Perceptions on marine salmonfarming development inBíldudalur, Iceland

University essay from Stockholms universitet/Institutionen för naturgeografi

Abstract: Marine salmon farming is a new and fast-growing industry in Iceland after decades of uncertainties within aquaculture development in the country. While growing at a tremendous speed in the last few years, the development has been challenged by different social groups in regard to its socio-economic and environmental effects. Research has shown that there is a lack of knowledge on the perceptions on different stakeholders involved in the farming. This study aims to investigate how different stakeholders perceive the marine salmon farming industry being established in Bíldudalur, in the Westfjords of Iceland, by conducting a case study. Semi structured interviews were carried out with different stakeholders as well as an online survey was distributed to the residents of Bíldudalur, following a focus groupdiscussion. Analysis of the responses demonstrated that current aquaculture regulations have not held up with the expanding industry which has created tension amongst stakeholders. The results show that many worry about the wild salmon stock and that with current regulations, it is hard to predict how much marine farmed salmon will be bred in Iceland, due to weak regulations. Simultaneously, the local community of Bíldudalur has experienced a lot of positive changes in their rural community following the establishment of fish farming in their community. On this basis, further research is needed to compare the findings to other rural communities involved in fish farming in Iceland as well as further research on Iceland´s current changes in regulation and policies and how aquaculture development is promoted in Iceland.

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