Iceland’s fisheries are finding it difficult to plan for the future because of political instability and ongoing policy shifts, according to the new Fisheries Iceland chairman, Jens Gardar Helgason.
The chairman explained that the fact there were elections every four years meant it was difficult for companies to take a long-term view, noting that this political uncertainty had been going on for years.
He said that in his new role he planned to educate those within the industry following the merger of the Federation of Icelandic Fish Processing Plants and the Icelandic Fishing Vessel Owners (LIU) in October last year. He explained that by merging the two industry organisations, they hoped to create a more powerful voice when it came to interaction with the government, adding that a big part of his rile was to talk to politicians.
Helgason went on to say that if they could educate politicians on how strong the sector was and that other countries looked up to it, it could lead to greater benefits, such as tax supports, when marketing the nation’s seafood. He pointed out that their market share was on the decline in a number of their most powerful markets yet hardly any funds had been invested into promoting it.
The chairman also said he wanted to work towards the industry being viewed in a more positive light so it would be an appealing option to the nation’s youth in terms of career prospects.