Illustrations by LPO architects

A centre for experiences AND knowledge about the Lofoten fishery and Norway’s most important fish

The Lofoten fishery and Norway’s most important fish. SKREI is supposed to be about that. SKREI will be a place where visitors can learn, sense, experience and understand the importance of the Lofoten fishery. The cod and fisheries have created and are still creating enormous for Norway. SKREI will extend beyond the traditional framework of a museum.

SKREI opens in 2026.

SKREI will be consisting of 4 main attractions: the newly built “Otolitten” – the Otholite, the Lofoten Museum, The Espolin Gallery and the Lofoten Aquarium. All the parts will be tied together so that it is visually beautiful, practically accessible and the stories are conveyed in the best possible way. One place will be complementing the other. SKREI is realised in Storvågan, Kabelvåg – in the heart of Lofoten. This is where the commercial trade in of stockfish – dried cod – began.

Hot romance in the sea creates livelihoods on land

The waters around Lofoten are some of the most nutritious in the world. This has created the basis for a natural phenomenon of dimensions. The Arctic cod grows up in the Barents Sea and from here embark on the long migration to Lofoten to spawn. The Lofoten fishery has attracted thousands of fishermen and provided a livelihood for many.

The Lofoten fishery and Norway’s most important fish have created enormous values, culturally and economically. This long relationship between man and Norway’s most important fish contains many important, exciting and surprising stories. SKREI will highlight the stories about fish, people, culture, sustainability, past and future. 

The world’s largest seasonal cod fishery

The Lofoten fishery has left deep traces in Norwegian culture for many centuries. This large winter fishing for cod has been of great importance to Norway. People from all over the country have flocked to Lofoten to participate in the world’s largest seasonal fishery for cod. For hundreds of years, stockfish was the country’s most important export commodity. Even today, the Lofoten fishery is a major industry.

Cod spawn from the Møre coast to Finnmark, and fishing has traditionally taken place in the same areas. However, most fishermen have fished from Lofoten islands. It is in Lofoten most of the fish have come ashore. The Lofoten fishery is a widely known fishery.

Norway’s and especially Lofoten’s coastal areas offer unique economic conditions. That’s why the cod comes here. The Lofoten fisheries are the world’s largest seasonal cod fishery.

Bildet viser svømmende fisk, skrei eller torsk. SKREI blir et senter for opplevelser og kunnskap 
om Norges viktigste fisk
Ikke all torsk er skrei men all skrei er torsk. Foto Kjell Ove Storvik/Museum Nord

Norway’s most important export for several hundred years

The Lofoten fishery is a phenomenon of national importance, culturally and economically. The cod that is caught is consumed as fresh fish, salted fish and stockfish. Stockfish has represented the majority of Norwegian export value in a period of our history of more than 500 years.

The Lofoten fishery and Norway’s most important fish, skrei, have provided a basis for settlement, created great values culturally and economically. The Lofoten fishery has shaped way of life, material and intangible culture. The Lofoten fishery is still very important. Not least, it is a vibrant industry.

Bildet viser tørrfisk. Kommersiell handel med tørrfisk startet der hvor SKREI skal ligge. SKREI blir et senter for opplevelser og kunnskap 
om Norges viktigste fisk
Tørrfiskhandel har funnet sted i Lofoten i mer enn 1000 år. Foto: Middelaldercenteret DK

The history of the Lofoten fishery NEEDS more space

Communicating what fishing for cod has meant, means and will mean for Norway is a major and important task, both for Norway and for Lofoten.  SKREI will be a centre for experiences and knowledge about the Lofoten fishery and Norway’s most important fish.

To realize this task, Museum Nord and Vågan municipality have taken the initiative to establish a national centre for the Lofoten fishery and the importance of cod for Norway in the past, present and future.

Illustrasjon fra Otolitten, med utsikt mot evig mektige Vågakallen. Otolitten blir et nav i SKREI. SKREI blir et senter for opplevelser og  kunnskap om Norges viktigste fisk.
Illustrasjon fra Otolitten. Dette bygget blir et viktig element i SKREI. Bygget skal blant annet romme en stor utstilling, kafé og magasiner. Illustrasjon: LPO arkitekter.

The plan includes a high-quality knowledge and experience centre. Relevant topics within both natural science and art and cultural history in a broad sense must be disseminated.

The centre will be highlighting the connection between humans and a fantastic renewable resource. It will show us what deep traces this fishing has left in our material culture and way of life, but at the same time look ahead and stimulate reflection on the future of the cod fishery and the fisheries industry in general. Dissemination must be closely linked to the research front in the relevant subject areas.

