Austevoll is a municipality in the county of Hordaland, Norway. Austevoll was separated from Sund on 1 January 1886.
The municipality consists of several islands, located south-west of Bergen. The municipality is considered to be among the ports in the world with the largest ocean-going fish trawler fleet.
The municipality is named after the Austevoll
farm (Old Norse Austrvöllr
), since this was the old church site. The first element is austr
which means "east" and the last element is völlr
which means "meadow
The municipality has changed the spelling of its name three times. Before 1889 the name was written "Østervold". From 1889-1917, it was spelled "Austevold", and since 1918 it has been spelled "Austevoll".
were granted on 30 November 1984. The arms show a shoal
, since herring fishing is of great local importance for the municipality.
Austevoll consists of 667 islands off the west coast of West Norway
. The municipality has a total land area of 114,0 km²
and a costal line of 337 km
. The tallest point in Austevoll is the mountain Loddo
, 244 meters above sea level.
The municipality borders on Sund
, and Os
municipalities to the north and northeast, Tysnes
municipality to the east, and Fitjar
municipalities to the south. The North Sea
lies to the west of Austevoll.
Of the 667 islands, only eight are populated year-round. 29 percent of the inhabitants live in densely-populated areas. 28 percent of the inhabitants are under the age of 17, which is 4.4 percent over the national average. 4.7 percent of the inhabitants are 80 years or older.
Fishing is the most important industry in Austevoll, and has been for centuries. Traditionally fishing has taken place in coastal near areas. After decades of overfishing
, the herring
, which was the most important fish, disappeared in the 1950s. This forced a restructuring of the fishing fleet. From the 1960s the shipping companies built bigger ships, and went further out seas, fishing other fish species. The overfishing of herring also forced better research on fishing, resulting in the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research
Since the early 1980s the offshore industry has emerged in the prolongation from the offshore Norwegian oil industry. The offshore shipping company DOF, which is enlisted on the Oslo Stock Exchange, has its headquarters at Storebø.
There are five primary schools
and one middle school
in Austevoll, all municipal. There is also one secondary school
, teaching mainly fishing and nautical subjects. This is operated by the county authority.
Austevoll has car ferry
communications from Hufthammar on the north tip of Huftarøy to Krokeide, Bergen, and Husavik, south on Huftarøy, to Sandvikvåg in Fitjar. The municipality is also connected by express boats
to Bergen in north, and Stord, Haugesund and Stavanger in the south.
The islands of Huftarøy and Selbjørn, Selbjørn and Stolmen, and Hundvåkøy and Storekalsøy are connected with bridges. A fourth bridge, connection Huftarøy and Hundvåkøy, was opened on November 17th, 2007. This bridge, which in fact consists of two bridges and two stone fillings, bears the name of the municipality, "Austevollsbrua", and symbolizes the fact that the largest islands in the municipality are connected.
All ferry and boat routes are operated by Tide. The lighthouse at Marstein is also in the municipality.
Austevoll is governed by the municipal council, consisting of 21 seats, elected every fourth year. Since the 2003 election a coalition consisting of The Progress Party, Center Party and Christian Democratic Party has held power in the council. In the 2007 election they won 13 of the 21 seats in the municipal council and has an electoral and political cooperation. The Conservative Party and Labour Party make up the opposition.
The council has the following composition:
- The Progress Party (9 seats)
- The Conservative Party (5 seats)
- Labour Party (3 seats)
- Center Party (2 seats)
- Christian Democratic Party (2 seats)
In the 2003-2007 election period The Liberal Party was represented in the municipal council and held one seat. In the 1999-2003 election period an all-party female electoral list held one seat in the council. From 1995 to 1999 the Socialist Left Party held one seat.
Executive committee of local council
The executive committee of local council consits of 9 seats, divided between all parties in the municipal council. Divided like this:
- The Progress Party (4 seats)
- The Conservative Party (2 seats)
- Labour Party (1 seat)
- Center Party (1 seat)
- Christian Democratic Party (1 seat)
The following is a list of mayors of Austevoll: