For such an unsuspecting and seemingly ubiquitous fish, cod has had an awfully big impact on Iceland. It is one of the island’s main exports, and as a consequence one of its main sources of conflict. An economy that relies so heavily on one commodity can’t afford to have that resource tapped by another nation, which is exactly what led to the three so-called Cod Wars that rocked the relationship between Iceland and the United Kingdom throughout the middle of the twentieth century.
This isn’t the only source of debate sparked by the Icelandic fishing industry, however, which extends from the island’s volcanic shores and out into the North East Atlantic. The letter H, which can be seen emblazoned across the funnels of many Icelandic boats, stands for Hvalur, which means whale in English. It represents a practice that has caused enormous dispute over recent years, pitting an island nation that believes it is entitled to harvest the waters that surround it against an international contingent that admonishes whaling entirely.
The weathered hulls that take refuge in Reykjavik’s harbour are monuments to this heritage, a fascinating illustration of Iceland’s relationship with the sea. This is also where you’ll find the launch pads for a number of Reykjavik excursions, including whale watching and sea angling, and is a peaceful place to take a break from the city’s busier climes. Trawl through the following images to get a flavour of what it’s like…
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Category: Travel Photography