Fishing ‘more than pulling fish out of sea’

FISHING is a lot more than simply pulling fish out of the sea and selling it, visitors to the IceFish Expo in Reykjavik were told.
HB Grandi’s marketing manager, Brynjólfur Eyjólfsson, said that he was not sure that people generally realised there was a lot more to the fishing industry.
‘The seafood business as we know it today is based on far more than pulling fish out of the sea, processing it and selling it.
‘Icelandic fisheries is a knowledge-based industry on a world scale, which is obvious when you visit an event such as the Icelandic Fisheries Exhibition that’s being held right now in Kópavogur’,
He also said that although the company itself does not take part, its staff are encouraged to visit the exhibition.
‘Many of us spend time at the exhibition. This is a key arena to meet our main collaborators and service companies, such as the shipyards we are working with, equipment suppliers, insurance companies, fuel suppliers and those involved in research and innovation in the seafood industry,’ he added.
This year, HB Grandi’s guest list at the exhibition was longer than usual. ‘We received a group from the north of Iceland yesterday of more than thirty fisheries science students from the University of Akureyri.
‘As well as a general introduction to HB Grandi and its activities, we took this group of promising students on a tour of the production facility at Nordurgardur and the Ísbjörninn refrigerated cold store.’
Brynjólfur Eyjólfsson said that the old adage that strength comes from knowledge certainly applies to the Icleandic seafood industry.
The company has placed a great deal of emphasis on training and education for its processing workforce, and this initiative has paid dividends in working practices and pay grade increases.
‘With the students from Akureyri visiting HB Grandi, I worked out that there are ten fishing science graduates among our staff and most of them graduated from the University at Akureyri’, he continued.
‘All of them are working in key positions and are in management roles. These are heads of departments, production managers, fleet managers, quality control managers and IT managers who have a common background in having graduated in fishing science.
‘These are extremely valuable personnel and we will continue, as we have done in the past, the nurture this strong relationship with the University of Akureyri.’