Despite the fact that the number of trawlers has decreased in recent years, fishermen labor unions have expressed concern that it is becoming difficult to man trawlers because experienced fishermen are dissatisfied with salary cuts and heavy workload.
Árni Bjarnason, director of the Union of Captains, said the lack of qualified manpower is surprising in light of the fact that the number of trawlers fishing in Icelandic waters has dropped by 60 or 70 in the last decade, Fréttabladid reports.
Bjarnason says he worries about increased accidents happening onboard trawlers. “With many inexperienced men on a ship’s crew, accidents are bound to happen.”
Kristinn Gestsson, captain of Therney operated by HB Grandi, said he has never experienced such lack of optimism among fishermen. “I fear brain drain onboard the ships and am sure that the first people to quit will be the experienced fishermen. It is not certain that they will return, so we will lose a lot of know-how.”
“The problem in a nutshell is that the currency rate of the króna is very strong at the same time that fishing allowances are being reduced,” stated Saevar Gunnarsson, director of Iceland’s Union of Fishermen.
Click here to read more about the consequences of the cut of the fishing quota.