ICELAND’S fish farming companies are to join forces with the country’s main fishing organisation, which has traditionally represented the interests of the deep sea trawler companies and associated fish processing businesses.
The decision was taken at an extraordinary general meeting of the Icelandic Federation of Fish Farming shortly before Christmas, but the news was only made public yesterday.
The companies have requested membership of the Confederation of Icelandic Fishing Companies or SFS.
It has also been decided to abolish the daily activities of the farmers’ federation, which in future will be handled by the SFS.
A statement said the interests of the aquaculture sector, which has grown considerably in recent years, would be better served by coming together.
Federation chairman Einar K. Guðfinnsson said: ‘There have been considerable developments in aquaculture in recent years and the projects that need to be solved have become more extensive and perhaps in some ways more complicated .
‘I therefore consider this to be a logical step in the development of the association and aquaculture in Iceland, by becoming part of an organisation based on an old foundation.
‘Laxeldi (salmon farming) has the means to become a core industry in Iceland in the same way as the fishing industry has been for a long time, and thus remains the sole pillar of the economic prosperity of Icelanders. We will work on that.’
SFS chairman Jens Garðar Helgason said he celebrated the arrival of the fish farming sector.
‘Several aquaculture companies have already been members of SFS for some time. It will both strengthen SFS and, not least, the good work that has been done by the National Federation in recent years.
‘We are going to integrate the operations under the SFS hat in the coming weeks and I hope that this work will be completed by the summer.’
Einar K. Guðfinnsson, a former Icelandic fisheries minister, will become part of the SFS team and will look after issues related to aquaculture.
Picture: Fish farming leader Einar K. Guðfinnsson