Norway's fisheries minister Cecilie Myrseth with students being trained in the school kitchen through Fiskesprell.

Norway puts more cash on the table for seafood in schools


Norway’s industry and fisheries ministry has allocated an extra NOK 3.9 million (£296,000) towards a programme to encourage children and young people to eat more seafood.

Although the country is the world’s largest producer of farmed salmon, fewer and fewer Norwegians eat fish and seafood, and that’s something that the Fiskesprell programme is intended to turn around.

“More children and young people must open their eyes to the good fish and seafood we have in Norway,” said fisheries and oceans minister Cecilie Myrseth.

“To counteract the declining trend, we must ensure that seafood is easily available. We know that the price of fish and seafood is a major barrier to increasing its use in schools and nurseries. That is why we are now giving an extra grant to the dietary programme Fiskesprell of NOK 3.9 million to strengthen access to seafood.”

The extra funding will increase raw material support in schools and kindergartens.

13% fall in eight years

There has been a decrease of 13% in the consumption of fish and seafood in Norway since 2015.

“Fish and seafood is Norway’s second largest export product. At the same time, we have never eaten less fish than today here at home, and the government is keen to step up efforts,” said Myrseth.

“Seafood is both sustainable and healthy, so we must reverse the trend. It is both about our health and it is about the health of our planet, because the sea is the most sustainable food dish we have. I want to contribute to more children and young people enjoying nutritious and good fish and seafood through the Fiskesprell programme.”

The minister, a Labour MP for the northern coastal constituency of Troms, said the government was looking at both the causes in the fall of seafood consumption and ways to alleviate it.

Social differences

“Among other things, we have appointed an expert group to investigate cost-effective measures that can contribute to a better diet and equalise social differences. Reversing the trend will require a joint effort - from manufacturers and grocery stores, restaurants, and canteens, at school, at work, and of course at home. I hope more Norwegians use the new year to put more fantastic seafood on the table.”

The expert group submitted its report to Norway’s ministry of health and care on January 5 and it will now be reviewed.

Fiskesprell – which translates as Fish Bounce – offers courses for staff in kindergartens and after-school care, and students in child and youth work subjects at upper secondary schools. The aim is to motivate and inspire adults who are responsible for children’s and young people’s diets to prepare seafood.

The programme also distributes free teaching materials and offers support for the purchase of seafood in kindergartens and schools. Fiskesprell gives children and young people equal access to fish and seafood and in this way contributes to equalising social inequalities in diet.