10,000 Tonnes of Cod to Coastal Fishing Pool

fishing in Iceland

Minister of Food, Agriculture, and Fisheries Svandís Svavarsdóttir has signed a new regulation on coastal fishing allocating 10,000 tonnes of cod to the coastal fishing pool this season. The percentage of coastal fishing of the total permitted catch of cod is now almost five percent, which is similar to the fishing season of 2022, the first year that such a large part of the total permitted catch was allocated to coastal fishing.

The coastal fishing season is from May to August. The upcoming season is the 15th since coastal fishing was established. Coastal fishing in Icelandic is in part intended to open up opportunities for smaller, independent parties within the fishing industry.

Alþingi is currently reading a bill on amendments to the law on fisheries management due to the zoning of coastal fisheries. The bill was approved for submission by the government on February 24. The Ministry of Food underlined that if the bill is passed, it may be necessary to make changes to the 2023 coastal fishing regulation in accordance with legislation.

Surprise “Spring Snow” in Reykjavík

spring snow downtown Reykjavík

Capital area residents in Iceland opened their eyes this morning to a blanket of white outside their window. Snow began falling yesterday and measured 10 cm [3.9 in] deep this morning at the Icelandic Met Office. While residents of Reykjavík and the surrounding area are not unused to seeing some falling flakes at this time of year, Meteorologist Teitur Arason of the Icelandic Met Office says this much snow in late April is indeed a rare occurrence.

“In the last 75 years, there have only been 4 instances of this much snow falling in the Reykjavík area in the second half of April,” Teitur told Iceland Review. A high-pressure front coming in from the south that brought spring-like weather to Iceland in recent weeks shifted above Greenland last weekend, he explained. It was replaced by a small low-pressure system, bringing the snowfall that is uncharacteristic for this time of year.

spring snow downtown Reykjavík
Golli. Spring snow in Reykjavík on April 27, 2023.

While Reykjavík skies remain clear this morning, South Iceland will receive its fair share of snowfall today, and travellers in the area are encouraged to check conditions before heading out. Teitur says the capital area may see more snowfall tonight. Weather in the area is then expected to remain cold, even dipping below the freezing mark in the coming days but should warm up from Tuesday or Wednesday next week.

First US Navy Submarine Service Stop in Icelandic Waters

USS San Juan (SSN 751) alongside an Icelandic Coast Guard ship

The American nuclear-powered submarine USS San Juan visited Iceland yesterday for a brief service stop in the waters outside of Garðskagi, Southwest Iceland. As per a US Navy press release, San Juan does not carry nuclear weapons. Foreign Minister Þórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörd Gylfadóttir announced on April 18 that nuclear-powered submarines of the US Navy would be authorised to make a brief service visit in Iceland to receive supplies and exchange crew members.

This decision by the Minister for Foreign Affairs is part of the Icelandic government’s policy to support increased monitoring and response capacity of Allied countries in the North Atlantic. In recent years, the Icelandic and US governments have increased cooperation to strengthen situational awareness and readiness in the North Atlantic.

A founding member of NATO, Iceland has hosted the organisation’s exercises in recent years. In 2019, Iceland upped its defence budget by 37%. Last year, Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir announced another increase to the budget in response to the war in Ukraine, with a special emphasis on cyber security. Katrín also announced an increase in Iceland’s NATO funding at the time.

Icelandic Fish Beer a Hit at Seafood Expo Global

A beer made with Icelandic capelin roe, or masago, was a hit at the Seafood Expo Global conference that took place in Barcelona, Spain April 25-27, mbl.is reports. Produced by Icelandic Asia, the beer is brewed with masago and shiso, a Japanese herb.

The beer was first introduced at the conference last year, but the shiso in this year’s batch is a new addition. “It was a hit last year and we decided to make a new version of it for this expo and it’s been a hit too,” stated Agnes Guðmundsdóttir, Icelandic Asia’s director of sales. The beer’s logo was designed by AI and the cans featured a QR code that drinkers could scan to win prizes and merchandise from Japan. Last year’s Masago Beer is pictured in the post below.

Masago is a popular ingredient in Asian cuisine, including sushi. The Masago Beer was specially brewed for the event and is not for sale elsewhere. Readers craving an Icelandic drink with a fishy ingredient can try Collab, a caffeinated soda with fish collagen that has become popular in Iceland in recent years.