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Eight Vopnafjörður graduates from fisheries college

‘Experience has shown that this is a positive initiative and I expect that we will repeat this in a year’s time. All of the 9th grade students will be offered the opportunity to take part,’ said Fanney Björk Friðriksdóttir, Project Manager at HB Grandi’s pelagic processing plant in Vopnafjörður and one of the instructors at the Fisheries College.

Neskaupstaður company Síldarvinnslan set up the training program in 2013 and this has been run every year since in the Fjarðabyggð district and in Seyðisfjörður. This summer the program is run by the University of Akureyri along with Síldarvinnslan and is held in six locations across eastern Iceland - at Vopnafjörður, Seyðisfjörður, Neskaupstaður, Eskifjörður, Fáskrúðsfjörður and Höfn. The scheme is a co-operative effort between the University of Akureyri and six fishing companies; HB Grandi, Gullberg, Síldarvinnslan, Eskja, Loðnuvinnslan and Skinney-Þinganes. The municipalities are also involved as students can take part in the Fisheries College for a week on full pay.

The Fisheries College scheme is designed to provide 9th grade students from fishing villages and the surrounding areas with the opportunity to become familiar with one of Iceland’s key sectors, as well as making them aware of education and work opportunities in the fishing industry.

‘This is the first time that Vopnafjörður has participated and we decided to offer this as an option for 10th grade students as well. My expectation is that the program is here to stay and in the future all 9th grade students will be offered to participate,’ Fanney Björk Friðriksdóttir said, adding that lectures and videos are shown to give them as deep introduction to the fishing industry as is possible, along with visits to fisheries-related companies. The students are given an introduction to pelagic processing, groundfish processing, production of fishmeal and fish oil, fishing vessels, fishing gear technology, fish markets and the activities of and role played by Matís and other research bodies. The course additionally includes an overview of quality control and health and safety in the workplace.

Students who completed the course in Vopnafjörður are Borghildur Arnarsdóttir, Mikael Grönvold, Indía Rebekka, Heiðar Snær Ragnarsson, Benedikt Blær, Gígja Björg Höskuldsdóttir, Viktoría Hulda Thorgrímsdóttir and Ísak Aron Víðisson.