The Vega Archipelago on the Helgeland coast comprises 1037 square kilometres of open cultural landscape made up of a myriad of islands, islets and skerries, where fishing and trapping have been taking place for ten thousand years.
Inscribed on World Heritage List in 2004
The archipelago was chosen to be represented on the World Heritage List because it fulfils the cultural landscape criteria, and was the first larger Norwegian area to be registered on the list in 2004.
The universal value of the Vega Archipelago lies in the way the area had handed down history and cultural traditions evolved on an exposed coast with rich natural resources.
As the first islands gradually became settled, the characteristic landscape was shaped little by little through the interplay between fisherman-farmers and inhospitable, but rich nature. New commercial enterprises have left few traces to break the long lines back in time.
Reasons for the UNESCOs decision:
"The Vega archipelago reflects the way generations of fishermen/farmers have, over the past 1500 years, maintained a sustainable living in an inhospitable seascape near the Arctic Circle, based on the now unique practice of eider down harvesting, and it also celebrates the contribution made by women to the eider down process."