GRIMSBY will have a strong presence at Icefish 2017, which opens just outside Reykjavik tomorrow.
Held every three years, the Iceland Fisheries Exhibition has been growing in stature and is expected to attract a record 20,000 visitors to what is the second most important fishing country in the northern hemisphere, after Norway.
There will also be a major international presence and Grimsby Fish Market, which hugely depends on Icelandic fish, will have its own stand there.
The market, which was badly hit during the two-month-long fishermen’s strike last winter, hopes to use the event to emphasise its strength and to persuade more suppliers to send fish to the Humber.
The stand will be shared with the local Grimsby (North East Lincolnshire) council and Atlantic Fresh, the main Icelandic export organisation, which also has a base in Grimsby.
Other local companies include the seafood processor, Havelock of Grimsby, which is sharing the Iceland Seafood International stand.
Marianne Rasmussen-Coulling, the exhibition’s executive director, told the Icelandic newspaper Morgunbladid: ‘One major difference between the show this year and the last one, held in 2014, is that the number of overseas exhibitors has increased.
‘The Icelandic fisheries industry has been efficiently upgrading the ship and equipment options, and it seems to have attracted foreign sellers who want to better promote their products and technology.
‘We have exhibitors from the United States and from European countries such as France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands and Portugal, but also exhibitors such as India, Bangladesh, Singapore and Peru.
‘It is also great to welcome buyers from the Far East and Africa, as well as financially interested parties who are looking for investments in new equipment and services for their operations.’
Probably the most unusual exhibitor, amid the macho world of stands displaying ship’s engines, trawl gear, generators and processing equipment, is that of the International Association for Women in Seafood. This will be the first time that a women’s association has set up a stand at a professional fisheries fair.
A spokeswoman said: ‘Iceland is the right place to be for such venture, its fishing industry is very dynamic and the country is at the forefront when it comes to gender equality.
‘During this professional meeting we will seek visitors’ perceptions on women’s roles in the various sectors of the industry and their understanding of the reasons behind women’s invisibility in the industry.’