The winners of the 2024 Icelandic Fisheries Bursary Awards were announced at a ceremony held at the Brúin in the Iceland Ocean Cluster Reykjavik today, January 19th 2024.

Following the 2014 Icelandic Fisheries Exhibition, newly branded as the Icelandic Fisheries, Seafood & Aqua Exhibition, the organisers of the exhibition recognised the need to re-invest in the future of the fishing sector and introduced bursaries awarded to those currently in education within the fishing sector. The first bursaries were awarded in 2017.

The three 2024 winners are all students at the Icelandic College of Fisheries in Grindavik. They were awarded ISK 300,000 each towards their respective courses. The winners are Klaudia Magdalena Lenkiewicz, Beata Mroz and Þórdís Ýr Snjólaugardóttir.

Marianne Rasmussen-Coulling, Events Director, Mercator Media organiser of the Icelandic Fisheries, Seafood & Aqua Exhbition 2024, commented:

“It is with great pleasure and pride that Mercator Media Ltd. are back again to present the Icelandic Fisheries Bursary Awards to worthy students, providing them financial support to either specialise in Marel processing, fish farming or quality control. Commercial fishing and aquaculture are principal industries for Icelanders, tirelessly seeking for excellence and it is important to constantly strengthen the education and knowledge of those who work in that sector. We wish the winners the best of luck and hope that they will contribute to the prosperous Icelandic fishing industry for years to come with their expertise, skills and education.” 

The Winners:

Þórdís Ýr Snjólaugardóttir: 

“The Icelandic Fisheries Bursary Awards will prove exceptionally beneficial in supporting my advanced studies in aquaculture technology. Originally, I specialized in metal turning, but I often found myself weary of being assigned projects that didn’t align with the specific needs and requirements of those working directly with the equipment. I aspired to acquire a deeper understanding of equipment functionality and to develop efficient, cost-effective solutions to technical challenges. This scholarship holds great importance for me as it provides an opportunity to enhance my knowledge in this field.”

Klaudia Magdalena Lenkiewicz:

 “I did not expect to receive the Icelandic Fisheries Bursary Awards and they are incredibly valuable for me. I was quite worried about the escalating cost of living and associated challenges had left me apprehensive about the continuation of my studies. Receiving the bursary awards for further education not only alleviates those concerns but also provides an encouraging boost. The bursary awards give me the opportunity to pursue my studies with full dedication, and that, in itself, is truly fantastic.”

The applications were assessed by a specialist judging panel from the industry, including  Klemenz Sæmundson, Headmaster of the Icelandic College of Fisheries; Sigurjón Elíasson, former Learning and Development Manager at Marel; Hrefna Karlsdóttir, Fisheries management and International affairs at Fisheries Iceland; Örn Pálsson, Manager, National Association of Small Boat Owners; and Bjarni Þór Jónsson, Icelandic representative for Mercator Media/The Icelandic Fisheries, Seafood and Aqua Exhibition.

Established in the port of Grindavík in 2010, the Icelandic College of Fisheries’ vision is to meet the current requirements of the national fishing and processing industry through the production of suitably trained staff. The college offers 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 initial courses have since been expanded to include more in-depth, specialised courses of specialised study, which include Quality Control, Fish Processing and Fish Farming and it is these that the IceFish bursary specifically supports.

The 14th Icelandic Fisheries, Seafood and Aqua Exhibition will take place 18-20 September 2024 at the Smárinn, Fifan Halls Kópavogur, Iceland. A must-attend event for all commercial fisheries organisations and associated businesses. Icefish hosts the latest developments from the industry showcasing new and innovative products and services, covering every aspect of the commercial fishing industry from catching and locating to processing and packaging, right through to marketing and distribution of the final product.