In a press release just before Christmas this year, the Minister of Fisheries announced that prior to this year’s cod season, it could be relevant to close fishing grounds if sampling shows that fishing is mainly for coastal cod. The measure is part of an attempt to rebuild the coastal cod stock in the north. In the wake of this, Fiskeribladet launched the term “coastal cod police” about the Institute of Marine Research and the Directorate of Fisheries, which would have a central role in such a closure. To understand this situation, it can be useful to look back at Norwegian-Russian fisheries negotiations in the 1970s, the cod crisis in the 1980s and the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea’s recommendation for zero catches of coastal cod in the 2000s.