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Discovering Tromsø, Norway. The home of Arctic Light Products AS.

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This is the first in our twice-monthly VLOGs from Arctic Light Products AS of Tromsø, Norway.  The title of today’s brief VLOG is discovering Tromsø Norway, the home of Arctic Light Products AS.

You can see the first interview from Arctic Light Products AS here:


Interviewee:                     Mr. Arild Karlsen (AK)

Title:                                  Founder

Company:                         Arctic Light Products AS (ALP)


Interviewer:                      John D. Evans (JE)

Date of interview:           3 January 2022

JE  Okay, good afternoon. Welcome to this new episode of SEIML Ventures with Mr. Arild Karlsen, who is the Founder and General Manager of Arctic Light Products AS. The title of today’s brief VLOG is discovering Tromsø Norway, the home of Arctic Light Products AS.  As background, Tromsø lies in Northern Norway. This 2,500 square kilometer municipality has a population of just over 76,000, making it the 12th most populous municipality in Norway. It is the largest urban area in Northern Norway, and the third largest above the Arctic Circle anywhere in the world, quite fascinating. The municipality is milder than most settlements on the same latitude due to the effect of the Westerlies reaching this far north as well as the North Atlantic drift which is part of the Gulf Stream. So Tromsø’s latitude of just below 70 degrees north renders annual Midnight Sun and Polar Night depending on the seasons and we have some fascinating photographs for you coming up. So, in that regard let me introduce reintroduce Arild, Arild welcome here today.

AK Thank you, John. I have seen from photos to this meeting and I live in North, northern Norway and in the city Tromsø, it’s the home of Arctic Light Products.

JE Okay, so now for the for the first point, just to kick us off to give some background, now Tromsø lies above the Arctic Circle. Describe to the viewers the climate in the summer and winter and of course right now we’re in the middle of winter.

AK Yes, in the winter we have only a little light but then we see lots of Northern Lights, this is in close in North. And Tromsø lies above the Arctic Circle so in the summer we have …

JE  … 24 hours of light in the day …

AK Yes. It is midnight sun, is open 24 hours in the day.

JE But now we’re in the heart of winter and I see even though it’s daytime over your shoulder the window’s all dark so you’ve got just all nighttime now.

AK Yes it is a black day in the winter, but middle of the day we have a little light.

JE  Okay. Now describe to us the municipality of Tromsø. So, the viewers are going to be seeing this picture and it appears to be on two shores connected by a bridge. Tell us a little bit about the city geographically.

AK Yes, this it is, we say that Tromsø is the city for the fishing. We are dominate fishing the fishing boat all year and a lot of this fish is coming to Tromsø. And …

JE So, the city is split on two sides, one side on the island and one side in the mainland, is that the case?

AK Yes, it is.

JE Okay, so about the geography of the region, where we’re going to look at some shots taken probably from an airplane or some sort of high-level aircraft. It seems to be a mixture of water and mountains. It’s a very rugged countryside, there doesn’t seem to be too much flat. Is that correct?

AK Yes, it is correct.

JE  So, if it’s very mountainous Is it a rugged place with a lot of hiking and stuff like that?

AK Yes, lots of mountains and fjords.

JE  Okay, the fjords in between the different landmasses. Very interesting. Now as we’re going along, we’re going to start looking at some pictures of the water, but also some of the fish that are in the water. So, I see one, I don’t know whether it’s a dolphin or maybe even a Killer Whale. And I see a man holding just some enormous type of fish. Tell us a little bit about the variety of species that are in the water there whether for fishing or just for sightseeing.

AK Yes. A lot of sightseeing in the winter with the fish, a lot of fish in the fjord.  And then there are the whales and Killer Whales are coming, north of Tromsø, north of Norway. And the big fish you see in the picture from the man is cod. There’s a lot of this fish in this area. And we also have a red fish, pollock, capin and shrimps too. So, this is a lot of fish in the sea.

JE Is there one fish that’s the most common for the fisherman or do they fish a lot of different types of fish?

AK Different fish but a lot of cod.

JE Okay, I eat cod myself, but I had no idea they were so big. I thought they were sort of like the size of salmon. But that cod is absolutely enormous. And that is an Orca, a killer whale, we’ll see in one of the pictures there. So, some fascinating wildlife.

AK Yes.

JE Okay. Tell us tell us about the fishing industry in the area and your experiences in it. I understand you actually captained some boats for a while. And I think we’ve got a couple of pictures of that.

