Vopnafjördur Offers Shark-Hunting Tours Skip to content

Vopnafjördur Offers Shark-Hunting Tours

Fisherman and tourism pioneer Gudni Ásgrímsson from Vopnafjördur in east Iceland is offering shark hunting for tourists for the second summer in a row with the aid of his son and grandson. Four Brits have signed up for the first tour this summer.

“Shark hunting is not new to Vopnafjördur, but it is certainly new to tourism,” Ásgrímsson told Fréttabladid, adding, “We need to build on what we have here.” There is a longstanding tradition for shark hunting in Vopnafjördur.

Ásgrímsson operates the tourism company Mávahlíd, which includes a guest house, and since last summer, shark-hunting tours.

“We catch sharks on a fishing line and people are invited to come along when we check whether we caught anything and they also get the chance to catch a shark themselves,” Ásgrímsson said.

“Until now, no one has caught a shark by angling during these tours, but someone must get lucky soon. I’m about to take four British tourists on the first trip this summer, so maybe it will take the bait this time,” Ásgrímsson added.

According to Ásgrímsson, Vopnafjördur has only enjoyed a small portion of the economic growth following the operations at Kárahnjúkar dam and the aluminum smelter in neighboring Reydarfjördur and therefore townspeople are experimenting with other ways to boost the local economy.

“I was raised learning how to catch sharks and my father was a shark hunter,” Ásgrímsson said. “Last summer we caught 14 sharks.” One of these sharks had a seal pup in its mouth when it was caught.

The animals caught are usually two to five meters long and weigh between 500 kilos to one ton. “Usually the adrenaline surges through the body when we take them off the line,” Ásgrímsson said.

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