct impact on the taste and nutritional content of the fish. This is why Norwegian fishermen hunt for the “autumn mackerel”. This is when it is at its fattiest and tastiest. We call this the premium catch period.

3. Care and craftmanship from fisherman to fork

Norwegians have been relying on the sea for centuries, so it should come as no surprise that we have the process down to an art form. We use the latest electronic sonar equipment to locate the mackerel and then our expert fishermen set to work reeling them in. 

  • A quality catch
    Fishing techniques in the Norwegian mackerel fleet are also designed to optimize catch, preserve quality and minimize bycatch. The most common method we use is a purse seine, a large, scooped netting contraption designed to encircle a shoal of fish. A wire then pulls the purse seine inwards and draws the opening down. This enables the fishermen to pull the fish onto the ship.

  • Keeping it cool
    It is important to keep pelagic species cool, so our boats have large cooling tanks installed, into which the fish are pumped directly from the sea. The ships are kitted out with all of the latest technology and fish can be cooled to 0˚C within just a few minutes. 

  • Gently does it
    Delicious fish should not go to waste, so we have developed innovative solutions that avoid putting too much mechanical pressure on the fish. Pumping solutions transport the mackerel from sea to boat and then from boat to shore in the gentlest way possible. Once on shore, the fish is filleted or packed whole and frozen immediately.

    All fish is sold from vessel to landing site through regulated auctions, ensuring transparency, fair pricing and quality with every transaction. 

  • A partner you can trust
    As a supplier, Norwegian mackerel exporters are known as reliable partners and for having longstanding relationships with their customers. International customers know that they can trust Norwegian mackerel when it comes to long-term price and volume reliability, as well as quality and efficient delivery. 

4. Benefit from the international marketing of Seafood from Norway

As a buyer of Norwegian mackerel, you are also able to benefit from the extensive international generic marketing of Seafood from Norway and mackerel, through the activities of the Norwegian Seafood Council, the world’s largest generic seafood marketing organization. 

Three in four consumers say origin is of great importance when choosing seafood, according to our annual seafood consumer survey – the biggest of its kind. 

Clearly communicating the origin of seafood makes sense also from a business perspective, as three in five consumers say they are willing to pay a premium for seafood with clear origin labelling, such as the Seafood from Norway origin mark.

Read more about the Seafood from Norway origin label. (Source SCI, 2020, Norwegian Seafood Council)

Obtaining licensing rights for the Seafood from Norway label enable merchants to benefit from the global marketing efforts led by the Norwegian Seafood Council, including applying for jointly financed campaigns for Norwegian seafood partnering with Norwegian exporters. 

5. Traceability, accountability, and seafood safety at every level

Our focus on food safety is rigorous at every level, from fishery to fork. Naturally, the Norwegian system adheres to international standards, and as a member of the European Economic Area we are obliged to follow EU regulation for food production and safety. But we also have our own stringent national system, through which we monitor every aspect of the value chain. 

The entire seafood value chain is monitored on behalf of the Norwegian Food Safety Authority, whilst all processing plants must adhere to strict self-check procedures to ensure the highest quality fish and food safety standards. 

Since 1994 the International Marine Research institute in Norway monitors our seafood through regular testing for contaminants and other unwanted substances in our seafood. All findings are readily available in a searchable database on their websites.  

Our regulatory bodies and research institutions work together with the industry to continuously monitor and safeguard seafood safety at every level, so customers of Norwegian seafood can be sure of the safety and quality of the mackerel products they purchase. 

6. Superfood from the sea 

The premium catch period for mackerel is between September and November, when the mackerel swim back from the feeding areas in the Norwegian Sea to the spawning areas.  

This is when the fat content is at its highest: around 30 per cent, compared to 3 per cent at its lowest. Loaded with omega-3, antioxidants and protein, the Norwegian mackerel is rapidly moving towards the top of the list of the world’s superfood enthusiasts, and with good reason. 

Our marine ecosystem is ideal for slow-growing mackerel, which means our stock has earned a reputation for being packed with nutrition, flavour and healthy fatty acids in the catch period.  

This high fat content is the reason why it has gained such a reputation around the world and is often considered a delicacy. 

Read more about why eating Norwegian herring is good for you.

Find recipes with Norwegian mackerel.

PhotoDreyer Hensley