Another Icelandic shellfish plant to shut Published: 17 January, 2008
THE fishing company Samherji has said that it is to end its shrimp (prawn) processing operation in northern Iceland, accelerating a growing crisis within the shellfish processing industry.
More than 20 workers will lose their jobs when the company closes its plant at Trýta, near Akureyri in the spring.
The Strýta site currently employs 30 people and ten will continue working in other divisions at Samerji. The employees of Strýta were given the news at a meeting on Tuesday this week. Samherji promised that it would assist everyone in finding other employment in Akureyri via a contract with recruitment company Capacent and connections to other food companies in the town.
Managing director of Samherjis land production Gestur Geirsson said it was sad that Strýta is closing, but added that there were no other options. He said: For the past few years we have streamlined its operation considerably in hopes that the situation would improve, but it didnt happen.
Björn Snaebjörnsson, director of local labour union Eining-Idja, said it is a shock for the community that such a rooted company has given up. I have been watching shrimp processing plants closing all over the country so it should not have come as a surprise, but it still always does.
The operation of prawn processing plants has proven difficult for the past few years, due to poor catches. The last few months have been among the worst in the 40-year history of prawn fishing in Iceland. The number of shrimp or prawn processing plants still operating has dropped from 30, at its peak, to around five today.
Meanwhile, a new two-year regional growth agreement was signed between the Akureyri Regional Business Agency and the Icelandic government to try to boost industrial development in a region where fish processing is facing difficult times.
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