As many of you perhaps will know, Norway is a wealthy country. Norway built its wealth on oil and fisheries. Our coastline and territorial waters produces and maintains an enormous amount of different fish species. The ocean also hides the black gold. Both the exploitation of the oil and the fish has provided the country with its solid economy. One can therefore say that the ocean is our bank. Some thousand years ago it was also our path to treasures, back then however through the trade and plundering we performed as Vikings.
As we have fish in the ocean, other fish eaters also want to have their share. Amongst them are the seals. And boy do they eat a lot. Even a small fjord seal will catch and eat 7-8 pounds of fish every day. The significantly larger grey seal will off course digest even more fish each day. This appetite sum up to many tons per day when the number of seals is high. To prevent the conflict between the fisheries and the large seal populations, we have the opportunity to hunt the seals.
There are mainly two species of seal to be hunted in most parts of the country. These are the fjord seal and the grey seal. In the northern part of Norway there are also larger populations with Ringed seal and Greenland seal. Some years we are invaded by the Greenland seal. Thousands of seals will then visit our coast to hunt for fish. The hunting of each species of seal is regulated yearly with quotas. The number of seals that can be shot varies a great deal, with the Greenland seal and the Ringed seal as the most common exceptions. These species can be hunted without quota by all hunters carrying a license, although for the Ringed seal this applies only to the northern part of the country.