Iceland – Isafjodur and the Westfjords

While Kaety was discovering that it will be GIS scientists that will save the world I spent time poking around Isafjodur.

It’s one of the largest towns on the northern side of Iceland, and it’s about the size of Depoe Bay. It looks like it was once a large fishing town that is going through a transition as its local fisheries change.

Net pens for aquaculture dot the mouths of the fjords to the east and west of Isafjordur and the tenders and processing plants are positioned just north of town.

Traditional trawl fisheries are also present but you can sense that the energy has gone elsewhere. One troubling thing we learned is that while Iceland fisheries implemented catch shares and have a quota system, they did not put accumulation limits in place. Eventually the large processors bought up the smaller guy’s quota – small towns like Isafjodur have very few independent vessel operators left. All over the hillsides are old drying houses for fish – very few of them look to be still in use.

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