Icelandic universities to develop aquaculture degrees
The Icelandic Government is allocating millions of kroner to help the country’s leading universities develop a degree course in fish farming.
The money is part of an ISK 1.2 billion (almost £7m) overall education package announced by Industry and Innovations Minister Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir.
The project is supported by the University of Hólum, the University of Iceland, the University of Akureyri, the Agricultural University of Iceland and the University Centre of Vestfjörður.
They have been allocated around ISK 58m (£332,000) to offer BSc and MSc programs in farming, cultivation and the utilisation of marine and aquatic organisms, along with co-ordinated research and research infrastructure.
The Minister said: “The project will contribute to Iceland’s leadership role in sustainable (fish) farming and takes full account of public policies on sustainability, climate issues and biological diversity,” says the ministry’s description of the project.”
Iceland appears determined to develop its own aquaculture learning facilities rather than depend on other countries.
Ísafjörður High School recently signed a cooperation agreement with three leading aquaculture companies in the Westfjords region, Arctic Fish, Arnarlax and Háafell ehf, for secondary school courses in fish farming in collaboration with the Westfjords regional development office.
The fish farming companies have made a start-up contribution and classes will start later this year.
Arnarlax said the industry is growing rapidly, especially in the west of Iceland but there was a serious shortage of personnel to handle that expansion.
Its CEO, Björn Hembre, said there would be great need for young talented people in the years ahead.