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Båtsfjord kommune

Báhcavuona gielda
View of Båtsfjord village
View of Båtsfjord village
Flag of Båtsfjord kommune
Official logo of Båtsfjord kommune
Finnmark within
Båtsfjord within Finnmark
Båtsfjord within Finnmark
Coordinates: 70°38′07″N 29°43′15″E / 70.63528°N 29.72083°E / 70.63528; 29.72083Coordinates: 70°38′07″N 29°43′15″E / 70.63528°N 29.72083°E / 70.63528; 29.72083
Administrative centreBåtsfjord
 • Mayor (2011)Geir Knutsen (Ap)
 • Total1,434.72 km2 (553.95 sq mi)
 • Land1,416.00 km2 (546.72 sq mi)
 • Water18.72 km2 (7.23 sq mi)  1.3%
Area rank#58 in Norway
 • Total2,263
 • Rank#310 in Norway
 • Density1.6/km2 (4/sq mi)
 • Change (10 years)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
ISO 3166 codeNO-2028
Official language formNeutral

Båtsfjord (Northern Sami: Báhcavuotna) is a municipality in Finnmark county, Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Båtsfjord (which is the only settlement remaining in the municipality). Båtsfjord Airport is a new, modern airport, located just outside Båtsfjord village. The Hurtigruten coastal express ferry also has regularly-scheduled stops in Båtsfjord village.

The 1,435-square-kilometre (554 sq mi) municipality is the 58th largest by area out of the 422 municipalities in Norway. Båtsfjord is the 310th most populous municipality in Norway with a population of 2,263. The municipality's population density is 1.6 inhabitants per square kilometre (4.1/sq mi) and its population has increased by 8.3% over the last decade.[2][3]

Historically, there were many other villages in the municipality, but they have been abandoned over the years. Some of these villages include Hamningberg (abandoned in 1964), Makkaur (abandoned in the 1950s), Sandfjord/Ytre Syltefjord (abandoned in 1946), Hamna (abandoned around 1950), and Nordfjord (abandoned in 1989).

General information[edit]

Båtsfjord village
Landscape in eastern Båtsfjord

Vardø Municipality was established on 1 January 1838 (see formannskapsdistrikt), encompassing the northeastern part of the Varanger Peninsula. In 1839, to comply with the formannskapsdistrikt law, the rural parts of the municipality, outside of the island/town of Vardø, were separated to form the new municipality of Vardø landdistrikt. Initially, Vardø landdistrikt had a population of 245. The new municipality was too small to be an official self-governing municipality, and it was not until 22 May 1868 when a royal resolution was passed that officially declared it a self-governing municipality. On 1 January 1874, a small part of Vardø landdistrikt (population: 48) was transferred to the town of Vardø. On 1 January 1955, the name was changed to Båtsfjord. During the 1960s, there were many municipal mergers across Norway due to the work of the Schei Committee. On 1 January 1964, the eastern fourth of Båtsfjord (population: 621) was transferred to the neighboring Vardø Municipality.[4][5]


The name was originally Vardø landdistrikt (or Vardø landsogn) which both mean "the rural district of Vardø", since it surrounded the town of Vardø. On 1 January 1955, the name was changed to Båtsfjord since the village of Båtsfjord is the main population centre of the municipality. The Old Norse form of the name is Botnsfjǫrðr. The first element is the genitive case of botn which means "the innermost part of a fjord" and the second part is the Old Norse spelling for "fjord". The village is located at the innermost part of a fjord, so the name has a very straightforward meaning.[6]

Coat of arms[edit]

The coat of arms is from modern times; they were granted on 19 April 1985. The arms show a silver fish hook on a blue background. It was chosen as a symbol for the great economic importance of fishing and fish processing in the municipality. The shape of the hook was derived from ancient Stone Age hooks found in the municipality.[7]


All municipalities in Norway, including Båtsfjord, are responsible for primary education (through 10th grade), outpatient health services, senior citizen services, unemployment and other social services, zoning, economic development, and municipal roads. The municipality is governed by a municipal council of elected representatives, which in turn elect a mayor.[8] The municipality falls under the Øst-Finnmark District Court and the Hålogaland Court of Appeal.

Municipal council[edit]

The municipal council (Kommunestyre) of Båtsfjord is made up of 15 representatives that are elected to four year terms. Currently, the party breakdown is as follows:[9]

Båtsfjord Kommunestyre 2015–2019
Party Name Name in Norwegian Number of
 Labour PartyArbeiderpartiet8
 Conservative PartyHøyre7
Total number of members:15


Hamningberg fishing village

The municipality is situated on the northeastern coast of the Varanger Peninsula. The rocky, barren landscape has no native trees due to the climate. The Varangerhalvøya National Park lies in the southern part of the municipality. Makkaur Lighthouse lies along the shoreline, near the mouth of the Båtsfjorden, northeast of the village of Båtsfjord.

