The opening of the 14th Icelandic Fisheries Exhibition on 18 September 2024 will mark 40 years of the industry-leading event and the busiest IceFish programme to-date.

As regular visitors to IceFish through the years can attest, the event has evolved a great deal over the past four decades. This has consistently enabled attendees to keep up-to-speed on the key developments, products and services that are propelling the commercial fisheries, aquaculture and seafood processing sectors on to new levels of productivity, efficiency and sustainability. It has also established itself as an important meeting place for industry stakeholders from all over the world.

While IceFish 2024 is returning to the familiar venue of Smárinn, Fifan Halls Kópavogur, the very first Icelandic Fisheries Exhibition in 1984 was held in Laugardalshöll, a modest sportshall in Reykjavik. Once again, Mercator Media is organising this year’s IceFish, but 40 years ago, it was hosted by ITF (Industrial and Tradefairs International Limited – later taken over by Reed Exhibitions). In line with the event’s considerable growth, the change in venue – to the Smárinn/Fífan Halls – was required in 1999. This provided the show and its exhibitors with much more space to engage visitors, negotiate business, and to impart valuable insights and opinion.

Underlining the importance of IceFish on the industry calendar, several companies have exhibited at every single edition. Among these and starting out as pioneering entities and members of the Federation of Icelandic Industries, Marel, Hampidjan and Saeplast have been ever present since IceFish 1984. Other companies to feature at all of the shows include Eimskip, Olis (BP Iceland), Baader, Atlas, Kaeling, Scanmar, Style, Fiskifrettir and The Danish Export Group organising the Danish National Pavilion.

The last IceFish, held in June 2022 – the first to be held after Covid restrictions were lifted – featured 400 exhibitors and brands. Now back in its usual September slot (just after Icelandic fishing quotas have been released for 2024/2025), and celebrating its 40-year milestone, the organisers expect the attendance to be back in the region of 500 exhibitors/brands from Iceland and the rest of the world. Included in this year’s coming together will be national pavilions from the Faroe Islands and Norway, as well as the aforementioned Denmark Pavillion.

IceFish 2024 also looks forward to welcoming more than 40 new exhibiting companies and helping them showcase their products, services and solutions. Illustrating the growing international importance of the show, these ventures will be arriving from 10 different countries, including South Africa, Turkey, Germany and Italy. There will also be a number of Icelandic firms making their debut, which demonstrates the local importance of the event, particularly for aspiring companies looking to get a foothold in the country’s fishing, processing, seafood and by-product sectors.

The expectation is that this year, a bumper crowd of some 12,000 people will visit IceFish and its surrounding events over the course of the three days. Alongside the exhibition, the programme features matchmaking meetings, the 9th Icelandic Fisheries Awards recognising excellence in the Icelandic and international fisheries and seafood sectors, and a new Exhibitor’s Presentation Theatre.

Also included is the 5th Fish Waste for Profit Conference, which will dive into the globally important area of 100% fish utilisation. This hugely popular conference is being held in the Hilton Nordica Reykjavik.

Fittingly, in line with the first IceFish in 1984 being launched by the then Minister of Fisheries, the late Halldór Ásgrimsson, the 40th anniversary exhibition this September is due to be opened by the newly-appointed Minister of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, Bjarkey Olsen Gunnarsdóttir, in the presence of the Mayor of Kópavogur, Ásdís Kristjánsdóttir, and other dignitaries.

Mercator Media looks forward to welcoming the industry to IceFish 2024 and celebrating the event’s landmark 40th year.