Stranded Cargo Ship Refloated

Cargo Ship Wilson Skaw stranded in Húnaflói

The cargo ship Wilson Skaw was refloated around 9:00 this morning.

The 113m-long cargo ship ran aground on April 19 in Húnaflói bay, off the north coast of Iceland.

The Freyja coastguard vessel is now towing the ship, but the going is slow to avoid other skerries and reefs in the area.

Read More: Cargo Ship Stranded Off North Iceland

Ásgeir Erlendsson, a spokesperson for the Coast Guard, stated to Vísir: “What’s happening now is that the Freyja coastguard vessel is slowly towing the ship in the hope of getting it into deeper water. However, it must be kept in mind that there are quite a few underwater rocks in the area.”

The Coast Guard is now moving the ship to deeper waters, as it has been stranded since Tuesday. The ship was carrying two thousand tonnes of salt and 195 tonnes of oil when it ran aground.

Minor damage to the hull was recorded, but luckily, there was no leakage. The Coast Guard had placed containment nets around the grounded ship as a security measure briefly following its stranding.

“It’s crucial to protect the environment in situations like this. Fortunately, there are no signs of oil leakage into the sea,” Ásgeir further stated.

The Wilson Skaw is operated by Wilson Ship Management AS.


Russian Trawler Suspected of Espionage

capelin loðna fishing

At least one of the 50 Russian ships suspected of conducting espionage in the legal waters of the Nordic countries is believed to have also operated in Iceland, reports Morgunblaðið.

A team of journalists from Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark have recently produced a documentary which proves the involvement of Russian fishing vessels in acts of espionage carried out in the territorial waters of the Scandinavian nations. According to the latest information, one of the ships in question, Melkart 5, also operated in Icelandic waters.

Melkart 5 is suspected of being connected to a damaged underwater cable between Norway and Svalbard. It has also been shown to carry specialized military communications equipment.

The trawler, operated by Murman Seafood, has a history of operating in Iceland. Melkart 5 visited the Akureyri drydock in 2020, when it was painted, repaired, and its main engine replaced. The latest work by the investigative team of journalists alleges that Melkart 5 dragged a trawl door along the seabed to damage the underwater cable. Due to unclear legislation, the case was dropped. The ship’s management denies all accusations.

Some 50 Rusian ships are suspected of such espionage actions, but the full list has not been published.

In February of last year, representatives of the Norwegian Coast Guard, the police, and the customs authorities also went on board the Russian yacht Ragnar while it was docked in Northern Norway. Owned by Vladimir Strzhalkovski, a former KGB official and acquaintance of President Putin, the vessel was equipped with a helipad, ice-breaker hull, and docking facilities for a small reconnaissance submarine. Ragnar was suspected of espionage actions and refused fuel by the Norwegians. Other Russian-operated vessels have also been shown to spend large amounts of time in waters of strategic significance to Norway.

At the time of writing, Melkart 5 is currently docked in Tórshavn in the Faroe Islands. Although evidence suggests that Melkart 5 may not have been the only Russian-operated ship to have engaged in espionage while in Icelandic waters, definitive proof has not yet emerged.

Icelandic Caviar to Hit Markets in Two Months

icelandic caviar

Icelandic caviar will be making its first entry into the market in two months.

The caviar, produced by the Ólafsfjörður-based Northern Sturgeon Company, will be the first of its kind produced in Iceland. Sturgeon caviar is, of course, well-known as a luxury food.

Roe and milt were extracted from sturgeons that were in captivity in Ólafsfjörður and were harvested at the end of last month.

Eyþór Eyjólfsson, chairperson of the Northern Sturgeon Company, stated to Morgunblaðið that he is pleased with how the extraction of roe from the sturgeon went and with the results of the work: “It’s exhausting, but satisfying work. If you’re interested in fish farming, then this is part of one’s life.”

Part of the roe was taken to enlarge the stock. The other part of the roe is being processed into caviar under license by a German firm. The caviar is scheduled to be ready for consumption and sale in early June.

Eyþór stated to Morgunblaðið that he’s confident the new Icelandic caviar will find a market, given how sought-after and valuable a commodity sturgeon caviar has become. Many buyers, both domestic and international, have already been in contact. Promising international markets currently include the United States and the United Kingdom.

Four Arrested Following Manslaughter in Hafnarfjörður

Icelandic police

Four people, three of them under 18, are being detained by capital area police in connection to the death of a Hafnarfjörður man.

In a statement by law enforcement, they were tipped off around midnight to a confrontation between the suspects and victim in the parking lot of Fjarðarkaup in Hólshraun, a district in Hafnarfjörður.

Police arrived at the scene shortly after, where they found the victim. The victim was transported to the emergency room, where he was pronounced dead.

The other four parties were arrested in connection with the case.

Capital area authorities note that the investigation is still in its early stages, and no further details are available at this time.

Deep North Episode 22: Full Circle

circular economy iceland

On January 1, 2023, a new set of laws regulating waste management and recycling came into effect. The regulations, called The Circular Law (Hringrásarlögin), include a new recycling system, packaging fees ensuring that manufacturers and importers contribute to the cost of collection and recycling, and prohibiting many categories of waste from being incinerated or disposed of in landfills. The implementation of these changes has neither been sweeping nor instantaneous, and 2023 will see many municipalities throughout Iceland gradually adjusting to the new system.

The circular economy has existed as a concept since at least the 1970s. In contrast to a so-called linear economy, in which raw materials are manufactured into goods, sold, used, and then disposed of, a circular economy seeks to integrate recycling, waste management, and repairability into every level of the supply chain, ensuring that resources remain in circulation for as long as possible.

Policymakers, academics, and entrepreneurs increasingly agree that the circular economy is the next frontier in environmental sustainability. These are the entrepreneurs who are making the Icelandic economy circular.

Read the full story here.