The harbour in Bíldudalur, a village with a population of just over 200 people, will be the site of considerable expansion and investment next year, RÚV reports. This news was announced by Rebekka Hilmarsdóttir, district manager of the Vesturbyggð municipality in the Westfjords, in a radio interview on Thursday.
“There’s been a great explosion of activity in the harbour,” Rebekka explained. “We’ve got both the salmon farming and the [seaweed-derived calcium supplement production], and then we’ve also had ships sailing internationally stopping over here, so there’s a real call for building up the harbour.”
Municipal documentation shows that the harbour has generated considerable revenue over the years, or an estimated ISK 155 million ($1.3m/€1.2m). Once wages are deducted, harbour operations are expected to increase upwards of ISK 33 million ($283,000/€248,000) next year. This increase in revenue is attributed to local aquaculture, as well as cruise ship landings in Patreksfjörður and the Samskip cargo company’s operations in and out of Bíldudalur.
According to a survey conducted by the Icelandic Association of Local Authorities, fishing fees in Vesturbyggð harbours increased 32.2 percent between 2008 and 2017, which is one of the greatest increases of the kind in the country. The increase in activities in Bíldudalur is ultimately expected to generate 50% more full-time equivalent positions.
Among the primary improvements that the municipality will be investing in is road repairs, says Rebekka. “One of the big projects in the coming years is going to be establishing a proper connection to the outside world,” she said, including road construction in the area of Gufudalur district.