Aquaculture and Fisheries

SANDS is the leading legal advisor in aquaculture and fisheries. Both industries and their value chains are undergoing rapid development, and ever more reliable legal advice is needed to ensure growth and development.

SANDS have unique knowledge of fishing and aquaculture law that is unique in Norway. SANDS also have broad approach to sea legal issues, which means that they have a multi-spectrum approach to law. 

- Client, Legal 500, 2020

SANDS’ leading position as lawyers in the field is rooted in long experience; a geographic presence along the entire coast of Norway; strong legal expertise in fisheries, aquaculture and business law; thorough knowledge of the industries’ needs and a capacity that means we always deliver top-level and effective advice.

SANDS is a national firm with a distinct regional presence and the industries’ largest players on its list of clients. Our 12 dedicated partners and lawyers are uniquely present where the industries are located along the coast – in Tromsø, Trondheim, Ålesund and Bergen – and from there they manage complex processes that lead to changes in regulations and legislation for the entire sector.

Professional strength

SANDS is the leading legal advisor in both aquaculture and fisheries and differs from many law firms by being equally strong in both lines of business. We provide services to the entire value chain, from the core firms out to the surrounding segments: from knowledge providers and the fish technology and health industry to shipbuilders, processors and distributors. You will find the largest firms in fisheries and aquaculture in Norway on SANDS’ list of clients.

Aquaculture and fisheries enterprises have become far larger. The operation has become more expensive, more professionalised and more structured. Ever stricter and more comprehensive regulatory requirements are being imposed. Therefore the demand for solid business law services is also increasing.

SANDS covers all legal fields in fisheries and aquaculture: transactions, business advice, regulatory matters and conflict resolution. Each year we handle up to 20 large transaction mandates in the fishing industry alone, which clearly makes us the largest in the industry. We also offer Norway’s leading tax experts in fishing and aquaculture. In 2017, one of our partners published the book containing the entire regulatory structure for the aquaculture industry, including legal analysis and interpretation.

SANDS’ blog fiskejus.no is a dynamic resource for both professionals and clients, with legal resources and relevant articles on the sector.

Local presence: How SANDS Works

Solid legal advice is essential for avoiding problems and disputes, but it also creates value in itself. It is intended for a sector which, fundamentally, is completely regulated, in order for it to be further structured and professionalised. Therefore legal advisors are needed who are able to put the industry’s commercial development at the fore. A unique presence is required for this:

Lawyers who can roll with the industry. SANDS has 12 professionally strong partners who are dedicated to the fishing and aquaculture industries. In a sector defined by short time horizons (capelin do not wait for a permit to be granted), we know how critical it can be to be able to act quickly and precisely to solve problems that have arisen. Fish don’t sleep. SANDS offers dedicated partners and teams who are available with penetrating advice round the clock.

Lawyers with a local presence. A shipowner, a fish buyer and a supplier have different industry-specific logic when it comes to profitability and risk. Advising the entire value chain requires thorough knowledge of the underlying sectors. SANDS believes this knowledge is acquired by being present. Our lawyers are located in offices from Tromsø to Bergen – on the coast, where the industry is evolving every day. We know fisheries management locally, regionally and nationally, and we use our size and geographic presence as a competitive advantage for our clients.

The services SANDS offers

The growth trends will be reinforced, and further professionalising and structuring are expected in fisheries and aquaculture. With that, the demand for more specialised legal expertise will also increase. SANDS offers a broad spectrum of services:

  • Purchase and sale of businesses, vessels and fisheries rights, aquaculture licences and locations
  • Adjustments in operating basis, owner changes and succession
  • Various types of commercial contracts and sales, production and distribution contracts
  • Framework conditions, regulation and contact with authorities
  • New construction and financing
  • Tax and charge adjustments
  • Litigation and dispute resolution

They have a very good knowledge regarding fisheries.

- Client, Chambers, 2020

Fish don't sleep

Aquaculture and fisheries are storming ahead. The need is simultaneously increasing for lawyers who understand that fish neither sleep nor wait for the permits to be approved. “We know how this works because we have a presence along the entire coast and work according to the same clock as the rest of the industry – in other words, the one that ticks 24 hours a day,” says Ole-Martin Andreassen, leader of Norway’s largest and closest-at-hand law firm for fishing and aquaculture.