About the Ministry of Fisheries
The Icelandic Directorate of Fisheries is a public body responsible to the Ministry of Fisheries. Its task is continuous monitoring of compliance to the laws and regulations covering various aspects of fisheries. These involve day-to-day monitoring of fishing activities, supervision of fishing and matters relating to penalties for illegal catches, and compilation of official records in major areas of fisheries administration. Another role of the Directorate of Fisheries is official supervision of the handling of catches and processing products.
One example of the activities of the Directorate of Fisheries is that all catches landed in Iceland are weighed on scales which are directly on-line to its computer network, to allow data to be recorded on a daily basis.
The Icelandic Fisheries Laboratories
Established in 1934, the Icelandic Fisheries Laboratories has the role of promoting the advancement of Icelandic fishing and fish processing through a variety of research and development projects. The IFL cooperates with the University of Iceland in Reykjavík and Akureyri on research and teaching in food science and fisheries science, and also arranges courses in specialist fields for its clients, which include organizations, processing companies, private individuals, sales and marketing organizations, trawler companies, manufacturers of equipment for the fishing industry, agents, importers and exporters, consultants, designers and inventors.
The Icelandic Marine Research Institute
The Marine Research Institute has been active since 1965, although the history of marine research in Iceland dates back more than half a century.
Its research focuses on marine physics and chemistry, characteristics of the ocean floor, biological conditions and behaviour of marine vegetation, zooplankton and ocean-floor organisms, along with the marine food cycle. The most extensive field of the MRI’s activities, however, is its research and consultative role regarding fishing and utilization of catches, including stock assessment, trials of fishing gear and studies of potentially harvestable species. The MRI also takes part in Nordic and international marine research projects. Examples of its regular activities are the cruises every spring to study plankton, zooplankton and various factors of marine ecology, and every autumn to measure the spawning stocks of main commercial species.
Measurements of biomass of demersal species, nephrops and scallop are conducted at various times of the year, and the results are used to assess the size and conditions of fishable stocks as the basis for total allowable catch (TAC) recommendations. Echo sounding is used to assess the size of stocks of herring, capelin and redfish. In cooperation with various parties and funded by the government, a comprehensive multi-stock management research project is in progress, aimed at studying interactive factors in the marine ecosystem, spanning the whole range of marine life from algae and plankton to large whales.
The institute publishes an extensive report in May each year on the state of the marine stocks and prospects for the coming year.
About the Ministry of Agriculture
Although Icelandic agriculture
is primarily aimed at inland consumption, there are export opportunities
for many products, such as lamb
, wood and hides, salmon
, Artic char
and riding horses
. Agricultural education
, research, extension and other services focus on efficiency in production and quality control in the livestock industry
and for agricultural inputs, and also on rigorous inspection and certification of meat and milk products
The agricultural College at Hvanneyri offers basic farmers’ training and also curriculum leading to BS and Ms degrees. The Horticultural College at Reykir provides training in vegetable, flowers and seeding production, garden planning and flower arrangement. The Holar College specializes in horsemanship, agro tourism
. The latter two also offer courses at university level in co-operation with other institutions of higher education at home and abroad. All three schools are active in research, but the main research activities are carried out by the agricultural Research Institute in Reykjavik and its associated experimental farms. Food-quality research is done in co-operation with the industrial Research Institute in Reykjavik. The Directorate of Freshwater Fisheries
is responsible for research and services to inland fisheries. There is an extensive system of state-operated veterinary services, including quality control of meat and milk production.
Extensive programs of reforestation and soil conservation and land reclamation are carried out under the leadership of the State Forestry Service and the State Soil Conservation Service. The main tasks are to prevent soil erosion, reclaim vegetation and help establish tree cover in selected areas for recreation, shelter and lumber.
Sustainable agriculture, unspoiled nature
The Icelandic farmer belongs to a small group of hard working people, a total of 4000 dedicated specialists whose agricultural heritage of mixed farming is sometimes referred to as “the purest in the world.” This is where personal pride and skills handed down from father to son are responsible for a dependable and a very unique quality control, today known as SUSTAINABLE FARM MANAGEMENT.
Most Icelandic farms are small, family owned enterprises where clean air, pure water and unpolluted soil are the basis for quality Lamb Meat. Thus the Icelandic climate, along with the personal care that the Icelanders apply to their farming, makes for wholesome products of international renown.
Iceland is an island, it is situated in the North Atlantic, midway between the United States and Europe, approximately 30 miles below the Arctic Circle. Surrounded by the Gulf Stream, Iceland enjoys a mild climate, warm summers and cool winters.
Iceland has a population of about 290,000 all told. It is famous for its outdoor swimming pools with geo-thermal water, golf courses open 24 hours during the summertime, an opera house, a symphony orchestra, a jazz festival, the Icelandairwaves pop music festival, the Food & Fun Gourmet Chef competition, and many fine restaurants. farmers´ holidays, horseback riding, amazing landscape, hot springs and geysers.
The best known Icelandic gourmet foods are fish and farm products such as fine cheese and “Skyr”, a yoghurt type delicasy, and the unique FREE RANGE ICELANDIC LAMB. This pure product of nature is the very best nature can produce. Its purity lies in the fact that there are no feed additives and no hormone implants used as growth promotors.
The Icelandic lamb is reared entirely outdoors on a natural diet including sedge, willow, thrift, highland moss and berries. Choice lambs, born in the Spring, spend the Summer grazing freely in Iceland´s highland pastures. This is why Icelandic lamb meat is best known for its healthy, nutritional value and unique taste.
In the Icelandic farmlands the use of hormones is strictly prohibited and antibiotics are banned as feed additives. The Icelandic weather, unpolluted air and abundant supply of clean mountain water make the use of pesticides and herbicides completely unnecessary.
The cool climate protects the land against plant diseases, insects and other pests that plague agriculture in warmer latitudes. Iceland´s stringent agricultural regulations, that prohibit the import of live animals, have guarded Iceland from many common animal diseases – still unknown in the Icelandic farmlands. That´s how the Icelandic farmers have manged to preserve the old native breed of sheep that Viking settlers brought to the country 1100 years ago.
Today, when consumers have become extremely conscious of their health, food has to be safe to consume, unpolluted and at the same time nutritious. Icelandic Lamb Meat, being instantly recognisable for its delicious and distinctive taste, is not only safe to consume but also healthy due to the fact that it contains OMEGA-3 Fatty Acids.
Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture
Fax: + 354 562 1853
E-mail: [email protected]
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