Archive for the ‘Fisheries’ Category

Starstruck

Friday, March 28th, 2008

emilymoberg.jpgEmily Moberg
Yesterday we had the incredible opportunity to meet with and interview the Icelandic Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture. A group of us donned our best travel clothes (so…clean shirts) and trekked over to the ministry.

We were greeted by several secretaries and taken to an imposing office. Consequently, by the time we met the minister, I was incredibly nervous, especially when it came time to hold a microphone in front of him and ask questions of such an important person. However, I soon forgot about my nervousness as I listened to this incredibly intelligent man discuss the details of his ministry. He deftly and thoroughly answered all our questions about various aspects of the Icelandic fisheries; it was evident that he was aware of everything going on in his ministry.

The interview lasted an hour, despite our being allotted only half an hour, and we learned an enormous amount—ranging from the workings of the ministry to the minister’s personal history with fishing. It was an incredible experience for all of us, and a great opportunity to gather sound for our radio program (although I almost lost feeling in my arm from holding a mic so long).

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Sights, Sounds … and Smells

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

amanda.jpgAmanda Mok
I once heard that a culture can be described by its cuisine and language. I’ve discovered something else to add to that list: smell. The first thing that hit me as I walked out of the airport on Day 1 was the sulfurous smell. Reykjavik’s air has “rotten egg” fumes coming from the hot springs, which play a huge role in modern Icelandic culture. A majority of the country’s energy comes from these holes in the Earth. Their smell is in the air, in the water, even in the food.

A visit to Iceland, especially one focused on fisheries, would not be complete without visiting the Westman Islands, which are very important to the large fishing industry. In addition to the unique landscape of the islands (shaped by active volcanoes), there’s no mistaking the characteristic smell of fish. From the harbor to the fish factory, the heavy scent of raw fish follows you everywhere. There’s no escape.

So, next time you travel, smell the air!

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I Was Blown Away

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

tracey.jpgTracey Hayse
Hometown: Lexington, Ky.
We spent the day in Heimaey of Vestmannaeyjar (the Westman Islands). Upon arrival we were whisked away to a fish processing factory where we all got to dress in plastic scrubs and see fish heads chopped off. Mmm… when’s lunch? We then continued the tour by going into the bowels of a fishing boat, where I got to be the nerdy radio kid chasing down conversations with my microphone and hopping gaps in narrow walkways with my kit swinging wildly at my hip.

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Our next stop would give us a chance to climb a volcano that only 35 years ago almost destroyed Heimaey. (Check out “Stopping the Lava,” by John McPhee.) We all rush out of the bus and start hightailing it up the lava rock, when here comes the first high-speed gust of wind. This wind would put the MacGregor wind tunnel to shame. It knocked us into one another and onto the ground. To avoid being blown away we would lie down, then as soon as the wind would die down, we would all take off running as far as we could before the next gust. By the time we made it up and back down, I had bits of lava rock in my nose and ears and throat.

The beauty and the wind of Heimaey blew me away. Literally.

Food in Iceland

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

eva.jpgEva Cheung
Hometown: Boston, Mass.
We spent a very busy day traveling to various sites within a two-hour radius of Reykjavik. To conclude our adventures, we were treated to a buffet at the Hotel Geysir, where I got my first taste of Icelandic food. There was salmon in several different forms—smoked, baked and in salmon mousse—as well as chicken, pork and an assortment of vegetables. The food was fresh and colorful, and needless to say, I had a lot of it.

Though the population of Iceland is very homogenous, there’s a lot of diversity when it comes to restaurants in the area. On the street where our hotel is located in Reykjavik center, there is a Chinese restaurant, Italian restaurant, a pizza parlor and a Parisian cafe. Subway, Taco Bell, and KFC are nearby.

The dishes we eat in Iceland will definitely be featured in the museum exhibits we’re building this semester; our team’s exhibit is focused on food and restaurants in order to relate the food we eat to fisheries and the overfishing crisis. I’m excited to find out what else we’ll get to try on this trip. I hear rotten shark meat is on the menu later this week…

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