The goal of this review was to describe in some detail the Nordic aquaculture industries in order to illuminate the similarities and differences. Information that was gathered for each country includes aquaculture history, aquaculture acts and regulations, production and production systems, environmental concerns, organic aquaculture and outlook for the future. The information will be useful for risk assessments, design of risk-based surveillance programs and for construction of comparative risk profiles for endemic and exotic diseases affecting aquaculture in the Nordic countries. Aquaculture in the Nordic countries has a long history; beginning in the 1850s when hatcheries for restocking of salmon and trout were established in Norway. Nowadays, Atlantic salmon is the dominant cultured species in Norway and the Faroe Islands, whereas rainbow trout dominate in Denmark, Finland, and Sweden. Arctic char and cod are most important in Iceland. Other important cultured species include eel and blue mussels. There is much diversity in Nordic aquaculture industries in terms of production, farmed species, and production systems. Although the vast majority of the Nordic aquaculture production is for human consumption, significant numbers of fish are grown for restocking of rivers, lakes, or other bodies of freshwater or seawater.