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There are especially many seabirds inwards along the fjords of western Norway. There are not many islets, either, so if the birds want to nest, it is not always easy to find good sites. At Aksnesholmane there is an impressive colony of gulls, and the locality has been protected since 1923.
Down by the fjord on the farm Berge in Tørvikbygd, is Stekkavika – a sheltered eastward facing harbour, protected against the fjord by headlands and rocks, even manifest in the name. Here is also a comprehensive milieu of coastal industry, with boathouses and sea-sheds that belong to the farms Berge, Heradstveit and Halleråker. Belonging to the farm Berge there is also a mill-house, circular saw, workshop for sloop building, and – a little further up into the woods – the old water-powered sash-saw.
There is still life to be found that is just “hanging on a string”. The Etne river has been the most important river for sports- fisherman in Hordaland after salmon fishing in Vosso was temporarily forbidden. As late as 2000, 4 tonnes of salmon and sea trout were taken out of the Etne river, the best fishing for 10 years. In the whole of the county there are only 15-20 rivers that can compete with this haul.
Many travellers between Mundheim and Gjermundshamn are captivated by the expansive view toward Øynefjord, Varaldsøy and Folgefonna. The barren pine forest on the slopes on the upper-side of the road is not seen by many. Who would think that this area is home to rare species of plants and animals, creatures who have made their homes here for thousands of years?
In September, 1901, a load of golden orfe fish was transported from Preussen to Bergen for stocking of Nygårdspark. One of the originators of the project was the well known doctor Klaus Hanssen. Thirteen years later, Hansen was called to help. Would he please come to Øystese to assist the district doctor Peter Munch Søergaard in his attempt to combat tuberculosis in the village? Hanssen came - and had in his suitcase living "goldfish" from Nygårdsparken.