Guidelines for unloading pelagic fish in Norway

Published: by Roar Bjånesøy

Sjømat Norge and Norges Sildesalgslag has jointly developed guidelines for unloading pelagic fish in order to maintain covid-19 infection control for all parties

The guidelines are made so that interaction and procedures between vessels and buyers can be handles as good as possible while following current infection control regulations.

The guidelines are:


Only one person from the vessel should go ashore to participate in the sampling of the fish while unloading the catch. The same person should participate in all the sampling work.

At interaction between vessel and buyer adequate protective gear ( facemasks and gloves) shall be used. The interaction shall also follow the landing site’s other current hygienic measures

The one-meter rule should apply at all times

All documents to be exchanged between the vessel and the buyer should be transferred electronically. The signing of the sales-note should be done using Norges Sildesalgslags’ app

If infection control regulations prohibit physical presence at sampling, live videotransfer or other measures can be used to make sure both parties are represented at the sampling measures.

Handling of mooring lines at arrival/departure can be handled by using gloves by all involved. It is recommended that vessel and buyers agrees on procedures for this before arrival. AN example is that a person from shore handles the first mooring line and the vessels crew handles the rest.

If suspected infection on the vessel or at the landing site, extra measures must be invoked as to hinder infection spreading between the two parties. If this is the case, the unloading should proceed without any interaction between people from the vessel and the landing site. Mooring of the vessels and connection of the unloading equipment shall be handles without interaction.

If a vessel has a suspicion of covid-19 on board, Norges Sildesalgslag will, if possible, have an inspector to act as the vessels representative during unloading the catch.

If a situations arise where the landing site need to stop production due to Covid-19, this will be handled as a Force Majeure case with regards to Item 12.2 in Norges Sildesalgslags business rules

( In these Force Majeure incidents the practice is that the catch is offered to the buyer with the next bid in the action where the catch was sold. In case the other bidders in that auction is unable to land the catch , the vessel has the option of going on the next auction with an adjusted bidding area)

Sampling of fish at landings where there are complaints from the buyer:


The control measure if complaints is that samples of fish are opened over longer period  and the inspections are made by fish provided to the inspector that opens the fish alone. The fish is not used for production after it has been cut but provided for inspection from both the buyer and the vessels' representative.

Norges Sildesalgslags inspectors work under strenuous conditions while handling complaints, like static working position,  work noise, monotone work and long hours.

It is important to  maintain adequate  working environment conditions and adequate infection control routines.  We therefore ask that measure are in place for wearing facemask or visor and frequent change of disposable gloves for Norges Sildesalgslags inspectors to perform the sampling controls in connection with catch complaints.

If the landing site has a higher threshold for infection control equipment ( exceeding use of facemask, visor, gloves and protective suits) it is recommended that our inspectors following the landing sites own regulations. But then shorter work hours and longer breaks during the sampling must be in effect.

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