Björk Enlists Rosalía in Campaign Against Fish Farming in Iceland

Singer Björk

Björk and Rosalía are releasing a song to protest against Icelandic aquaculture, coinciding with a related public demonstration on October 7. Iceland’s Minister of Fisheries proposed a stricter legal framework to mitigate the industry’s environmental impact on Wednesday.

Proceeds going towards the fight against aquaculture

Björk has partnered with Spanish singer Rosalía in the fight against aquaculture in Iceland; the pair has announced the release of a song in October, and Björk encourages all Icelanders to attend a protest against fish farming at Austurvöllur Square in Reykjavík on Saturday, October 7. Icelandic musician Bubbi is also set to perform. The two artists plan to use the proceeds from the song to support locals in legal cases against aquaculture companies.

“I want to release a song that Rosalía and I wrote together. The proceeds will go towards the fight against aquaculture in Iceland. The song will be released in October,” Björk stated in an announcement on Instagram, where she also shared a snippet from the song.

As previously noted, a protest against aquaculture is scheduled for Saturday, October 7. Seven associations are organising the protest, stating that it’s “now or never for the wild salmon.” Mbl.is reported yesterday that Björk would appear at Saturday’s protest alongside Rosalía.

Survival of wild salmon under threat

In her Instagram post, Björk stated that Iceland had the largest untouched wilderness in Europe, observing that in the summer “sheep have roamed free in the mountains” and “fish have swum unrestricted in rivers, lakes, and fjords.”

Given the pristine state of Iceland’s nature, it was a “big shock” when Icelandic and Norwegian businessmen started setting up fish farms in the majority of Iceland’s fjords, according to Björk. She went on to explain that she and others were at a loss at how these farms had been operated for the better part of a decade without any regulatory framework or legislation.

“This has already had a devastating effect on wildlife,” Björk observed, stating that the farmed fish had suffered in “horrid health conditions,” noting that many of them had escaped into local streams, potentially spelling the extinction of wild salmon in Iceland.

“There is still a chance to save the last wild salmon of the north!” Björk stated. She also urged the aforementioned companies to cease their operations and expressed her desire to help implement new laws and regulations in the Icelandic legal environment to protect nature. The protests at Austurvöllur were about transforming the will of the people into law, she concluded by saying.

Draft of stricter policy presented

As reported by IR yesterday, the Minister of Fisheries Svandís Svavarsdóttir presented the draft of a new legal framework for fish farming in Iceland on Wednesday. The draft proposes increased monitoring of fish farms and requiring licence holders to pay “a fair price” for the use of natural resources. Escaped salmon from open-net fish farms in the Westfjords have been found in rivers across Northwest Iceland and the Westfjords in recent weeks, threatening the survival of the country’s wild salmon.

Open-net fish farming in Icelandic waters has grown more than tenfold between 2014 and 2021. Yearly production rose from under 4,000 tonnes to nearly 45,000 tonnes over this period. More than 99% of that production was farmed salmon.

Four years in the making, “Venus” by Bríet and Ásgeir Released

Arnarhóll

Musicians Bríet and Ásgeir Trausti released the song Venus this morning. In an interview this morning, Ásgeir Trausti stated that work on the song had begun four years ago but was not finished until this year.

Eleven years since Dýrð í dauðaþögn

It’s been eleven years since Ásgeir Trausti released the song Dýrð í dauðaþögn from the eponymous album. The song and the album enjoyed enormous popularity. A year later, in 2013, Ásgeir released an English version of the album, In the Silence.

On the occasion of the album’s tenth anniversary last year, Bríet released a cover of the song that can be found on the album Stór agnarögn.

Venus, four years in the making

This morning, Ágeir and Bríet released their first collaborative effort, Venus.

In an interview with Iceland Review this morning, Ásgeir explained that he and Bríet had begun working on the song four years ago: “A sketch of the song was originally created a few years ago when Júlíus Róbertsson and I were playing around with a recorder,” Ásgeir explained. “I then showed the song to Bríet in 2018, and we decided to work on it together. There was no time to finish it then, but we took it out of the drawer again this year and finally finished it.”

Read More: Love, Bríet (Iceland Review follows Bríet on Culture Night)

IR also spoke to Bríet who added that “life had simply taken over” during those four intervening years.

Asked about her favourite part of the song, Bríet referred to the lyrics: “When we sing about Venus illuminating the Milky Way. I love how that line makes me look up and admire the stars. Ásgeir Trausti, asked the same question, referred to the chorus: “(My favourite part) is when the first chorus starts. A fun groove begins, to which you can start dancing.”

Read More: Music and Lyrics (Ásgeir Trausti on his album Bury the Moon)

As for the immediate future, Ásgeir will be working with musician Árný Margrét in the studio, recording her second album. “Then there are a few gigs in the fall, including a concert with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra in November. And a European tour in November and December. Otherwise, I’m just always working on new music, my own and with others.”

Bríet has one thing on her schedule over the coming weeks. “To be happy.”