Vigur er nú umkringd sjókvíum. Umferð þjónustubáta er stanslaus með tilheyrandi hávaða. Og fleiri sjókvíar eru væntanlegar.
Þessi náttúruspjöll í Ísafjarðardjúpi eru ófyrirgefanleg. Af hverju lætur þjóðin þetta yfir sig ganga?
We are devastated and heartbroken at the installation of a huge array of industrial fish pens less than a nautical mile from our shore.
There are now not one (as pictured below) but two, lines of fish pens which will be filled with nets in the coming weeks plus the addition of a feeding platform with a generator that will run 24/7. An area previously rarely bothered by boat traffic already now receives up to three boats a day.
The pens are so close we hear the noise and we smell the work going on and can watch activity perfectly well from our shore.
Worse, there are plans for even bigger arrays right the way across Ísafjarðardjúp including another area very close to the northern and eastern shore of Vigur.
There is now nowhere on Vigur to view the windmill or the whales that swim between the island and the mainland without the ugly intrusion of fish farming – soon we will be completely surrounded.
Whether you agree or disagree with fish farming, why place these arrays so visibly and agressively around a much loved national monument? The Vigur that so many of us love and cherish is disappearing forever.
The irreversable damage done by this form of fish farming is well documented and in several countries, such as Canada, there are moves to ban it completely because they are considered so dangerous. We know these installations do damage, why then risk Vigur, a place of dense birdlife recognised as an ‘internationally important seabird habitat’ particularly for endangered species such as puffin and black guillemot, as well as one of Iceland’s largest common eider colonies?
Vigur is also one of the region’s most important tourist attractions and the fish pens are already having an impact on that tourism – no one comes to the ‘wild’ westfjords to see a fjord full of fish pens. Visitors that come to Vigur are horrified that Iceland would permit this destruction of such a special place. Prominent environmentalist Yvon Chouinard recently commented, „Icelanders have the opportunity to do the right thing in aquaculture, but they are not doing it now.“
The politicians quote the alleged advantages of fish farming – but a wild and pristine fjord is already bringing huge advantages to the region and the country – advantages that will be lost if the proposals go ahead. There is the tourism economy and there is also the well-being and pride that Icelanders gain from places such as Vigur and the Djúp. Like the highlands, these things are priceless and a big part of what makes Iceland so unique.
Fortunately, it is not too late to do something. Iceland and Icelanders turned the tide on the financial crisis so we know it is possible for the country to change the minds of the policiticians and force a new path.
There is a brief window of opportunity to voice our objection to existing and proposed fish farm arrays around Vigur and across Ísafjarðardjúp here: https://www.hafskipulag.is/um/senda-athugasemd/
We’d be very grateful if you would voice your objection via the link above and save one of the country’s most precious places from death by fish farming.
The politicians say that Icelanders are in support of fish farming but is this really the future you want for Ísafjarðardjúp and for Vigur?