Winners of the 2019 Icelandic Fisheries Bursary Awards announced

From left to right: Ólafur Jón Arnbjörnsson, Headmaster of the Icelandic College of Fisheries, Sigurjón Elíasson, Global Learning and Development Manager at Marel, Thordis Maria Blomsterberg accepting the award for her winner husband Þorgeir Kristján Eyberg, Runar - SFS, Sólveig Dröfn Símonardóttir 2019 winner, Ásdís V Pálsdóttir Project Manager of the Icelandic College of Fisheries, Marianne Rasmussen-Coulling, Events Director, Mercator Media and Bjarni Þór Jónsson, Icelandic representative for Mercator Media/The Icelandic Fisheries Exhibition.

The winners of the 2019 Icelandic Fisheries Bursary Awards were announced at a ceremony held at the Brúin in the Iceland Ocean Cluster Reykjavik yesterday, 7 March 2019.

Following the 2014 Icelandic Fisheries Exhibition, the organisers of the exhibition recognised the need to re-invest in the future of the fishing sector and introduced bursaries awarded to those currently in education within the fishing sector. The first bursaries were awarded in 2017.

Presented by Marianne Rasmussen-Coulling, Events Director, Mercator Media organiser of the Icelandic Fisheries Exhbition, the two 2019 winners, who are both students at the Icelandic College of Fisheries in Grindavik, were awarded ISK 500,000 towards their respective courses. The first winner each, Sólveig Dröfn Símonardóttir, is studying Quality Control within the fishing sector and the second winner, Þorgeir Kristján Eyberg, is studying Fish Farming.

Marianne Rasmussen-Coulling commented, “The organizers of the 2020 Icelandic Fisheries Exhibition, on behalf of its organiser, Mercator Media Ltd., are pleased to be able to support these promising students seek further education within the Icelandic fishing sector and inspire excellence within them with this award. The fishing industry is one of the main pillars of the Icelandic economy and the 2020 Icelandic Fisheries Exhibition is pleased to be able to support the future of the industry, helping to make it even better and stronger both domestically and internationally. It is a true pleasure for us to contribute to the ongoing innovation and advancements in Iceland’s fishing and processing industry.”

Lilja D. Alfreðsdóttir. Minister of Education, Science and Culture, wasn't able to be present at the award-ceremony as planned but sent the winners special greetings and best wishes for future achievements in their studies, for the benefit of the Icelandic fisheries industry.

Sólveig Dröfn Símonardóttir explained “Getting the 2019 Icelandic Fisheries Bursary Award changes everything for me, to tell the truth. When I started my studies at Icelandic College of Fisheries I didn’t know how to finance it, but it was too good of an opportunity to miss, so I just went ahead. The 2019 Icelandic Fisheries Bursary Award is a motivation for me in my studies since I don’t have to worry about money anymore. The award gives me a chance to get an education that I probably wouldn’t have been able to get otherwise, and that is just fantastic.”

Þorgeir Kristján Eyberg also added “I’m first and foremost extremely grateful to the founders of the Icelandic Fisheries Bursary Awards, since it is a great honour to receive this award. I didn’t expect to, and it is an encouragement for me to continue my studies. I’m very happy and thankful to except it.”

The applications were assessed by a specialist judging panel from the industry, including Ólafur Jón Arnbjörnsson, Headmaster of the Icelandic College of Fisheries; Sigurjón Elíasson, Global Learning and Development Manager at Marel; Guðbergur Rúnarsson, Project Manager, at Fisheries Iceland; Örn Pálsson, Manager, National Association of Small Boat Owners; and Bjarni Þór Jónsson, Icelandic representative for Mercator Media/The Icelandic Fisheries Exhibition.

Established in the port of Grindavík in 2010, the Icelandic College of Fisheries’ vision is to meet the current requirements of the national fishing and processing industry throught the prodcution of suitably trained staff. The college offers training for deck crews, fishing vessel deckhands and shore-based industries in aquaculture and fish processing.

Fishing gear technology apprenticeships are also offered in association with the Suðurnes Comprehensive College in Reykjanesbær. The initial courses have since been explanded to include more in-depth, specialised courses of specialised study, which include Quality Control, Fish Processing and Fish Farming and it is these that the IceFish bursary specifically supports.

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If you would like to sponsor, exhibit or attend 2020 IceFish, please contact the events team on +44 1329 825335 or email icefish@icefish.is.