After the 2014 Icelandic Fisheries Exhibition the organisers recognised the need to re-invest in the future of the fishing sector, and this took shape by setting aside ISK2 million for candidates looking to specialise in 3 different areas at the Icelandic College of Fisheries in Grindavik (Fisktaekniskolinn in Grindavik). The Icelandic Fisheries Bursary awards 2017 had been born!

At the ceremony ISK 500,000 was awarded to each of the two winners: Hallgrímur Jónsson and Jóhanna Sigurlaug Eiríksdóttir.

Hallgrímur Jónsson, 22 years old from Grindavík, is specialising in Marel-Processing Techniques, and Jóhanna Sigurlaug Eiríksdóttir, 30 years old from Sauðárkrókur, is specialising in Quality Control within the fishing sector.

They are both students at the Icelandic College of Fisheries in Grindavik and have already completed a two year fourndation course in fisheries and processing technology. The bursary will go towards the final year to qualify in the specialist areas already previously described.

From the presentation, this afternoon, Hallgrímur Jónsson commented; “I can use the 2017 Icelandic Fisheries Bursary Awards to specialize in my field and it is a great encouragement for me personally and in my studies. I'm very grateful to the Icelandic Fisheries Exhibition 2017 for this support and it is truly an unexpected and pleasant motivation.”

Jóhanna Sigurlaug Eiríksdóttir added; “The 2017 Icelandic Fisheries Bursary Awards give me such an inspiration and support. I live in the northern town of Saudarkrokur and it is very costly for me to go from there to the Icelandic Collage of Fisheries in the town of Grindavik in the south, back and forth many times each month. The awards give me an opportunity to continue my education, to follow the latest development in the field and frankly they make all the difference for me.”

The awards were advertised in the latter part of last year, providing candidates with the opportunity to apply for the two ISK 500,000 grants. Consideration was given to applicants submitting evidence of their dedication to a career in the fishing industry by furthering their education in the Fisheries College in the spring and autumn term of 2017.

The applications were assessed by a specialist judging panel from of the industry including the Headmaster of Grindavik Fisheries College Ólafur Jón Arnbjörnsson, Sigurjón Elíasson, Global Learning and Development Manager at Marel; Guðbergur Rúnarsson, Engineer and manager at
Fisheries Iceland; Örn Pálsson, Board Executive, National Association of Small Boat Owners; and Bjarni Þór Jónsson, Icelandic representative for Mercator Media / The Icelandic Fisheries Exhibition.

Ólafur Jón Arnbjörnsson, Headmaster of the Fisheries College in Iceland commented; “On behalf of the Icelandic College of Fisheries I would like to express our sincere appreciation to Marianne and the Icelandic Fisheries Exhibition for having so generously decided to establish a special award to two of our students. The grant is not only a strong statement and recognition of the importance of education and training in the industry and but also an encouragement for young people and adults in pursuing this path. I would also like to thank the committee that got the difficult job of choosing two candidates out of the many eligible applicants. I would also like to ad that the committee was unanimous in their decision to recommends these two applicants for this year's award recipients.”

The importance of developing industry skills with the next generation was reinforced by Marianne Rasmussen, Events Director; “The team behind the Icelandic Fisheries Exhibition 2017, IceFish17, is very well aware of the need for innovation and future development of the fisheries-and seafood industry in Iceland and that it has to be constantly strengthened with further education and improved skills of the individuals that shape it. It gives us great pleasure to be able to support these highly presentable and promising students of the Icelandic College of Fisheries and we hope that these grants will not only benefit them but the whole sector in general.”

The next two awards of ISK 500,000 will be launched in the autumn of 2017 with the winners being announced in another ceremony in January/February of 2018.

Established in the port of Grindavík 2010, the Icelandic College of Fisheries' purpose is to meet the current requirements of the fishing and processing industry producing suitably trained staff. It offers basic training for deck crews, fishing vessel deckhands and shore-based industries in aquaculture and fish processing. Fishing gear technology apprenticeships are also offered in association with the Suðurnes Comprehensive College in Reykjanesbær. The original basic courses have since been augmented with more in-depth courses of specialised study, and it is these that the IceFish bursary is specifically focused on.

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IceFish is active on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. The World Seafood Congress 2017 (organised by Matis a department of the Icelandic Ministry of Fisheries) is expected to bring in a 500-600 strong international attendance. It will take place immediately before IceFish and all attendees will be joining the opening ceremony in the afternoon of the first day of IceFish.

If you would like to sponsor, exhibit or attend IceFish 2017, please contact the events team on +44 1329 825335 or email Attendee registration will be announced shortly via the eNewsletter and social channels.