Wednesday 17. September 2014

Fishing villages on the rise. Is the future calling? And where are the women?

The University Centre of the Westfjords, the Association of Municipalities of the Westfjords, Vesturbyggð municipality, and the Icelandic regional development institute, Byggðastofnun, invite for a conference on regional development, 

The Icelandic Regional Development Conference 19.-20. September 2014, Patreksfjörður.


According to registration, the conference will be well attended. Locals, who only want to participate in single lectures are welcome to do so for free. Yet, registration is still ongoing: or telephone 456 5006. Registration fee, including meals, is íkr 15.000.

The programme comprises more than 20 interesting lectures on varied topics by academics, planners and practitioners in the field. 


The Icelandic Regional Development Conference is intended to be a forum for new research, practical work experience and discussion of politics and policy at the local and national level. The conference is being held in a rural area in order to give participants an insight into the locals’ standard of living and the challenges and opportunities they face.


Fishing communities are a young phenomenon in the history of Iceland. They grew quickly from the beginning of the 20th Century, based on fishing, processing and their proximity to good fishing grounds. Many of them are now, a hundred years later, quickly losing ground. What does their future hold?

In many ways we today stand at a crossroads with the development of fishing communities: Some are becoming dormitory towns, others continue to develop with tourism, new heavy industry, or in connection to aquaculture. In some places innovative start-up companies are taking root. Meanwhile, other villages seem to be fading away.

It has often been noted in international research that women are the first to abandon peripheral areas and as it stands today, it seems to be hardest to persuade women to move to seaside villages – despite new developments and economic growth in several places. What lies behind this? Is it possible to influence the situation? Is it an image problem the seaside villages are facing?