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Russian Sanctions Damage Report Released

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Russian Sanctions Damage Report Released

Fishing boats in Patreksfjörður

Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

Fishermen and fisheries workers look set to lose between ISK 990 million and ISK 2.5 billion per year (EUR 6.9-17.3 million/USD 7.8-19.7 million) as a result of the trade sanctions levied against Iceland by Russia. Ten communities will be particularly badly hit by the trade ban, according to the Icelandic Regional Development Institute.

The Regional Development Institute was asked to compile a report into the impacts of the sanctions on rural regions by the country’s fisheries minister. Its conclusion is that ten towns and villages will be particularly affected.

They are: Þórshöfn, Raufarhöfn, Vopnafjörður, Neskaupstaður, Eskifjörður, Fáskrúðsfjörður, Höfn, Vestmannaeyjar (Westman Islands), Snæfellsbær and Garður.

Conversely, the Institute believes the sanctions will have little or no impact on 23 conurbations; including the biggest municipalities in Iceland, such as Reykjavík, Hafnarfjörður and Akureyri, RÚV reports.

Generally across Iceland companies are not considering laying staff off over the sanctions—but some are canceling shift work in the freezing of mackerel and capelin, which is a significant income in some places.

Although unemployment rates are very low in the towns affected, there is generally not alternative work available that would pay affected employees enough. Workers in freezing plants who are used to supplementing their usual low wages by working long, hard shifts whenever the opportunity arises stand to lose the most, the report states.

The lost earnings, up to ISK 2.5 billion a year, will affect 1,200 fishers and processing staff, the Institute predicts. On the other hand, the changes will probably mean an extra 220 people will be needed at rendering plants, as alternative uses are found for the surplus fish.

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