Is the Norwegian cod industry locked into a value-destructive volume logic?
Wild cod is a scarce and valuable natural resource. However, cod fishing along the coast of northern Norway has largely been about fishing as much as possible with the least possible resource effort, and thereby at the lowest cost. This traditional volume logic is rooted in biology, meteorology, and small scale capture technology. The logic is further enhanced by new large scale capture technology and a raw fish market where quality differences essentially are not reflected in the price of the fish. The intention of this paper is to address the extent to which the institutional framework in the Norwegian cod fisheries encourage or moderate this volume logic. In the paper fishing gear usage and the post-harvest industries’ product mix the last decade are analyzed. The findings show that the volume logic is still at work although this result in reduced quality of the catch landed, a product mix dominated by low-end products, and limited socio-economic value creation. This institutionalized volume logic is highly resistant to change. Moreover, the paper address how a competing and more customer-oriented quality logic can help create greater export values in Norwegian cod fisheries. Finally, implications are highlighted for how institutional measures can moderate the dominant volume logic and strengthen the emerging quality logic more in line with key policy objectives for Norwegian cod fisheries.