Mapping the bioeconomy: Biological resources and production in forestry, agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture across Norway. (16/2016)

Mapping the bioeconomy: Biological resources and production in forestry, agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture across Norway. (16/2016)

Institute: 
Norut
Type of publication: 
Report
Year: 
2016
Volume: 
16/2016

Terrestrial and marine resources is the primary basis for the bioeconomy. This report gives an overview of the status and development of biological resources and production across forestry, agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture in Norway. Resources and output in the sectors vary both geographically and over time.

Forestry is mostly inland in the Southeast, fisheries and aquaculture is along the Southwestern and Northern coasts, while agriculture is more spread across the country. The annual increment in the productive forests, at around 25 million m3 for many years, has been bigger than the annual logging at 7-10 million m3, leading to increased standing volume.

The share of agricultural land in Norway is small at 3 per cent, but a high proportion of this is arable. The use of agricultural land has decreased slightly over the last decade, but the production of food from agriculture has been quite stable at 10 000-12 000 Terajoule/year.

In fisheries, spawning stock of different species fluctuates markedly over time with corresponding variations in catches. However, the total harvest of wild seafood has been around 2.5 million tons annually since the mid-1990s.

Aquaculture has had continuous growth since the birth of this sector in the 1970s, except for two years, and was at 1.3 million tonnes in 2014. The potential for increased production differs between the sectors, depending on the biological resource base, but also various techno-economic and environmental challenges.

In forestry, there is potential for utilising the increased standing forest volume. In agriculture, production can be increased through better agronomic practices, such as crop rotation, and use of outfield grazing areas for livestock. In fisheries, traditionally harvested fish species are practically fully exploited, but expansion can be achieved through exploiting other species, for example plankton and seaweed. The aquaculture sector has an ambition of a five-fold production increase. The realization of this requires among other things control with diseases, securing sufficient feed with the right quality and handling of negative impacts on the environment.