Norway’s history is not complete

The Lofoten fishery has left such deep traces in Norwegian history – so deep that the story of Norway cannot be told without including the cod fishery and the significance of stockfish. SKREI will help to make the whole story of Norway more familiar, more complete. The history of the Lofoten fishery and Norway’s most important fish will be given more prominence.

Illustrasjonen viser SKREI, beliggende i Storvågan i Kabelvåg. Illustrasjon: LPO arkitekter.

The commercial trade in stockfish began in Lofoten, in the old Vágar. Over a period of 500 years in Norwegian history, stockfish represented the bulk of Norway’s export revenues. Right here, on the site of old Vágar, we establish SKREI. We will highlight the national history of the cod fishery and show how it has shaped culture and ways of life.

SKREI goes beyond the framework of a traditional museum. SKREI is about the relationship between humans and a fantastic, renewable resource. SKREI will tell about both the history and future of the fish, the people and the place.

How do we create skrei?

First, we build and open the otolith

We have been working on our plans for SKREI for the past 15 years. We have the support of local, regional and national authorities. In the autumn of 2021, we received the final go-ahead from the government to start building SKREI.

SKREI is realised in Storvågan, Kabelvåg – in the heart of Lofoten, where the commercial trade in cod began. SKREI will include several attractions: the Lofoten Aquarium, the Lofoten Museum and Gallery Espolin – in addition to the new, large building we will now build; The Oolith.

LPO architects, with Expology AB and Asplan Viak on the team, won the architectural competition. In the autumn of 2023, the site will be prepared for the new building “Otolitten”. Construction will begin in 2024. In 2026, we will open SKREI.

In parallel with this, Museum Nord works closely with Expology AB to create the content for the main exhibition in Otolite. Among other things, Asplan Viak works to design and adapt the site and outdoor areas for Otolitten.

The Otolith will open in 2026. Then we continue our work to make SKREI a larger whole. The Lofoten Museum, the Lofoten Aquarium and Gallery Espolin will be linked even more clearly to SKREI, through improvements to facilities and development of dissemination services. The outdoor areas will be further upgraded.

SKREI will be a centre for experiences and knowledge about Norway’s most important fish.

The otolith

The otolith offers both independently experiences – but more importantly, it will be in interaction for the existing facilities operated by Museum Nord: the Lofoten Aquarium, Gallery Espolin and the Lofoten Museum. These will be further developed in interaction with the cultural landscape that surrounds them. The sum of the Otolith, Lofoten Museum, Gallery Espolin and the Lofoten Aquarium will provide visitors with knowledge and experiences from different perspectives. The sum of these will be SKREI.

The Otolith will be 5000 sqm. Here we create a large basic exhibition with emphasis on the fish and people in the past and present and projection of possible future scenarios. In the grand story of the Lofoten fishery, it is also natural to include the sea, ecology, biology, art and culture.

The Otolith will also provide spaces for changing exhibitions and events, contain Museum Nord’s relevant collections as part of the centre’s knowledge base, offices and public offerings such as a café.

SKREI will become an attraction

We expect 140.000 visitors a year to SKREI. SKREI gains attraction power of an international nature. In addition to the values created on site, cod will also create major economic ripple effects. As the Lofoten fishery and Norway’s most important fish, SKREI will also create values of various kinds.

Bildet viser kart over Storvågan. Illustrasjon: LPO arkitekter.
Kart over Storvågan som viser hvor Otolitten skal bygges (etappe 1). Etappe 2: Ny vei til Nyvågar samt større oppgradering av uteområder. Illustrasjon: LPO Arkitekter.

SKREI will be open all year round. Exhibitions, activities and experiences will be adapted to the season and visitor numbers. It will be a relevant arena for the local population to seek out knowledge about the Lofoten fishery. Visitors will gain insight into cultural history and, through experiences and knowledge, gain a better basis for understanding what Lofoten is, what the Lofoten fishery was and is and how this is displayed in our culture and industry also today. And – get to know why the Arctic cod is Norway’s most important fish.

An interdisciplinary project

When telling the story of Norway, cod and the stockfish trade are central. SKREI takes responsibility for disseminating and researching this important piece of history. We are building a museum, a centre, of national relevance, which is an important thematic addition to the breadth of Norwegian museums.

We have worked on creating content for the exhibitions at SKREI for a long time. An important initiative is the SKREI Research Center. SCR is building networks of researchers and industry actors, disseminating research from relevant disciplines and delivering content to the main exhibition.

