Björk Among Plaintiffs in Fish Farming Case

björk 1997

The Westfjords Police will continue to investigate the escape of 3,500 salmons last August from a fish farm in Patreksfjörður run by the company Arctic Fish. Police had previously ended their investigation, but a motion from dozens of interested parties forced the issue, BB.is reports.

Among the plaintiffs was internationally renowned singer Björk Guðmundsdóttir. Björk is a member of AEGIS, a pressure group against offshore aquaculture, operating on behalf of the Icelandic Wildlife Fund (IWF).

Disastrous environmental effects

Police had dropped their investigation into whether Arctic Fish had breached laws governing fish farming in December of last year. Fish escaping from fish farms can have disastrous environmental effects. The farmed fish can carry parasites deadly to wild fish or even breed with the wild fish, producing offsprings that can not survive in nature.

The motion from environmental groups and angling societies caused the Public Prosecutor to intervene and have the police reopen the case. Gunnar Örn Petersen, the manager of the Federation of Icelandic River Owners, said that the Westfjord police commissioner was either incompetent or biased in the case. The commissioner’s stance had been that Arctic Fish could not be held liable for the circumstances leading to the escape.

Wild salmon safety in the public interest

The Public Prosecutor, however, noted that the manager and, in some cases, board members of Arctic Fish could be responsible for the internal monitoring of conditions and protocols regarding fish farming. They went on to state that all plaintiffs were eligible to file a motion in this case, as it pertains to the public interest of safeguarding the wild salmon population.

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Buster Takes Over from Tindur

iceland police

A new drug dog, Buster, will begin his duties in the Westfjords police force. The dog he will be replacing, named Tindur, will be retiring next year.

Steinar Gunnarsson, a police officer in the Westfjords, was responsible for training Buster and handing him over to his new supervisors.

Pictured are Tindur and Buster with their supervisors, Þór Guðmundsson and Marín Elvarsdóttir.

According to the announcement, Tindur has served with Westfjords police for many years, but is now in his senior years.

In the announcement on Facebook, Westfjords police stated: “We expect a lot from Buster and believe that he will be just as good as Tindur.”

Polar Bear Turned Out to Be a Seal

gray seal

Iceland’s Coast Guard sent a helicopter out on an unusual call yesterday afternoon when hikers in the Westfjords’ Hornstrandir Nature Reserve reported sighting a polar bear. While the white giants are not native to Iceland, they have been known to drift to the north coast on sea ice on rare occasions. Two Westfjords Police officers rode out with the helicopter, which was accompanied on the mission by search and rescue ship Gísli Jón.

The helicopter crew flew over Hornvík bay (where the sighting had been made) and the surrounding area, as well as spoke to the hikers, who were convinced that they had seen a polar bear.

A notice from Westfjords Police states: “No bear was found. The animal that the people believed was a polar bear seems to have been a large, white-coloured grey seal that had been spotted recently in Hornvík.”

Westfjords Police thanked the Coast Guard and ICE-SAR for their collaboration on the call out, adding: “Better safe than sorry.”