is a municipality in Nordland
Meløy was separated from Rødøy January 1, 1884.
The municipality is situated just to the north of the Arctic Circle on Norway's west coast. It encompasses the island of Meløy and some 700 other islands of various sizes around the Meløyfjorden, Glomfjorden and Holandsfjorden in the south, along with a stretch of mainland coast.
The municipality (originally the parish) is named after the island Meløya
), since the first church was built there. The old name of the island is probably derived from mjöl m
'flour, meal' (and then referring to fine sand on the beaches of the island). The last element øy f
'island' was added to the name around 1500.
The coat-of-arms is from modern times (1984). It shows a poppy
(of the specific subspecies Papaver radicatum subglobosum
Meløy has been inhabited for many centuries and still possesses various relics from the Viking
period. The Benkestok
family, one of Norway's original noble families, established one of its seats at Meløy Gård in the 16th century.
Due to the expansion of the community during the 19th century, it was split from its southern neighbour Rødøy in 1884. Its administrative centre was later moved from the island of Meløy to the coastal community of Ørnes. Ørnes is one of the stops on the route of the Hurtigruten (coastal express), with a notably scenic entrance via the fjord. The second largest glacier in Norway, Svartisen, is a target for passenger visits. The mountains around Glomfjord are popular for fishing and hunting as well as skiing in the winter time.
The industrial development—and thus the main contributor to the economical development and growth of the Meløy community—started around the time of World War I
. It was based on electrical power production in then new Glomfjord power plant
from water coming from the glacier Svartisen and gathered in the mountains. In the bottom of Glomfjorden, Norsk Hydro
) started out producing fertilizers in Glomfjord
. A conglomerate of industries is found there today in Glomfjord Industry Park. The municipality's overall industries are some light industry, agriculture, forestry, fishing, salmon production and tourism.