Blue whale

The blue whale is the world's biggest animal, even if we count the enormous dinosaurs that died out more than 60 million years ago. The largest blue whales caught in the Antarctic were up to 32.6 metres long and could weigh up to 190 tonnes.


Stinging jellyfish

Jellyfish are familiar summer visitors to Norway’s islands and fjords. They are frequently encountered by swimmers and can get caught in fishing nets. In both cases there is a clear and present danger of coming in contact with the tentacles trailing underneath their dome-like mantles where stinging projectiles (called nematocysts) lay waiting to be released. 


Fin whale

Fin whales are found in all the oceans of the world and local populations are even found in the Mediterranean. In the southern hemisphere, fin whales reach about 26 metres (females) and 25 metres (males). They are somewhat shorter in the northern hemisphere and weigh from 60–80 tonnes in the south and 40–50 tonnes in the north. 


Horse mackerel

The horse mackerel (Trachurus trachurus) is widely distributed from Africa to the Norwegian Sea. It is a pelagic fish feeding on zooplankton, fish larvae and smaller fish. International catches of western horse mackerel are annually around 150 000 tonnes.


White whale

The beluga and the narwhale constitute the family Monodontidae. Both species are medium sized odontocetes (toothed whales) distributed in Arctic waters.


Hooded seals

Hooded seals are widespread in the Arctic parts of the North Atlantic. Adults gather in patches in the drifting pack ice during the breeding period in March. Pups born on the ice, where they remain throughout the lactation period, which lasts for four to five days.


Humpback whale

With its extremely long pectoral fins (a third of its body length), hump on its back and wart-like growths on its upper and lower mandibles, the humpback whale is distinct from the other whales in the fin whale family. The generic name Megaptera is of Greek origin and means ”large-winged" (mega = large; ptera = wing). This obviously refers to the long pectoral fins. 



European hake in the North Sea, Skagerrak and Norwegian coastal waters.



Northeast Atlantic (NEA) mackerel is found in a huge area extending from the Iberian Peninsula in the south to the northern Norwegian Sea up to Svalbard in the north. Mackerel is a fast-swimming schooling pelagic fish, and feed on a variety of zooplankton and small fish. 


Bluefin tuna

The Atlantic bluefin tuna is the most iconic fish species in the world. It is the largest of all tuna species and one of the largest fish species on our blue planet. They can reach sizes of more than 3 meters in length and weigh more than 700 kg. They can reach swimming speeds of up to 70 km/h, cross the Atlantic Ocean in 50 days and dive deeper than 1000 m depths.



The porpoise is all small toothed whale about one and a half metres long. In Norway, the porpoise takes its name, "nise", from an Old Norse word for to sneeze. This refers to the sound of the spout when the porpoise comes to the surface to breathe. The porpoise has a dark grey back and somewhat lighter abdomen with a dark stripe from the corner of the mouth to the pectoral fin. Together with five other species, they form the Phocoenidae family.


Norwegian spring-spawning herring

The herring is a pelagic fish inhabiting the upper water masses. Norwegian spring-spawning herring (NSSH) belongs to the Atlanto-Scandian herring together with Icelandic summer-spawning and Icelandic spring-spawning herring.

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Spiny dogfish

Several shark species are found in Norwegian waters. The most common are spurdog, velvet-belly lanternshark, Greenland shark, porbeagle and basking shark. Spurdog is one of the most abundant sharks we know, and it has a worldwide distribution. The species is divided into several stocks, and the Northeast Atlantic stock is found from the Bay of Biscay to the Barents Sea.


Polar Cod

Polar cod is a pelagic or semi pelagic fish, ie. it lives in the free water masses, but is usually distributed down to the bottom, often in very dense concentrations. It is a cold-water species which thrives best north of the Polar front. 



Despite its commercial interest, lumpfish is a poorly studied group, and many aspects of its lifecycle and ecology are unknown. Lumpfish is a semi-pelagic species. The adults are distributed in the open ocean but migrate towards coastal areas to spawn. This happens during the spring season and the males generally arrive at the coast before the females.


Northeast Arctic saithe

Saithe occur only in the North Atlantic, with a small population in the western part between the border of Canada and USA. In the Northeast Atlantic saithe is currently divided into six stocks primarily in the area west of Ireland, west of Scotland, around the Faroe Islands, Iceland, the North Sea, and along the Norwegian coast north of Stad.


Killer whale

The killer whale is the largest species in the dolphin family (Delphinidae). With its high dorsal fin and its clear pattern with its white abdomen, a white spot behind the eye and a grey saddle patch on an otherwise black body, the killer whale is easily recognisable.


Harbour seals

Harbour and grey seals are known as coastal seals in Norway. They occur in colonies distributed along the coast and they complete their entire life cycle in coastal waters.


Cod – Northeast Arctic

Cod is a predatory fish and mainly a demersal fish, but in the Barents Sea it is also to a large extent distributed in the pelagic water masses during some parts of the year. Young cod (age 0–2) feed mainly on zooplankton, while fish and benthic organisms are the main food items for the older cod.


Minke whale

Common minke whales reach up to 10 metres in length. The females are slightly longer than the males. The common minke whales in the northern hemisphere have dark backs with a lighter, almost whitish abdomen. The pectoral fin has a clear white band. They have whitish baleen.


Norway pout

Norway pout is a small, short-lived fish species in the cod family (Gadidae) that lives at depths ranging from 50–250 meters.