Climate data for Båtsfjord
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Daily mean °C (°F) −6.5
Average precipitation mm (inches) 48
Source: Norwegian Meteorological Institute[10]

Previously, there were several villages along this barren coast, but today everyone lives in the village of Båtsfjord, with a sheltered harbor at the end of the Båtsfjorden inlet. The most interesting of the now-abandoned fishing villages is Hamningberg on the outer coast. It has many well-preserved 19th century wooden houses, a unique example of old architecture in a county so devastated by World War II. Now, it is only used for summer vacation stays.


View of the landscape

The municipality covers an area of 1,433 square kilometres (553 sq mi) including Finnmark's highest mountain pass over Ordofjell at 400 metres (1,300 ft) above sea level. With the Barents Sea pounding the rocky coastline, Båtsfjord is at the mercy of the elements, but it is a great place to visit with the worlds northernmost gannet colony to be found on the stack at Syltefjordstauran, along the Syltefjorden, north of the now-abandoned village of Nordfjord. The two pairs that were discovered in 1961 have now grown to well over 300 pairs. The northern gannet is just one of many species that can be seen.

Buildings and structures[edit]


The Church of Norway has one parish (sokn) within the municipality of Båtsfjord. It is part of the Varanger prosti (deanery) in the Diocese of Nord-Hålogaland. The main church is Båtsfjord Church. There are two other small chapels, but they are only used for special occasions since they are located in uninhabited areas that are only used for summer cottages.

Churches in Båtsfjord
Parish (sokn) Name Location Year built
Båtsfjord Båtsfjord Church Båtsfjord 1971
Hamningberg Chapel Hamningberg 1949
Syltefjord Chapel Nordfjord 1934

Mast for broadcasting[edit]


Fishing permits (for salmon fishing) are sold for use on specific rivers, including Sandfjord-elva, Syltefjord-elva and Komag-elva.[11] A crab factory was started in 2015; 20 - 30 million Norwegian kroner was the cost of investment—then employing 28.[12]

Notable people[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

Båtsfjord was used in the cartoon Metalocalypse's first episode, "The Curse of Dethklok." In the episode, 300,000 people from around the world travel to Båtsfjord to hear the main characters, a death metal band named Dethklok play a little-over-one-minute jingle promoting a fictional coffee company. The episode features a large amount of death by various means, mainly the parachuted stage missing its landing spot. The episode also features James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett of Metallica fame.


  1. ^ "Navn på steder og personer: Innbyggjarnamn" (in Norwegian). Språkrådet. Retrieved 2015-12-01.
  2. ^ Statistisk sentralbyrå (2018). "Table: 06913: Population 1 January and population changes during the calendar year (M)" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2018-12-10.
  3. ^ Statistisk sentralbyrå. "09280: Area of land and fresh water (km²) (M)" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2018-12-10.
  4. ^ Jukvam, Dag (1999). "Historisk oversikt over endringer i kommune- og fylkesinndelingen" (PDF) (in Norwegian). Statistisk sentralbyrå.
  5. ^ Rygh, Oluf (1924). Norske gaardnavne: Finmarkens amt (in Norwegian) (18 ed.). Kristiania, Norge: W. C. Fabritius & sønners bogtrikkeri. p. 301.
  6. ^ Rygh, Oluf (1924). Norske gaardnavne: Finmarkens amt (in Norwegian) (18 ed.). Kristiania, Norge: W. C. Fabritius & sønners bogtrikkeri. p. 309.
  7. ^ Norske Kommunevåpen (1990). "Nye kommunevåbener i Norden". Retrieved 2008-12-08.
  8. ^ Hansen, Tore, ed. (2016-05-12). "kommunestyre". Store norske leksikon (in Norwegian). Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 2018-06-05.
  9. ^ "Table: 04813: Members of the local councils, by party/electoral list at the Municipal Council election (M)" (in Norwegian). Statistics Norway. 2015.
  10. ^ "eKlima Web Portal". Norwegian Meteorological Institute. Archived from the original on 2004-06-14.
  11. ^ "Laksefiske for alle". Aftenposten. 2014-07-19. p. 11.
  12. ^ «Fiskerihovedstaden» utvider med ny snøkrabbefabrikk
  13. ^ http://www.dagsavisen.no/innenriks/frank-bakke-jensen-blir-ny-minister-1.904448

External links[edit]