Perlan Vestfirðir 2006

This weekend the show will be Perlan Vestfirðir in Perlan and admission is free and everyone is allowed at 11 -17 Saturday and Sunday. More than 100 companies and institutions in the Westfjords take part in the exhibition and its goal is to present all the main things the Westfjords has to offer in the field of tourism, business and human life in general. IFL is among those who present their activities in the Westfjords.

The Westfjords Business Development Association is responsible for the exhibition in collaboration with the Westfjords Marketing Agency and this is the second time the exhibition has been held in Reykjavík, but the first was held in 2003.

IFL conducts various research in the Westfjords, especially in the field of cod farming, in collaboration with companies in the quarter. Special attention is drawn here to the fact that dr. Þorleifur Ágústson, fish physiologist, will give a talk at 14:30 on Sunday.


Saturday 5 May

On stage

11:00  Folk music from Þingeyri: Raivo, Krista and Uku Sildoja from Estonia perform.

12:00  Gísli Súrsson: Elfar Logi Hannesson performs a short version of the solo.

13:00  Jón Kr. Ólafsson and Gunnar Þórðarson's band transfer some songs.

14:00  Dried fish tasting: Well-known individuals taste and judge Westfjords dried fish.

15:00 The palettes from Bolungarvík: The hottest dates in the Westfjords, Soffía Vagnsdóttir, Pálína Vagnsdóttir and Íris Sveinsdóttir perform original music with accompaniment by Zbegniew Jarenko and Haukur Vagnsson.

15:30  Gísli Súrsson: Elfar Logi Hannesson performs a short version of the solo.

16:00  Heiða Ólafur af Ströndur sings a few songs.

In the basement

 12:30  Storytelling, ramshackle and weirdness: Jón Jónsson, ethnologist and from Sauðfjársetur in Strandir.

13:30  Summer University in Hrafnseyri: Dr. Peter Weiss, University Center of the Westfjords

14:30  Foxes on Hornstrandir: Ester Unnsteinsdóttir, biologist, gives a lecture with slides.

15:30  Kukl and merriment: Sigurður Atlason, director of the Magic Exhibition at Strandir.

16:30  Westfjords - A tourist paradise: Dorothee Lubecki, Westfjords Tourism Representative.

Sunday 7 May

On stage

 11:30  Folk music from Þingeyri: Raivo, Krista and Uku Sildoja from Estonia perform.

 12:00  Gísli Súrsson: Elfar Logi Hannesson performs a short version of the solo.

 13:00  Migratory birds:  A band made up of Arnfirðingar plays music by Arnfirðir authors.

 13:30  Jón Sigurður Eyjólfsson, troubadour from Bíldudalur, performs songs with poems by Westfjords poets accompanied by Farfuglanna.

 14:30  The wagon siblings from Bolungarvík together with Zbegniew Jarenko

 16:00  Gísli Súrsson: Elfar Logi Hannesson performs a short version of the solo.

In the basement

12:30  Ghosts and trolls and all creatures: Jón Jónsson, ethnologist, from Þjóðtrúarstofa á Ströndur.

13:30  Travel possibilities in the Westfjords: Guðmundur Eyþórsson from Vesturferðir presents.

14:30 Research on cod farming: Dr. Þorleifur Ágústsson from the Fisheries Laboratory.

15:30  Vikings in the Westfjords: Dorothee Lubecki, tourism representative of the Westfjords, presents Gísli saga project.


Report on the progress of the Nordic project on fishery safety

In 2004, it was decided to set up an information and communication network on the safety of seafood in the Nordic countries, with the aim of increasing the coherence of Nordic data on the chemical content of seafood. The project is funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers (NSK and NEF) and IFL, which also leads the project. This week, a progress report on the project was published.

The report describes the results of the second workshop in the project, which was held in Copenhagen on 21 April 2006, and which has developed a joint Nordic website ( which collects various links containing information on the chemical content of marine products, both undesirable substances and nutrients. Iceland has been responsible for developing the website and maintaining it, but each country is responsible for its information and for updating it. Read the report

The main topics of discussion at the meeting in Copenhagen were:

  • How the website had been presented in each country and what the reaction had been.
  • How to refine the website, for example, make it simpler and clearer.
  • How best to promote your website to the outside world.
  • How to keep the website alive after the project ends.
  • Define where knowledge is lacking in research results.

Participants in the project are experts from Norway, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, the Faroe Islands and Iceland.


