This article is part of a series dedicated to the presentation of angling associations across Europe. For this article, we introduce the EAA member from Norway: NJFF - Norges Jeger - og Fiskerforbund.
The Norwegian Association of Hunters and Anglers (NJFF) is the country's only nationwide organisation for hunters and anglers. It gathers more than 110,000 members in 550 local chapters, spread across the country in 19 different county associations. Inherited from their Viking ancestors, the practice of fishing remains very popular for present-day Norwegians. Every year, no less than 42% of the Norwegian population enjoy angling. This unsurprisingly justifies the common saying boldly claiming that “Norwegians have saltwater streaming through their veins”.
The angling experience in Norway offers a plethora of fishing opportunities both deep-sea and freshwater fishing. Due to its extensive coastline, which is more than 100,000 km long, Norwegian shores are home to a wide variety of up to 300 fish species. More than 200,000 lakes and thousands of kilometres of streams also create a good freshwater ecosystem for inland fishing. Depending on both fishing spots and timing of year chosen to go a fishing adventure, common species usually caught vary from large trout to perch, grayling, pike and salmon in lakes and rivers and cod, saithe, ling and halibut in the sea.
Against that background, NJFF works constantly to ensure the preservation of this cultural practice dating back to the Stone Age. When it comes to fishing, the association has thus a set of three specific objectives. It aims to secure and maintain viable fish stocks in order to ensure future fishing opportunities. It also aims to make sure that all motivated anglers can gain access at a reasonable price. Moreover, the association aims to promote fishing as legitimate forms of harvesting natural resources now and in the future.
The Norwegian association has also created a programme called “women's activities”, allowing for the organisation of several hundred activities dedicated to women across the country each year. Each year, tens of thousands of kids have their first angling experience via activities held by the local clubs of NJFF. The clubs do also a lot of enhancement and restoration projects to improve the fish habitat, benefitting both fish stocks and anglers.
The organisation has over 80 employees who, amongst others, develop courses and training in everything from practical fishing to habitat improvement and fish cultivation. Regardless, the greatest resource is the hands of the members who make a formidable effort to give their children and grandchildren at least as good fishing opportunities as their parents and grandparents already have.