There aren’t many IceFish exhibitions that Thórir Matthíasson hasn’t been present at. After graduating from navigation college in the early 1980s and some years at sea, he sidestepped into a job as sales manager for Sæplast and took part in many exhibitions with Sæplast – before moving on to other roles that also took him to more exhibitions, most recently as managing director of Scanmar Iceland.
“IceFish is an established exhibition that has deep roots and an international pedigree,” he said.
“It brings in a different set of visitors, with people from Iceland’s neighbouring countries in Norway, the Faroes and Greenland, as well as the local industry. This is the exhibition that companies put their effort into and this is the exhibition we’d never consider not taking part in.”
Iceland has long been a prime market for electronics company Scanmar, with an Icelandic subsidiary managed by Thórir Matthíasson from workshops in Garðabaer.
“Scanmar is doing well, but Scanmar Iceland is only a part of the whole,” he said.
The market in Iceland has been through some major changes as much of the fleet has been renewed, alongside the process of consolidation that has seen the fleet shrink to a smaller number of vessels.
“This is a high-tech, high-efficiency fleet now,” he said. “It has changed a lot and is still changing. Although there is still older tonnage in the fleet, there has been a huge amount of renewal, and there’s more coming, big and small, including two new pelagic vessels being built in Denmark for Samherji and Síldarvinnslan.”
Apart from Rammi’s factory trawler Sólberg, which is one of Scanmar’s longstanding customers, the renewal has been in fresher trawlers as there is an increased focus on shore-based processing.
“Change always comes in waves,” Thórir Matthíasson said. “The changes we are seeing is that skippers are demanding more and more information, and they want more precision – and that’s what Scanmar is responding to.”
He commented that Scanmar has always placed the emphasis firmly on quality and reliability – and offers a five year guarantee with its sensors, although many are in use long after the guarantee has lapsed.“We had one that came in last week that’s twenty-nine years old, and it’s fine,” he said. “This is a codend sensor and they come back every few years for the battery to be changed. So we changed the battery and checked it out, and expect to see this one again in a few years.”
Iceland has long been a key market for electronics specialist Scanmar. Thórir Matthíasson of Scanmar Iceland - with a 29-year-old sensor that’s as good as new
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