Iceland’s anglers set for anti-fish farming rally

Iceland’s sports fishing organisations are planning a mass protest against open pen salmon farming this weekend.

They have issued a rallying calls to members and anti-fish farm activists to gather in the capital, Reykjavik, on Saturday.

The protest is largely in response to a large salmon escape from an Arctic Fish farm in August, but opposition to fjord-based aquaculture has been growing over the past year.

Arctic Fish has apologised for the incident and said it will fully co-operate with the authorities to find out what caused it.

Some of the escaped salmon have been found in rivers used by anglers.

Now dozens of coaches and hundreds of cars are due to descend on the Austurväll, the main Reykjavik public square, in  what the organisers hope will be a show of strength and solidarity .

The National Association of Hunting Organisations said in a letter to members : “In the past month, 230 Norwegian farmed salmon have been caught in our salmon fishing rivers after a large-scale pollution accident at Arctic Fish.

“The number of fish that have entered the rivers is probably in the thousands. These fish will participate in the spawning of our wild salmon with associated adverse effects on its genetic makeup. It is clear that wild salmon will be a thing of the past within a few years if this trend is not stopped.”

It has suggested that agricultural farmers, landowners, hunters and everyone who supports the cause drive from their home village in one large convoy and head down to Austurväll square  to register their protest.

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