Iceland Mag

-3 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag

Food & Drink

Restaurants fear running out of fresh fish as storms and trawling strike keep ships in harbour

By Staff

  • Trawlers in harbour The entire Icelandic trawling fleet is in harbour due to a strike by sailors, while the smaller boats are in harbour due to difficult weather conditions. Photo/GVA

Seafood restaurants in Reykjavík fear running out of fresh fish as fishermen have been unable to head to sea due to the winter storms of the past several days. A strike among fishermen at trawlers has made the shortage of fresh fish more acute. A local restaurateur says he will close his restaurant rather than use frozen fish. Restaurants have also been forced to make changes to their menus due to the shortage.

Bad weather, trawling strike cause rising prices
Most restaurants rely on fresh fish from smaller boats, but the storms of the past several days have made it difficult for these to head out to sea. 

At the same time a strike among fishermen at trawlers, which began on December 14 has kept the trawling fleet in port. This has both raised the price of fish at auction markets and made it increasingly difficult for restaurants to secure fish. What little fish comes to market has been fought over by buyers. The price of cod at market has risen from 298 ISK (2.62 USD/ 2.50 EUR) per kg on December 14. to 468 ISK (4.12 USD/3.93 EUR) per kg on December 28. 

Seafood restaurants doomed if they can't get fresh fish
Jón Mýrdal who operates the restaurant Messinn in downtown Reykjavík told the local newspaper Fréttablaðið that he has been forced to appeal to fishermen he knows on Facebook to sell him fish. "We are doomed if we can't get fish." He told Fréttablaðið he would rather close the restaurant than use frozen fish.

Jón added that he hoped the matter would improve and boats can leave for the fishing grounds. He also hopes the trawling strike will end. "The fishermen deserve a decent wage, they certainly deserve it."

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