The Municipality of Hadsel in Vesterålen covers Hadseløya, the southernmost part of Langøya, the northeastern part of Austvågøy, and the southwestern part of Hinnøya.
Since 1960, there has been significant structural change in employment, from the primary and secondary sectors to the service sector, and today, Hadsel is a municipality with employment opportunities primarily in the tertiary sector. Its trade and industry is varied.
Still, Hadsel is among the most significant agricultural communities in northern Nordland, and farms in the municipality are primarily engaged in animal husbandry of different kinds. Meat and dairy production is common, but an unusually high number of farms, at least by Northern Norway standards, also raise poultry and pigs. Despite some decline, Hadsel is still a key fisheries municipality. The most common species of fish in terms of landed quantities is cod. Melbu has the largest fishing fleet in the region of Vesterålen. The municipality is also home to Vesterålen's largest fish farm. The food industry, primarily fish processing, is the dominant branch of industry, particularly in Melbu.
Melbu is also home to the Vesterålen Museum and the Norwegian Fishing Industry Museum. The Coastal Express Museum in Stokmarknes opened in 1993.
Hadsel's contribution to the "Footprints in the North" project is Hadsel parsonage. This church site was the hub of medieval Vesterålen. There are also traces of an Iron Age chieftain seat here. Along the coast there are traces of tenant farmer housing.
Area (km2): 566
Administrative centre: Stokmarknes
Key industries: Agriculture, industry, trade