Plans to merge Icelandic fishing companies

Two of Iceland’s biggest fishing companies, which represent catchers and processors, are considering a merger to form a more powerful organisation within the fishing sector.

The National Federation of Icelandic Fishing Vessel Owners (LIU) held a general meeting at which they gave the green light to a proposal to work alongside the Federation of Fish Processing Plants (SF). The plan remains at an early stage but more exploratory work into the merger is set to take place in the coming months, with the two associations hoping the move can be finalised later this year.

The companies said that the country’s fishing industry had been expanding rapidly in recent years, and it was now time to reflect such a reality. They claim a merger could help strengthen the fishing industry and give them a more powerful voice in matters like sustainability.

LIU was founded just before the onset of WWII, and is among Iceland’s oldest fishing companies. Its original purpose was to represent the country’s fishing vessel owners to protect mutual interests. Regarded as a powerful independent voice, the organisation often has disagreements with Iceland’s political parties over issues such as fishing licenses and fishing fees.

Processing organisation SF, meanwhile, was not launched until 1974, a time when fish processing began being viewed with greater importance. Members of the company come from all sectors of fisheries including freezing, salting of herring, fish markets, seafood dealers, and shrimp and shellfish processing.