The Faroe Islands lie in the heart of the Northeast Atlantic, where the warm Gulf stream and the cold polar waters meet. Warm Gulf Stream waters mix with an influx of colder polar waters in the seas around the islands, and the powerful currents create dynamic and highly productive ecosystems.
Fishing has been the main source of income for the Faroe Islands since the late 19th century. Fish and fish products - including farmed fish - represent between 90 and 95 percent of total export value, and around 20 percent of the GDP.
A large variety of fish stocks is utilised from international waters, within the 200-mile exclusive fisheries zone of the Faroe Islands, as well as in other nations zones through fisheries agreements. The Faroe Islands have become a significant actor in the global seafood market.
The most important fish species for Faroese capture fisheries include cod, haddock and saithe, along with pelagic species such as mackerel, herring and blue whiting.
In 2019, Faroese seafood exports were 625.000 tonnes, worth approximatly 9.5 billion DKK (1.3 billion EUR). Per capita, the Faroe Islands are by far the largest producer of seafood in the world.
Faroese fisheries and aquaculture are multifaceted. Not only do they contribute to global food security, but they also supply international markets with high-quality products and provide the people of the Faroe Islands with sustainable livelihoods.
Safeguarding the marine environment and using its resources sustainably is a major priority for the Faroe Islands, and a responsibility which is shared both with neighbouring countries in the North Atlantic and with the rest of the international community.
The Government of the Faroe Islands allocates significant resources to secure a controlled and sustainable utilization of fish stocks. This is administered through an effort based regulatory system, managed by the Ministry of Fisheries on the basis of national and international scientific advise.
Marine research in the Faroe Islands aims to provide the best possible scientific basis for sustainable exploitation of marine resources. This research is incorporated into the specialist working groups under the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), which then provide the basis for the Faroe Marine Research Institute’s advice to the Government.
The official website – www.FaroeseSeafood.com - gathers information on Faroese fisheries and aquaculture, the main fish species produced in the Faroe Islands, a directory of Faroese seafood exporters and a selection of recipes.