Flying High for 25 Years

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Flying High for 25 Years pp 18-19One year after taking delivery of its first A319 aircraft, Atlantic Airways celebrates 25 years of operations amid successful transition to the Airbus platform — and high recognition by the aviation industry.

On 27 March this year (2013) the Faroe Islands’ national carrier Atlantic Airways celebrated the 25-year anniversary of its first scheduled flight. It was a festive occasion that was further accentuated by the fact that the airline had successfully met a major challenge one year earlier as it took delivery of, and introduced to operations, a factory new Airbus A319, custom equipped for Faroese conditions.

That success story continued throughout 2012, culminating, in September, with the earning of the Bronze Award from the prestigious European Regions Airline Association (ERA) ‘Airline of the Year Awards’ in Dublin, Ireland. The award highlighted Atlantic Airways as a lean, innovative airline that makes a big difference in the community which it primarily serves.

Tórshavn — Heart of Faroe

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Tórshavn — Heart of Faroe pp 16-17The charming capital of the Faroe Islands manages to combine fast-paced town development with widely recognized environmental care, spurred on by a highly popular mayor who likes to work in consensus with his City Council.

Mayor Heðin Mortensen knows how to move things forward with the full backing of the City Council of Tórshavn. Undeniably, this is something of a feat in the world of politics, even at local government level. Earlier this year (2013), after he was elected for a third term — receiving a record breaking popular vote — Mr. Mortensen decided to form an all-inclusive coalition in the Council rather than going down the old majority-against-minority road. It’s a strategy that seems to be paying off. One impressive initiative after the other is carried out, making Tórshavn an increasingly attractive place, whether for business or pleasure — from environmentally friendly street lighting to an international sports arena, from modern music venues to bold investments in education.

Not to forget, a new international golf course that has been approved for completion by 2019 at Glyvursnes, just north of Tórhavn — close to where, in time, an international airport could be built.

Shaking the Right Hands

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Shaking the Right Hands p 14The coalition of trade and industry associations in the Faroe Islands, the House of Industry, seeks to influence public discourse and policy at home while playing an active part in making international contacts for its members. Few if any organizations in the Faroe Islands would be in a better position to facilitate contacts between Faroese and foreign businesses than the House of Industry. Nonetheless, representing the interests of 16 domestic trade and industry organizations vis-à-vis key stakeholders including the Faroese Government is something that requires relatively high amounts of resources — which could be part of the reason for the House of Industry’s recent recommendation that an official Trade Council be established.

Manpower for Oilfield Services

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Manpower for Oilfield Services pp 64-65Recruitment agency PAM Offshore Service, a division of MEST, has supplied the offshore industry with craftsmen and engineers since 1998.

As part of its long-term business strategy, MEST decided in 1998 to start preparing its employees for the future, with the oil and gas industry expected to become a major factor in the economic life of the Faroe Islands. The resulting business division, PAM Offshore Service, has since been engaged with supplying manpower to oilfield services companies in Norway, where skilled workers are in high demand.

“We work as a recruitment agency specializing in supplying electricians, engineers and craftsmen to the oil and gas industry,” said the office manager of PAM Offshore Service, Anja Jacobsen.

Social Change Seen to Boost Salmon Business

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Social Change Seen to Boost Salmon Business pp 42-43 As demographic and socioeconomic trends in urban China and rural America drive up demand for Atlantic salmon, HiddenFjord remains committed to catering to the higher end of the market by focusing on product quality.

When Bob Dylan recorded The Times They Are A-Changin’ in the early 1960s, few would expect that the song would become an internationally acclaimed anthem for social change in the broadest sense.

Half a century on, you won’t be surprised to hear a representative for a Faroese salmon producer explain such change as a major driver of demand for their product — a demand that is seen growing exponentially in urban China, and at healthy pace in less populated parts of the United States.

Baader’s Right-hand Man in Used Machinery

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Baader’s Right-hand Man in Used Machinery pp 46-47Whatever happened when one of the world’s top manufacturers of fish filleting machinery discontinued some popular products — it meant business for Petur Larsen, a leading international specialist in used Baader equipment.