IFL is advertising for project managers in aquaculture in Akureyri and Ísafjörður

IFL is advertising for two project managers to work in IFL's aquaculture department. One job is in Akureyri and the other in Ísafjörður. This is not the same job, as the emphasis is on the activities of IFL's aquaculture department in the aforementioned places.

IFL in Akureyri is working on projects related to feed and fish nutrition and the advertised job of project manager there will mainly involve overseeing the operation of projects, collaboration with companies, institutions, universities and individuals on projects.        

Further description of work in Akureyri

In Ísafjörður, IFL is building up strong activities in the field of aquaculture, especially cod farming, and there, among other things, work is being done on projects related to light control, physiology and the behavior of cod in aquaculture.          

Further description of work in Ísafjörður  

The application deadline for both positions is May 20, 2006. 

Rannveig Björnsdóttir, Head of the Aquaculture Department of the IFL Research Division, provides further information about the job:   895 2176


Freeze-drying of seafood is promising

A report has been published on IFL entitled Freeze-drying of seafood: an exploration of possibilities, where the results of a development project carried out last year at IFL are published. The aim was to investigate the possibility of production and sale of lyophilized products from Icelandic seafood.

In June 2005, a new lyophilizer was installed, Genesis 25 SQ EL, at IFL, but it was bought, among other things, to explore the possibility of producing high-quality seafood products for use in all kinds of special diets, supplements and target foods.

Freeze-drying is a process in which water is removed from a frozen product by evaporation and underpressure. This method is superior to other drying methods in that it better preserves the taste, color, bioactivity and other properties of delicate products. Freeze-drying has mainly been used to preserve delicate products such as various berries, but the most well-known freeze-dried product is instant coffee.

Freeze-drying of delicate products such as fish proteins better preserves their properties. This is especially important in research and production of bioactive peptides, but research in this field is precisely one of IFL's focus areas. 

It was The AVS Fund who supported the project, but the authors of the report are Guðjón Gunnarsson, Irek Klonowski and Guðjón Þorkelsson. Project manager was Guðjón Þorkelsson, head of IFL's Processing and Development department (tel: 8604748)

The report Freeze-drying of seafood: an exploration of possibilities


Long-awaited one: Two reports on IFL

IFL recently published two reports, which publish the results of experiments carried out at IFL 12-15 years ago, but have not been published before. The reason why they are being excavated now is that the results of these experiments are now being used in projects that are currently being worked on at IFL.

IFL has been conducting research on seafood for decades, and a great deal of knowledge has been accumulated in this field at the institute. More often than not, these studies are directly useful, i.e. practical research, but sometimes knowledge is created that is not useful until even a long time later.

As stated earlier, the experiments behind the aforementioned reports were carried out about 12-15 years ago, but their results have not been published before. Both reports are in English and the former is called Microbiological changes during storage of lumpfish caviar (IFL report 02-06) and the latter Microbiological changes during storage of salted cod fillets (IFL report 04-06).

The aforementioned report presents results in which the effects of sterilization, salinity, storage temperature and benzoate on the growth of various microbial groups in grayling roe caviar were examined. The latter report, however, presents the results of experiments in which salted cod fillets with a salinity of about 20% were stored at 5 ° C for 330 days and changes in microbial numbers and chemical indicators were monitored during the storage period.

The results are related to both product development projects on the utilization of capelin roe and several projects on the processing and processing of salted fish.


Fiskiþing held on Friday 7 April

The 65th Fishing Forum will be held at the Radisson Hotel Saga in Reykjavík on Friday, April 7, 2006. It will start at 13:30 and it will end at 17. Fiskiþing is an open forum on issues related to the fishing industry. The theme of the session is "Fisheries and the environment". One speaker will be from Rf, Emilía Martinsdóttir, head of the Consumer and Safety Department at Rf's Research Division.


The Board of SEAFOODplus met in Reykjavík

Today ended the two-day meeting of the board of SEAFOODplus - the giant project, which was held at Sjávarútvegshúsið. As is well known, IFL participates in SEAFOODplus and Sjöfn Sigurgísladóttir, CEO of IFL, sits on the project board.

Sjöfn was the host of the board this time and she says that it was a traditional meeting of the board, but the board of SEAFOODplus meets three times a year to discuss the progress of the project.

