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Rognkjeks. Foto: Ø. Paulsen
Photo: Ø. Paulsen
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Quotas and catches

There have been fisheries for lumpfish with gill nets since the 1950’s. This is a seasonal fishery that takes place in the spring when lumpfish is coming into the coast to spawn. 

In the Norwegian fisheries only the roe is used, salted and used as caviar. The best fishing takes place in shallow areas from 5 to 40 meters deep, often in the outer parts of the coast that is exposed to the open sea, from Stadt and to the north. Fishing is thus very dependant of the weather, especially since only small boats are used in the shallow areas.

The fishing has recently been considerably hindered by the prevalence of king crab. Fishing for lumpfish east of North Cape was one of the criteria to get a quota of king crab, and this has influenced the increase in participation in recent years.

The market for roe from lumpfish absorbs approximately. 4 000 tonnes of raw roe every year. Most is salted in barrels at landing sites or by the fishers themselves.

About lumpfish

Latin name: Cyclopterus lumpus
Norwegian names: Rognkjeks (female), Rognkall (male), Rognkjølse
Family: Cyclopteridae (Lumpfishes)
Maximum size: Up to 63 cm and 5.5 kg
Lifespan: More than 7-8 years old, maybe 15
Habitat: Kelp forest belt along the coast during first year of life, then freely swimming in the ocean. Living from Biscay to Iceland and the northern Barents Sea
Spawning area: Along the coast of the eastern Atlantic Ocean on the shallow water in the entire distribution area
Spawning time: In the spring, giving the basis for fisheries.
Food Habits: Mainly plankton found in open water