Dissatisfied with Quota System, Fishermen Change Residence to Adapt

fishing in Iceland

Coastal fishing quotas have left many fishermen in the Northeast of Iceland dissatisfied with their share of the catch. Now, many of them find themselves changing their legal residence to skirt what they see as an unfair system.

The fishing quota system in Iceland allocates a TAC (Total Allowable Catch) for each species of fish with separate regulations for large-scale commercial fishing, and small boat fishers, who are limited to the use of handlines. The Icelandic fishing quota is distributed on a regional basis, ideally ensuring that no one region is exhausted of its fisheries.

However, many small boat fishermen are saying that this is not the case, and that by the time the fish make it to the Northeast, the stock is exhausted.

Guðmundur Baldursson, a fisherman from the Northeast of Iceland, said in an interview with RÚV that Northeastern fishermen are increasingly reliant on the months of July and August, needing to make the majority of their catch then. While fishermen in other regions are catching large fish early in the season, they must make do with a smaller, less profitable catch.

According to Guðmundur, increasing numbers of fishermen from the Northeast are now simply forced to move to more productive fisheries because of the quota system, such as Breiðafjörður.

Newest Art Museum in Iceland, Djúpivogur’s ARS LONGA, to Open This Saturday

Djúpivogur is home to Iceland's latest art museum

ARS LONGA, a museum for contemporary art, will open in Djúpivogur this Saturday, July 9.

Headlining the museum’s opening will be the exhibitions Rúllandi snjóbolti (Rolling Snowball) and Tímamót (Turning Point).

Rolling Snowball is a collaboration between ARS LONGA and the Chinese European Art Center (CEAC) in Xiamen, China. Further support for the exhibition comes from Múlaþing and the Visual Arts Fund. Both exhibits will run throughout the summer.

The new museum will be housed in Djúpivogur’s Vogshús, which was agreed upon as the new exhibition space in an arrangement made last March.

The heart of the new museum, and reason for its location in Djúpivogur, are the works of Sigurður Guðmundsson. Sigurður is perhaps best known for his work, The Eggs in Gleðivík, which consists of an array of 34 concrete replicas of bird eggs.

Those interested can find the event information here.

ÓX Second Icelandic Restaurant to Receive Prestigious Michelin Star

ÓX is the second restaurant in Iceland to be awarded the prestigious Michelin Star, a commendation for the finest dining in the world.

The announcement came yesterday, July 4, at the annual Michelin Guide Nordic Countries event in Stavanger. 

Icelanders in attendance included Rúnar Pierre Heriveaux and Þráinn Freyr Vigfússon on behalf of ÓX, and Gunnar Karl Gíslason on behalf of the restaurant Dill, which was the first Icelandic restaurant to be honoured with the Michelin Star in 2017.

ÓX is run by chefs Þráinn Freyr Vigfússon and Georg Arnar Halldórsson. According to the Michelin Guide, ÓX “offers the best Icelandic produce in highly personalised dishes, which blend traditional flavours with a modern edge.”

In a statement to RÚV, Rúnar Pierre called the award the best possible advertisement for the Icelandic culinary scene but stated that it would not change much for him and his team, who will continue to work as they did before.

Some 11 other restaurants throughout Scandinavia were honoured with their first Michelin Star at the event, alongside two other restaurants with a two-star rating. 

Dill was also awarded a Michelin Green Star, a commendation for their commitment to sustainable gastronomy.

Elkem Production Halted Following Major Fire, Staff Prevent More Serious Damage

Firefighters 112

A major fire broke out at the Elkem silicon plant in Grundartangi last night. Although no injuries were reported, the accident was serious enough to call the entire fire brigades of both Akranes and Hvalfjörður, reports RÚV. 

One of Elkem’s three furnaces was affected, but more serious damage was prevented by the staff.

Álfheiður Ágústsdóttir, CEO of Elkem, stated that as of now, the exact cause of the fire is unclear, but that an investigation is under way. Admitting that the incident represents a setback, Álfheiður hopes that production will be halted for no more than a week for repairs. And of course, she notes, the most important thing is that no one was injured.

The fire began around 2:00 AM last night, but the fire was largely contained by the staff before the arrival of the fire brigade.

Initial reports indicate that the fire broke out in the so-called tapping platform. Any criminal activity has been ruled out.