Seafoodplus is in fact a synonym for a number of different projects that have the main goal of increasing the consumption of seafood, researching the effects of seafood on people's health and well-being, promoting increased safety of seafood and further processing of seafood.


Visit from Norway

A group of students from Bodö University in Norway visited the Fisheries House this afternoon, in order to get to know the activities of IFL and the Marine Research Institute. The visit is part of the group's packed agenda in this country.

The group, which as mentioned before, comes from Høgskolen i Bodø (HBO) in Norway, consists of 6 students and one teacher, Christel Solberg. This is the second year in a row that she brings students from HBO to Iceland and it is safe to say that they come from many places.

For the first two days, they visited companies and institutions in the North, incl. Samherji and Brim in Akureyri, Sæplast in Dalvík, Stofnfisk / Haliotis in Hauganes and the feed factory Laxá. Then they went out to Hrísey and visited Icelandic seafood. The Norwegians also visited the University of Akureyri and finally Hólaskóli before heading south across the moors.

This morning they visited Optimar and Marel and tomorrow this ride will end with visits to companies in Suðurnes.


Health-promoting effects of bioactive fish proteins

IFL has, together with various partners, worked on a number of projects to increase the value of seafood in recent years. These include several projects to increase the utilization of proteins from by-products and pelagic fish for human consumption, both by developing new processing processes, new products and by exploring the market for health foods and target foods.

One of them is Propephealth within the SEAFOODplus European project managed by IFL. Its goals are:

  • Screening, mapping and processing new health-enhancing substances from by-products of seafood or pelagic fish using advanced and gentle processing methods
  • To develop new bioactive additives from seafood
  • Using these ingredients to develop a new targeted diet

The forthcoming issue of the scientific journal Process Biochemistry presents the first results of a study on the effects of hydrolysed fish proteins on the growth of breast cancer cells. Hydrolyzed proteins, made from cod, coal, blue whiting and salmon, significantly reduced their growth.

These results are an indication of how these fish proteins can be further developed for use in health foods and as dietary supplements. There is still a long way to go. Scientific knowledge is not yet available on whether it will be possible to claim the health effects of these proteins on consumers in the future. This study is only the first step in a long way.

For further information contact Guðjón Þorkelsson: 860 4748 /


First meeting of the project Welfare of Fish in European Aquaculture

As reported here on the web in November, IFL is participating in a major European project on fish welfare in aquaculture. Recently, the first meeting of the steering committee chaired by IFL was held in Brussels, and here you can read a summary of what was discussed there.

The COST 867 project "Welfare of Fish in European Aquaculture" deals, as the name implies, with the welfare of fish in aquaculture. In recent years, increasing emphasis has been placed on the welfare of animals, both domestic and non-domestic, including the ethical views of responsible consumers who care about the care and welfare of domestic animals, stricter requirements in regulations on domestic living conditions and rules on organic farming.

Welfare is a complex concept and there is no single definition of the welfare of farmed fish, as this has been little researched and there are no biological criteria for the welfare of farmed fish. It is debated whether fish can survive, but nonetheless, this debate has surfaced in connection with aquaculture and no less fishing. It is therefore important that common sense is taken into account and that the industry takes the initiative to launch the debate. Although there is a debate about how to define welfare, most people should be able to agree that a conflict between welfare considerations and the efficient operation of aquaculture companies should be avoided. There is a direct link between welfare, consumer confidence and quality in production.

The aim of the project is to bring together representatives of those who are related to fish welfare in some way. Participants are fish farmers, representatives of the administration and representatives of research institutes. It is expected that work will be done to formulate guidelines and rules of procedure for the welfare of farmed fish and to define measures of the welfare of farmed fish. An extensive publication will also be prepared where information on fish welfare will be compiled, which will be useful, among other things, in all policy-making in this field. In addition to discussing the welfare of farmed fish, the welfare of fish will also be addressed as experimental animals, ornamental fish and in connection with fishing. It is therefore important for Icelanders to have a representative in this group.

The project is divided into three working groups. They are:

  1. Biology of fish important for welfare.
  2. Measurable welfare in aquaculture.
  3. Fish welfare and management.

Icelandic participants in the project and who sit on the project's steering committee are on behalf of IFL dr. Þorleifur Ágústsson (photo right) and dr. Helgi Thorarensen from Hólaskóli.

It should be noted that a special website for the project is being prepared and it will be prepared by the University Center of the Westfjords, in collaboration with IFL and the University of Stirling in Scotland.

COST website