Highsea VI – 2009

Iceland

Iceland, climate change and the EU – how to continue with the fishing industry?

Our sixth expedition took the students to Iceland, to the volcanic Westman Islands.

Climate change and global warming could have serious impacts on the oceans, for example, temperature and changes of (salt) concentration of water. This also affects the creatures living in it.

Compared to the rest of Europe, Iceland’s fishing grounds are full of fish and also low in toxic substances due to various circumstances. Iceland’s economy is highly dependent on fishing, as it accounts for nearly 80 percent of export goods. Thus, Iceland was the ideal destination for this topic.

Before the expedition started the students of Highsea VI gained some basic knowledge for conducting a survey.

The stations of the research journey included the Haukadulur Geysir area, the Gullfoss Waterfall and climbing a volcano, as well as the cities of Keflavik, Grindavik, Hafnarfjˆrdur, Heimaey and the capital Reykjarvik.

Goal of Highsea VI: Finding out about the effects of climate change on the Icelandic fishing industry, if the migratory behavior of fish is affected. This was to be done by extensive interviewing the population of Iceland, especially of those people working in the fishing industry.

Another aspect of the survey was to find out about how they felt about joining the European Union. The application for access to the EU was previously rejected by the Icelandic population, because they especially feared restrictions on fishing rights. (Application for membership in the EU, July 17, 2009).

In the end the chosen topic was so extensive that further research in this area might
even be possible for other expeditions.

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