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History of the Norwegian Coastal Administration

The history of the Norwegian Coastal Administration's areas of activity can be traced far back in time, much further than the history of the Norwegian Coastal Administration itself.

Maritime transport was a prerequisite for settlement along our long coastline, as well as a fundamental factor in the establishment of Norway as a seafaring nation The fishing industry is, and has been, an important part of the economic base and settlement along the coast, and the Norwegian Coastal Administration currently owns and manages close to 800 fishing ports.

The Norwegian Coastal Administration's task has been to maintain a high level of safety and accessibility along the Norwegian coast by the development and maintenance of a maritime infrastructure, in addition to providing various maritime services.

The Norwegian Coastal Administration is a young agency in name. but it maintains the long-standing traditions of its predecessors: the Lighthouse and Buoy Authority, Pilot Authority and Port Authority.  The Coast Directorate was established in 1974 by merging the Lighthouse and Buoy, Pilot and Port Authorities.

In 1981 the term Norwegian Coastal Administration was introduced as a collective term for the entire agency, when the regional organisation was established with regional district offices in Arendal, Haugesund, Ålesund, Kabelvåg and Honningsvåg. 

In 2002 the directorate was moved from Oslo to Ålesund. The regional offices were assigned special areas of responsibility and represent national centres for various areas of specialisation within the agency. The Norwegian Coastal Administration's shipping company, which is located in Ålesund, was spun off as a separate unit.

In 2003 the Emergency Preparedness Unit for Acute Pollution, which was formerly under the Norwegian Pollution Control Authority (now the Climate and Pollution Agency) was placed under the Norwegian Coastal Administration. This unit is located in Horten, Ålesund (lawyers), Tromsø and Bergen as of 2010.

In 2007 the name Coast Directorate was changed to the Norwegian Coastal Administration's head office. The district offices became regional offices at the same time.

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