Maritime Studies

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 253–261 | Cite as

The regulative lock-in: the challenge of establishing Sami fisheries governance in Norway

  • Jahn Petter JohnsenEmail author
  • Siri Ulfsdatter Søreng
Original Paper


For almost 30 years, the Sami Parliament has worked to gain influence in the Norwegian fisheries governing system in order to secure Sami fisheries as the material basis of Sami culture. Due to developments in international law and their implementation in state law, the Sami Parliament has gained formal access to the country’s fisheries governance decision-making process. This paper addresses the challenges for a Sami fisheries approach to gain influence in the national governance system. A major issue relates to differences between the institutional design of the Norwegian system, with ecosystem health, profitability and individual welfare as main concerns, while important pillars formulated by the Sami Parliament are subsidiarity and collective rights. In this article, we discuss what might be the way forward for a Sami fisheries policy to expand within the Norwegian fisheries governance system.


Fisheries governance Norway Sami Fishing rights Institutional analysis 



The authors thank the two anonymous reviewers and Maarten Bavinck for useful comments. Thanks are due to Proof-Reading Service ( for thorough editing and proof reading.

Authors’ contributions

The authors have contributed equally to the article. Both authors have critically reviewed text written by the other and have contributed to writing and editing all parts of the document. Both authors agree with the analysis and conclusion.


This article is funded by the Norwegian College of Fishery Science and the authors.

Compliance with ethical standards

The authors comply with the guidelines for research ethics from the Norwegian National Committee for Research Ethics in the Social Sciences and Humanities.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jahn Petter Johnsen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Siri Ulfsdatter Søreng
    • 2
  1. 1.Norwegian College of Fishery ScienceUniversity of Tromsø - The Arctic University of NorwayTromsøNorway
  2. 2.School of Business and EconomicsUniversity of Tromsø – The Arctic University of NorwayTromsøNorway

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