Ask  Baader, a world-renowned manufacturer of seafood processing machinery, for used equipment and they’ll point you to, guess where—the Faroe Islands. There, in the small town of Fuglafjørður, you’ll find the company Petur Larsen, long time Baader agents with their own workshop for repairs and maintenance.

Named after its founder, mechanical engineer Petur Larsen, who took care of Baader filleting machines in Greenland for just about a decade before returning home to start his own company in 1971, and run it for the next 36 years, Petur Larsen today is fast becoming a recognized name in the world of Baader fish processing equipment — not least used machinery.

Higher Waves, Stronger Currents No Upset for Faroese Fish Farmers

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Higher Waves, Stronger Currents No Upset for Faroese Fish Farmers pp 44-45Battered by extreme weather and sea conditions in a natural environment far more hostile than most other places—Faroese fish farms are built to last, using the most robust equipment in the world, according to Vónin Aquaculture.

For fish farmers in Scotland or Norway, a wave height of 8 meters is rather unthinkable, not to mention a current strength of 0.8 m per second. Now go to the Faroe Islands and you will soon see that such conditions are considered nothing out of the ordinary — that is, they are quite common during winter in certain locations, as measured in 100-hour blocks.

Blue Whiting Revival Spells Opportunity

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Blue Whiting Revival Spells Opportunity pp 44-45As a leading maker of blue whiting trawls, Vónin is looking to fortify its position with the current rise in the international catch quota for blue whiting — with other pelagic fisheries, notably mackerel and herring, set to drive demand too.

During the blue whiting bonanza a few years ago, gear maker Vónin managed to build a strong position in the market for trawls used in the international fishery, which largely takes place in Faroese waters.

A total 2.4 million tonnes of the species were caught in 2006 — of which the Faroese took as much as 312,000 tonnes — as Vónin earned a reputation for producing the best blue whiting fishing gear in the market, supplying not only Faroese vessels but others as well, including Dutch, Russian and Icelandic.

The blue whiting fishery was brought under the regulation of the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC) in 2007, with a total allowable catch (TAC) set at 2.1m tonnes. Then, in the following years, the TAC was drastically reduced, down to virtually zero in 2011, or 40,100 tonnes.

In Aquaculture, Waves of Challenge and Success

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In Aquaculture, Waves of Challenge and Success pp 40-41 Limited availability of sheltered sea areas may force salmon farmers to take their cages offshore — in the process raising product quality through higher water renewal rates, according to the Aquaculture Research Station of the Faroes.

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. That old saying has, if anything, long applied to the situation of the Faroese fish farming industry. Less than a decade ago, things didn’t look rosy for an industry beset with fish health problems and plummeting profits. The cure came through tougher legal and regulative environment combined with industry consolidation.

Years later, the big success story is making a new set of challenges appear on the horizon. As statutory requirements put strict limitations on the use of sea areas for aquaculture to minimize pollution on the seabed and prevent disease from spreading between fish farms, production of Atlantic salmon could be about to hit a ceiling.

Landshandilin: In for Rapid Growth

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Landshandilin: In for Rapid Growth pp 38-39 With sales of fresh products for the Far East and the U.S. increasing at record pace, long time seafood trader Landshandilin expands its regional sourcing base while strengthening its global market reach.

At Landshandilin, a seafood trading company headquartered in Tórshavn, there is a new sense of optimism. Recent developments have seen the company broaden its supplier base into Norway and the United Kingdom alongside Iceland and the Faroes, while at the same time its sales and marketing functions have been strengthened amid fears that the independent seafood trade is under threat.

According to managing partner Finn Rasmussen, shipments to China and other parts of the Far East as well as the West Coast of the United States have increased markedly in the last few years. It took considerable efforts, however, to move the business away from dependency on domestic supplies and reach a more mature stage with a transnational web of suppliers across the North Atlantic region.