Loffoden, Or Lofoten, a group of islands off the N. W. coast of Norway, between lat. 67° and 69° 30' N., and lon. 12° and 17° E., extending S. W. to N. E. about 175 m.; pop. about 17,000. The largest are Ando, Lango, E. and W. Vaago, Flagstato, and Hindo; and they constitute the bailiwicks of Loffoden and Ves-teraalen in the province of Nordland, excepting the S. E. part of Hindo, which forms part of Finmark. The coasts are exceedingly rugged and indented, and the interiors are mountainous and barren. The scenery is of the wildest and most magnificent kind; the islands, bays, and lakes are countless; the sharp-pointed peaks, 3,000 to 4,000 ft. above the sea, rise nearly perpendicularly out of the water, covered with moss almost to the water's edge till late in summer. As the snow melts numerous little waterfalls pour down the cliffs. The number of sea fowl is enormous, and the eider ducks are so numerous and so tame that the steamers have to relax their speed to avoid running over them. The famous maelstrom is a narrow passage near the S. end of the group, between the islands of Moskenes and Voer. This whirlpool is produced by the current that rushes in and out of the Great West fiord, which lies between the Loffoden isles and the W. coast of Norway. Millions of cod are annually caught in the neighborhood of these islands from the middle of February to that of April. They are visited during the season by 3,000 to 4,000 open boats, manned by 15,000 to 20,000 men, the produce being more than 16,000,000 fish, 20,000 barrels of cod-liver oil, and 6,000 of cod roes.
A considerable quantity is sold fresh, but the greater portion is dried and known as stock fish. The herring fishery is carried on during summer, and is very profitable. The most important islands for fisheries are E. and W. Waago, where fish are more plentiful than in any other part of Europe.