Tuesday 19. January 2010

Master´s Project Presentation: The Icelandic Coastal Fisheries Experiment of 2009

In a few weeks the first students will graduate from the Coastal and Marine Management master´s program at the University Centre of the Westfjords. The students will graduate with a M.R.M. degree (Master of Resource Management) from the University of Akureyri which accredits the program.


A part of the graduation process, for students completing a 30 credit master's project, is a public presentation of their projects. This week five students will present their projects, a schedule will be available here on the website soon. In addition to the five presentations, one oral defence of a larger master's project (60 credit), will be scheduled in early February.


The first project to be presented this week is by Gísli H. Halldórsson. His project is a 30 credit program, titled The Icelandic Coastal Fisheries Experiment of 2009: Objectives, Proceedings and Fisheries Management. The projects advisor was Auður H. Ingólfsdóttir and the external reader Hulda Proppé.


The presentation is open to the public and will be on Wednesday January 20 at 4 pm in Room 1-2 at the University Centre of the Westfjords, and also via video conference in Oddi at the University of Iceland. The presentation will be in Icelandic, but text in slides will be in English. Questions and answers are welcome in both languages.


The Icelandic "coastal fisheries experiment" of 2009 was a new variation of fisheries management in Iceland, and was meant to break the monopoly of the ITQ system. It was pri-marily an attempt to counter social injustice, even though the project did make nods to dis-course on ecological and sustainable fisheries. Many sub-goals were connected to this main goal. The coastal fisheries experiment fulfilled this plethora of goals to a varying extent, but touched upon most of them.
All in all, it must be concluded that the coastal fisheries experiment of 2009 was successful and reached its main goals. Participants in the experiment were generally greatly pleased with the arrangement. This style of fisheries management has a good chance of decreasing social injustice and of increasing general consensus on fisheries management in Iceland.
Goals of recruitment, accumulation of experience and opening up of the industry to those that do not hold fishing quotas, and of stimulating industry in coastal settlements, were incontestably reached. Results regarding other goals are harder to determine. It is, however, hard to see that the coastal fisheries experiment worked against any of the public goals that have been made for fisheries management in Iceland.
However the fishing industry is managed in the future, it is important that the public has a chance to try its hand at fishing and seamanship - the modes of employment that Iceland-ers have built on through the ages. The methods used in the coastal fisheries experiment could be pivotal in this regard.

Gísli H. Halldórsson will present his master’s project on Wednesday January 20.
Gísli H. Halldórsson will present his master’s project on Wednesday January 20.