Historically, cod fishing along the coast of northern Norway has been about fishing as much as possible with the least possible resource effort. This traditional logic is rooted in biology (cod’s migration pattern), meteorology (weather conditions) and traditional capture technology (small and not as seaworthy boats). The logic is further enhanced by new volume-focused capture technology (trawlers and purse seine) and of an imperfect raw fish market where quality differences are not reflected in the price of the fish. In the present study, we use 10-year data on fishing gear usage along with the industries’ product mix to get an indication of the importance of the volume logic and it’s development in the Norwegian cod fisheries. The findings show that the volume logic is still largely at work, although this results in reduced quality of the catch landed, customers having limited willingness to pay a superior price for the fish, and limited socio-economic value creation from the cod industry. We argue that institutional theory can be a fertile lens in order to understand this apparently paradoxical phenomena which is not so well explained by economic-rationalists models. To better understand the volume logic, we further argue that strong profit incentives at the catch stage in the value chain create a pressure to fish cod cost-effectively and sell the fish at a low price. Finally, we debate how a competing and more customer-oriented quality logic can help create greater export values in the Norwegian cod fisheries.