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For our English reading audience, here is a good report on the situation in Iceland regarding the salmon farming industry and the fight for the preservation of our wild salmon and trout stocks.

“In the past decade, the fjords of Iceland have been the site of a gold rush as ambitious promoters have rushed to draw up plans and apply for permits to fill every fjord to capacity with open pen salmon farms. The industry has been booming, its growth rate exceeding even that of tourism.

For scale: tourism, which many in Iceland feel has been growing too fast for its environmental and economic impact to be evaluated, causing excessive stress on Iceland‘s fragile nature, grew nearly five-fold between 2008 and 2018. At the same time, the output of farmed salmon ballooned from just 292 tons to 13,448–a staggering 45-fold increase.

According to plans outlined by the industry, the salmon party is just starting. Applications have been filed for farms with a capacity totaling 130,000 tons of salmon and further plans are already being discussed. The Icelandic Marine and Freshwater Research Institute, which conducts risk assessments for aquaculture in Icelandic waters, has thrown some cold water on these plans, capping the capacity of fjords where aquaculture is permitted at 71,000 tonnes. Since a number of fjords have yet to be assessed, the total will likely increase.”