Sources of income and businesses in the national park


Fishing used to be an important source of income for people living along the coast. Today only a few professional fishers remain. On the other hand, the number of leisure fishers has risen sharply. Fish and crustacean populations have varied over time. The herring fisheries came and went, while the lobster population has gone up and down. In recent years the cod population has fallen dramatically, but we’re not sure why.

For many years, protected areas have proved an effective tool for increasing lobster stocks, and these areas are being expanded.

Foto: Erik Bleken


There are still permanently occupied farms at Søndre Årøy and at Bjerkøy. In 2009, the small islands off Nøtterøy and Tjøme were designated a selected cultural landscape arising from agriculture, i.e. an area created through the interaction of humans with nature. As traditional agricultural practices die out, landscapes change, but it is important to preserve cultural landscapes as part of our heritage. In Færder National Park the landowners, authorities, private organisations and volunteers all help to do that.

Foto: Reidun Mangrud

Recreational activities

Færder National Park is an important recreational area, both for local people and visitors. Boat trips to the islands, bathing, camping and fishing have been and remain popular activities. The residents of Tjøme, Nøtterøy and Tønsberg use the coastal zone all year round.

Foto: Jørgen Kirsebom


The first beach tourists arrived at the start of the 20th century. Bathing in the sea was in fashion, and the coast here offered fresh air and clean water. When the first bridge between Tjøme and Nøtterøy was built in 1932, visitor numbers shot up. At Verdens Ende there was a summer restaurant and an aquarium, and hotels opened on several of the islands.

Today the area is a major destination for holidaymakers, boat trips and other recreational activities. The restaurant at Verdens Ende has now become the visitor centre for Færder National Park. Numerous restaurants, cafés, guesthouses, hotels and shops offer goods and services to visitors.

Foto: Tjøme folkebibliotek

Transport and pilot services

Oslofjorden is one of Norway’s busiest seaways, and much of the sea traffic goes through the national park. The map on the right shows the busiest routes and their traffic flows. The main sea lane is in the far east. The map also shows clearly the large number of pilot boats that travel between Sandøsund and the pilot boarding area north of Store Færder. Further in there is significant traffic up Huikjæla to Tønsberg, inside Store Færder and of course along the inner shipping lane from Torgersøygapet and south to Vrengensundet.

Pilot boats and emergency response vessels make up a significant proportion of the traffic. There are also a reasonable number of cargo and fishing boats. The maritime authorities and shipping companies have worked hard to improve safety, as well as to ensure that waste and ballast water are dealt with appropriately. Unwanted incidents do, however, occur from time to time. In 2010 and 2011 there were two serious accidents that resulted in large oil spills. Many people are concerned that shipping accidents may cause serious harm to the environment and beaches.

Sea transport is very important to Norway’s economy. It is also more environmentally friendly than transport by land. Nevertheless, we must remain alert to prevent accidents and harm to the coastal zone. The lighthouse and pilot services have played, and continue to play, a major role in ensuring safety at sea. They also represent part of the region’s history.

Foto: Reidun Mangerud

Norwegian Armed Forces

Within the boundaries of the national park and just outside it there are several well-known military installations, most of which are related to coastal defence. The old military installations at Bolærne, Torås, Mågerø and Vardås are all part of the area’s heritage.

Today the Norwegian Coast Guard operates in the area. In addition to its military duties, the Coast Guard cooperates with the police, the Norwegian Nature Inspectorate and the Norwegian Coastal Administration, as well as assisting with rescue operations.

Foto: Jørgen Kirsebom