May 7, 2019

Iceland Fishing Tech Warms to Russia

Bylgja Pálsdóttir explores why Iceland’s fishing tech sector is flocking to Russia to invest in joint ventures modernizing the behemoth's seafood industry.

Most of us are familiar with Russia’s concerted efforts to modernize its fishing sector with a full arsenal of measures: from embargoes shielding the domestic industry to subsidies, grants and other incentives to prod innovation and create momentum driving the sector forward.

But it’s not only internal efforts that are wrenching Russia's fishing industry into the future. Interests from outside the motherland are looking to capitalize on this confluence of cash, government intervention and general excitement over waking up a sleeping giant.

Small Nation, Big Plans

Namely, Iceland’s fishing tech sector, including equipment manufacturers and ship designers, has demonstrated growing interest in investing alongside Russian firms in the future of Russian fishing, as reported by Sputnik News.

Earlier this year at the Fishing in the Arctic conference in Murmansk, Iceland’s ambassador to Russia Berglind Ásgeirsdóttir made special note of mutual benefit brought by Iceland’s participation in Russia’s fishing sector overhaul. “We have very ambitious plans in connection with the task set by the Russian government to upgrade the fishing fleet and the fish processing industry,” said Ásgeirsdóttir. “These plans have breathed new life into Icelandic enterprises.”

Iceland’s Ambassador to Russia Berglind Ásgeirsdóttir,
image courtesy Icelandic Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Projects Already Well Underway

Skaginn 3X has thrown its hat into the ring several times, including contracts to outfit large-scale processing plants in Russia Far East. The company has also brought its breakthrough technologies to the Russian fishing fleet through its role in Knarr Maritime, a consortium of Icelandic fishing tech companies that work collectively on ship designs.

Knarr Rus has been established as an office of Knarr Maritime dedicated to handling the consortium’s booming business in Russia. "We have huge ambitions in Russia,” says CEO of Knarr Rus Jónas Tryggvason, who speaks fluent Russian. “We are already building several vessels. The first was laid in St. Petersburg at the Severnaya shipyard—that was in November. We are planning the next ship next month, and so they will be built one after the other.”

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