Few who ever fished in Iceland would believe that its swimming heritage is in extreme danger. We made mention before of the huge, world famous Lake Thingvellir trout being brought close to extinction. Sadly enough, many a trout population all over the island faces such a nightmare scenario. One of the main causes is even more sad: the recreational angling culture, which is every now and then best described as plain genocide. The saddest of all is the paradox: those who allow the massacres to happen much depend upon the income from that very fishing. And even worse: indirectly all Icelanders benefit from it, since the contribution of sports fishing to the country’s GNP is some 1,6-1,7 percent or 20 billion Icelandic króna (130 million euros), thousands of jobs depending on this industry…
Then: “why kill the goose with the golden eggs?” From every point of view, whether thinking natural heritage, leisure and pleasure, economics, or just common sense, it would be the mistake of the millennium for everyone to keep denying their responsibilities towards the trout, the char, and the salmon.
In this respect CTCF and, since its establishment, Continental Trout-Iceland have come up with many an initiative to change the course of history already, and to hold out a better prospect. In order to make these and other initiatives known on a wider scale, we decided to invite all stakeholders to the table. We believe that now is the time to really open up the discussion with all parties that should be involved in conserving Iceland’s most precious and most valuable salmonids. By means of a conference we think to create the best opportunity for this, aiming to build bridges between interests (different as they may seem at first sight) at the same time. At this occasion we shall be glad to welcome land and river owners, fishery managers, angling guides, policy makers, scientists, interest groups, businesses, and –of course- dedicated and concerned anglers, especially the new generation.
The conference is scheduled for mid March 2015. During the afternoon session we shall present a series of short presentations, going into the heart of the matter: “which are the main problems Iceland’s salmonids face, and which may be the ways to contribute to their continued existence”. In other words: how can we all keep the goose (read: the salmonids) alive! The morning pre-program will be reserved for 1.) angling guides in regard the official establishment of their Association and the introduction of the Quality Label related to membership, and 2.) youth to attend the official opening event of the Fly Fishing School, affiliated with the aforementioned Angling Guides Association.
Continental Trout-Iceland – Helgi Guðbrandsson, Össur Skarphéðinsson, Thorsteinn Stefánsson, Elías Pétur Þórarinsson, Ríkarður Hjálmarsson
Continental Trout Conservation Fund – René Beaumont, Tjong Khoe, Ad Swier