http://fiskerforum.dk/en/news/b/icel...shery-congress


Berglind Ásgeirsdóttir, Iceland’s Ambassador to Russia, speaking at the International Fishery Congress taking place in Vladivostok

The International Fishery Congress taking place in Vladivostok has a strong presence of Icelandic companies taking part, and Berglind Ásgeirsdóttir, Iceland’s Ambassador to Russia, held a keynote speech during the opening session that attracted significant interest.

A trade delegation led by the Ambassador includes ten Icelandic suppliers ranging from naval architects to specialist in technical systems for fishing vessels. Marel, Sæplast, Skipasýn, and Knarr Maritime Consortium are all present, as well as all of the companies comprising Knarr; Nautic, Naust Marine, Skaginn3X, Brimrún, Kælismiðjan Frost and Skipatækni.

In her speech to the Congress, the Icelandic ambassador touched on the far-reaching changes that have taken place in Iceland’s fishing sector as it made the transition from relative poverty to becoming one of the world’s most prosperous countries – a change that has been achieved through its fisheries.

‘Iceland has always been blessed with rich fishing grounds but it was not until we extended our economic zone and developed sustainable use of our resources that we left chronic poverty and gained prosperity. Fisheries have for the past century been the backbone of Iceland’s economic development and supplied most of its foreign exchange revenues,’ she said, emphasising that innovation and utilisation of the best available technologies have played key roles in this development.

‘The size of the Icelandic trawler fleet is 50% less than it was 25 years ago. Innovation and technology in the fishing, handling and marketing of the products, along with an effective fisheries management system (FMS), have improved both efficiency and returns from our fisheries sector. Emphasis on better education, research and development within the sector has proven to be a great investment,’ she said.

‘Today Iceland catches half the quantity of cod compared to the catch in 1981. But the value of the catch has increased 100%. This means that the value per kilo has increased four times. The focus is on delivering high-quality products, fully processed to customers around the globe.’

She remarked that there is much in Iceland’s experience that is relevant to the present Russian situation, making the point that the fisheries sector requires a long-term approach and an effective fisheries management system.

‘Its development must be based on a market driven approach. Research and technology play vital role for both the management and the development of the sector. Investment is based on long-term expectations,’ Berglind Ásgeirsdóttir said.

‘Efficiency depends on investment. Improved efficiency improves competitiveness. Competitiveness drives innovation. Innovation leads to product developments and new technology.’

‘I am very pleased that during this forum Icelandic companies that have provided the most advanced technological solutions for the Icelandic fishing industry are able to demonstrate their technical solutions. I am convinced that Russia and Iceland can work together on the very ambitious Russian plan for the renewal of the Russian fishing fleet as well as land based fishing factories. As Iceland’s experience has shown, it’s an investment well worth making.’