This article is directly translated to English from the Sami newspaper: Ságat.
This is what Filip Nilsen says to Ságat. He has, together with other investors, taken over the fishing camp facility in Gjesvær from Helene J. Walsø-Kanstad. Investments of around one million kroner have so far been made in the facility, and the development continues. Now a large barbecue hut, sauna and whirlpool will be established in connection with the facility.
Filip Nilsen (34) is from Asker. He was adopted from Thailand as a child and has a Danish father and a Norwegian mother. He went to fishing school in Bergen, and after that he took work on board autotline boats. He worked as a fisherman on such boats for 13 years. In addition to fishing as a profession, he has always been a passionate angler. He travels around several countries and participates in competitions in sport fishing.
Bought the facility
- A friend of mine took over the family's summer house in Gjesvær, and I went upstairs to visit him. I soon learned that Helene was considering selling the fishing tourism facility she and her late husband had built. In the beginning of 2020, I bought the plant; just before the corona inserted. The complex consists of three apartments over two floors, each with three bedrooms, living room, kitchen and bathroom. Here are 24 beds in total. Then we have pier facilities, boats for rent, cold storage and fillet hall.
The experience that counts
Corona naturally put an abrupt stop to fishing tourism in Gjesvær. But Filip and his staff have used the time to make future plans for the tourist facility. - We look ten years ahead in terms of development and operation of the facility. This will not be a completely normal fishing camp. We place great emphasis on giving people an offer of sport fishing; that is, you lie for many hours out there and, for example, hunt for large halibut. Then you get it, take photos, and put it out again. This has become a form of fishing that is becoming increasingly popular. It is - the experience that counts, he points out. While the facility was first operated as Gjesvær Fishing Camp, it has now changed its name to Northcape Nature.
Good occupancy in July and August
But of course you also welcome more ordinary fishing tourists. - They get the opportunity to fish and fillet their own fish. We follow the rules strictly. No one is allowed to bring more fish than is legal from our facility. We will specialize in creating good and exciting halibut fishing. This is something that more and more people want to take part in. We now have regular groups of tourists who visit the facility. But our peak season is in the months of July and August, and for these months this year we have a good occupancy of tourists. Just over half of them come from Germany, and the rest are spread over several nations; including Norwegians, Filip states.
Young «søringer» to Gjesvær
In addition to developing and operating the facility, Filip is strongly concerned with doing something for the Gjesvær community. - I myself and my employees have been so warm and well received by the people here. It is a nice relaxed atmosphere. Here tourists can be invited home to people for dinner. While I myself ran the plant alone for two years, I have now hired a vigorous 25-year-old "søring". Three other "søringer" have also moved here to live and work. They are all under 30 years old. The place has for many years experienced eviction and "forgubbing". But Gjesvær has so many qualities that young people are now discovering. Beyond the hospitable and friendly people we have a wonderful nature; not least with the bird mountain right outside here. Here you can also see whales, porpoises and seals. In my view, there are great future opportunities in Gjesvær, says an enthusiastic Filip Nilsen.
So many possibilities
He points out that it was no coincidence that Gjesvær was named "Norway's best destination" by Innovation Norway in 2012. - There are so many opportunities here. It is a short way to rich fishing grounds, and the place has particularly strong fishing traditions. At our facility, we offer tourists the opportunity to live in good premises in the middle of a living fishing village with skerries, the open sea and the plateau right outside the door. My employees and I do not drive here to get rich on money. However, we get rich from good experiences, and this is the most important thing we can offer people who come here, he says.