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Thursday, 27 July 2017

Oil and the battle for Norway’s soul

Oil and the battle for Norway’s soul:

"As his fishing boat bobs its way out of the port, Leif Karlsen points to the house where he was born 63 years ago. He lets out nearly two kilometres’ worth of line while we watch the majestic, jagged peaks that dominate this part of the Arctic Circle framing the sea. Then he gestures towards another dwelling. “My grandmother lives there; she is 103.”

Karlsen has fished the waters off Norway’s Lofoten Islands since he was 15. The spectacular archipelago — widely prized as the crown jewel in a country with abundant natural treasure — is known for a bounteous population of Arctic cod, which has formed the basis of its economy for almost a millennium. 

It is a bright June day and outside the Arctic cod season, so Karlsen is here to catch halibut. The haul is expected to be slight — “I will be satisfied with one,” he says in his strong, lilting Lofoten dialect over the chug of the motor."



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