N.L. minister wraps up trip to Iceland

Fishery at ‘critical juncture’: Byrne

Published on September 12, 2017

At the RSF (Reikmistofa fiskmarkada) office in Keflavik, Iceland, general manager Eyjolfur Guolaugsson (right) explains the country’s online fish auction system. The GM and Matis’ chief impact officer Arnljotur Bjarki Bergsson answered questions from Newfoundland and Labrador Fisheries Minister Gerry Byrne.

©Ashley Fitzpatrick/The Telegram

Newfoundland and Labrador Fisheries and Land Resources Minister Gerry Byrne said now was exactly the right time for him to visit Iceland.

Byrne was in the country taking part in the World Seafood Congress this week in Reykjavik, seeing examples of Iceland’s processing capabilities

and varied fish and related products.

It was an opportunity to speak directly with industry representatives, he said, when asked by The Telegram about making the trek — a stop on the way home from a personal holiday.

“Beyond that (general discussion), this is one of the most interesting times in the industry itself and we are all looking for examples of best

practices as we transform our Newfoundland and Labrador industry near-exclusively from a shellfish to a mixed fishery — both shellfish and

groundfish — and potentially, eventually to a much greater concentration of groundfish,” he said.

Byrne said Iceland is known in the fisheries world as a “beacon of knowledge and experience and wisdom, in particular in groundfish,” and

perhaps more importantly for being open to sharing knowledge and experiences.

“So from my point of view — and clearly, given the participation, from the Newfoundland and Labrador industry’s point of view — this was the

right place to be at this critical juncture in the evolution of our fishing industry,” he said, following time at the offices of RSF, the

company responsible for the Icelandic fish market auction system.

The World Seafood Congress is also being attended by representatives from Memorial University of Newfoundland and the Association of Seafood Producers.