Through its many employees, Museum Nord has access to knowledge and how to dissiminate this. Over time, various projects are working towards a common goal: to create knowledge and dissemination services to be used in SKREI. It is all about Norway’s most important fish.

SKREI blir et senter for opplevelser og kunnskap om Norges viktigste fisk. Skreien er nøkkelspilleren.


Investment budget: NOK 583 million

The development of SKREI is divided into 2 stages.

Stage 1 comprises the new building “Otolitten” and the nearest outdoor areas, totalling NOK 385 million

Stage 2 comprises further development of the existing Lofoten Museum, Lofoten Aquarium and Gallery Espolin, further development of outdoor areas and infrastructure, totalling NOK 198 million.

The financing plan includes grants for investment, supply of properties, borrowing as well as contributions from private partners.

SKREI becomes …

Illustrasjon fra Otolitten, med utsikt mot evig mektige Vågakallen. Otolitten blir et nav i SKREI. SKREI blir et senter for opplevelser og  kunnskap om Norges viktigste fisk.

Latest News

Sortland Entreprenør to build SKREI

Sortland Entreprenør has secured the main contract for the building. This is the first and by far the largest of 4 construction contracts for SKREI. The scope of the contract is NOK 180 million.

Sortland Entreprenør skal bygge SKREI

Sortland Entreprenør har sikret seg hovedentreprisen for bygget. Dette er den første og desidert største av 4 byggentrepriser for SKREI. Omfanget på kontrakten er 180 millioner kroner.

New Chairman of the Board of Skrei Eiendom AS

Jonas Tetlie has been elected as the new Chairman of the Board of Directors of Skrei Eiendom AS. He takes over from Johannes Rørtveit, who has served as chairman of the board for a number of years.

Soon ready for construction to start

Soon ready to start the building of the Otholite.

SKREI pilot at Lofotr Viking Museum

On 15 May, the film people in Lofoten Film Collective and exhibition coordinator for SKREI were at Lofotr Viking Museum to film scenes for a pilot. 

What content is in SKREI?

On 19 and 20 March there was a seminar for the exhibition group of SKREI, employees at the museums in Storvågan, Expology and our experts.

From the top shelf

From Hollywood to Lofoten to lift the adventurous world journey of the Viking girls Hedvig and Ingeborg! “A dream come true,” says Harald Zwart.

Annual report 2023

The 2023 annual report is here! Take a look at what we’ve achieved over the last year.


Museum Nord participated in the Lofoten Conference 2024 organized by our partners in “Lofoten The Green Islands” at Thon hotel Svolvær on 14 and 15 February.

Bodø 2024 also highlights the otolith

The ear stone of the cod – the otolith – tells the life story of the individual fish. Now the otolith will also be part of the story of Bodø 2024 European Capital of Culture.

Great attendance and enthusiasm

What exactly is SKREI? The open information meeting held at the end of November gave the audience many answers.

SKREI exhibition group visited Bergen

SKREI exhibition group has been on a study trip in Bergen, to meet colleagues, make contacts and get inspiration and learning for exhibition development.

Looking high and low

We are now working on the main exhibition in SKREI’s new central building, called Otolitten. One goal of the exhibition is to convey the history of the Lofoten fishery and cod from a geographical perspective that extends far beyond Lofoten. We search high and low!

Large interest in recycled materials

The demolition on the site of the Otolith is underway. Photo: Museum Nord.

SKREI has ripple effects

SKREI will have ripple effects. SKREI will provide jobs, turnover in the tourism industry and the surrounding industry. SKREI will create knowledge, give pride and contribute to identity.

SKREI: The demolition of old buildings will soon start

On the site where the new Otolite building will be erected, the demolition of old buildings will soon begin.

MFA aspirants visited SKREI and SRC

The MFA aspirants visited SKREI and Skrei Research Center (SRC) on 4 September.

Materials for reuse from former våganheimen

Old Våganheimen will be demolished in connection with the start-up of SKREI. On this occasion, Skrei Eiendom wants to give stakeholders in the local community the opportunity to reuse some of the materials from the buildings that will be demolished.

Landscape architects and basic tests of the ground

There are many tasks to be solved before SKREI can open in 2026. Among these is landscape planning – i.e. what the landscape around SKREI and now especially the Otolith should look like. What can we preserve of trees, rocks and landscape formations? Landscape architects and sample excavation are important tools.

Sparebankstiftelsen DNB supports sKrei

The DNB Savings Bank Foundation supports SKREI with millions of dollars. This is a recognition, says the director of Museum Nord.

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Jens-Henrik Andersen

Project manager