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Something Smells Fishy in Akranes

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Something Smells Fishy in Akranes

Akranes.

Akranes. Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

Something smells fishy in the town of Akranes, West Iceland. So fishy, indeed, that the job of town council members is now to decide how fishy is too fishy. When, they’re being asked, is a smell no longer bearable? Today, RÚV reports, the nine council members will be voting on an application from HB Grandi LTD, one of the largest fishing and fish processing companies in Iceland, regarding changes to zoning involving a new facility for drying fish heads.

So far, the operation has caused such a stink in a certain part of town that some of the inhabitants no longer can take it. The CEO of HB Grandi has indicated that a new facility will improve the smell, although he admits it cannot be entirely eliminated. The residents of Akranes are skeptical and doubt the smell can ever be adequately improved. Company interest, too, plays a role, since HB Grandi is in the process of expanding its operations in Akranes.

Ólafur Adolfsson, president of the city council, is familiar with the smell. He admits that first after taking seat on the council, he did little else than go down near the facility and smell. The uncertainty, he says, lies in how much a new facility could reduce the nuisance. Residents in the neighborhood are fearful and insist they never agreed to be guinea pigs for those who dry fish heads.

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