AK Yes. Before I started on fisherman and I was Captain of the fishing boat. And the owner of the fishing boats you see on the picture. We are fishing in the Barents sea and Slomboard, too. It was a lot of shrimps. And in the in the north of Norway is a lot of fish.

JE  These two boats that we’re seeing and they were both your boats. How large is the crew on those ships?

AK Yes. The boat photo of the ship was my ship. And the crew was 12 to 15 men in each boat. And I was very lucky because it was a very clever crew and a clever crew do a good captain.

JE  Okay. And how long were you on a fishing boat?

AK Oh, we were two weeks to one month in the sea. Yes, yes.

JE Okay, so quite an extended journey that you would go out for. And were seeing the picture of a man with a large container of fish. So clearly Norway and the area that you’re around is just a major part of the fishing industry in the world or certainly in Europe.

AK Yes, and then there’ll be a lot of fish in the boat when we are going to Tromsø.  Tromsø is very big in fish and a lot of buyers come to Tromsø to buy our fish.

JE  We’ll be exploring that in videos in the month to come when we talk a little bit more about the business of fishing and the whole supply chain. So, we look forward to doing that.  Now, we’re going to look at a picture here of a lake and of a town where we see some pictures of the Northern Lights.  But according to Wikipedia, Tromsø is a cultural hub for the region with several festivals taking place in the summer. Tell us more about the activities that go on there and is there a lot of tourism?

AK Yes, it’s a lot of tourists. Much of tourists from the Asia, they are coming to north of Norway in winter to see Northern Lights. And in the summer is a lot of tourists too, because then they shall see Midnight Sun.

JE  Okay, what is the temperature today in Tromsø on this third of January?

AK This morning was minus one. And this winter, we have only a little snow.

JE  Okay. I mean, I was surprised when I looked at the schedule of temperatures, it seemed to be milder than I had expected being above the Arctic Circle, but then you get this wind from the Gulf Stream. So, I guess it warms you up a little bit. So, it’s not as frigidly cold as one might envisage the Arctic.

AK Yeah, yesterday, we there was the minus five degrees.

JE Okay. Well, I remember a few days in Toronto going home and it was minus 20. So that that reminds to me and obviously not as bad as that. So, just to close off with this picture of Tromsø and the second picture of the Northern Lights. Have you lived there all your life, in Tromsø?

AK No, I had 12 – 13 years in middle of Norway.

JE And then you moved here?

AK I moved back because my parents, mother and father live in  Tromsø, and I have  some brothers too.

JE Okay, so you have a long family history in the area and you’re a key part of the industry. So that’s very fascinating to know.

AK Yes, yes. Because when I started as a fisherman the Captain was my father.

JE  Oh, so it runs in the family.

AK Yes.

JE  Okay. Very, very interesting. Well, that’s been a fascinating look into the pictures will show a lot more to the viewers when they look at this video. It’s a really fascinating region. I’ve only ever been to Norway once, but that was to Oslo. I didn’t venture as far north as Tromsø. So maybe I’ll have the opportunity to go someday, but most probably in the summer. Anyways, before we close off, just to telling people about Tromsø, is there anything else you’d like to mention about the area, the city or things there that I might not have thought to ask?

AK No, I think you have the most with this. Because Tromsø is a very, very nice and clear city. And it’s very good with a fishing boat too.

JE  Actually, that’s a good point. I should have thought to ask that. But from what I understand, in the area of Northern Norway where you are, there’s effectively no pollution.  They’re very clean waters and clean land, is that correct?

AK Yes, it’s correct.

JE  Okay, so that’s another very important input into the whole food chain, whether it’s on land or on in water, the lack of any industrial pollution is a very important part when it comes to food and the food chain. So that’s good to know. Well, we will be very interested to show these pictures and your comments to the viewers. This was just meant to give people a brief background. And then in coming months, we’ll talk a little bit more about the industry, about your company Arctic Life Products, but I thought this was a nice way to introduce the subject and give people some fascinating photos of an area that they probably haven’t visited. So, thank you very much for your time Arild,. that was very interesting.

AK You’re welcome. I have a little problem and this is with the English.  So, I hope the next bit is better.

JE  We’ll have lots of pictures to show as well. So, between the visual and the audio will get the message across. Thanks for your time.

AK You’re welcome. Bye bye.