“Cod population changed in response to intensified fishing”

“New research by scientists at the University of Iceland’s Research Centre of the Westfjords and their colleagues has revealed that the trophic niche of the Atlantic cod in Icelandic coastal regions remained stable for centuries, but changed in the 19th century alongside intensified fishing. It is likely that this reflects changes to both the age and size of the cod stocks, but also changes to marine food webs as populations fall due to extensive fishing and food chains shorten. The research was reported in Scientific Reports, a respected journal from the publishers of Nature. According to the authors of the study, the results underline the importance of conserving different migratory cod in Icelandic coastal regions, for example to boost the population’s resilience to environmental changes.

The research team included Guðbjörg Ásta Ólafsdóttir, biologist and director of the UI Research Centre of the Westfjords, and Ragnar Edvardsson, archaeologist at the Research Centre, along with their colleagues in Canada and Norway. 

Guðbjörg Ásta and Ragnar have worked together for many years on interdisciplinary research into fish bones, particularly cod, that they have excavated from ancient fishing stations in the Westfjords. The oldest bones are 1000 years old.  “The main aim of the research is to understand how changes in fishing and the marine environment have affected fish populations over the centuries. Using a data series spanning several centuries, we can establish a kind of baseline and try to estimate how extensive human exploitation could have affected marine ecosystems,” explains Guðbjörg Ásta. “

Read the full article here and the scientific article here.

“Icelandic Hiking Association Opposes Paving Highland Road” Iceland Review

“Five Independence Party MPs have put forth a parliamentary resolution that would entail paving the 168km-long road that cuts across Iceland’s remote interior from north to south. According to FÍ, paving the road would increase traffic and negatively impact the experience of visitors, who seek out the region precisely because it is off the beaten path.”

Read the full Iceland Review article here.

Iceland Magazine: ’30 fascinating historic photos of Icelandic women and girls in traditional costumes’

The Danish National Museum has a large collection of photographs, many of which are available online. Since Iceland was a part of the Danish Kingdom until 1944, the museum contains a fascinating collection of old photographs taken in Iceland around the turn of the century 1900. Among these collections is the Daniel Bruun collection

Read more: Gorgeous images of Reykjavík in 1910s and 20s: A charming small town

Daniel Bruun was an officer in the Royal Danish Navy and a prolific archeologist and ethnographer. In the years 1881-82, 1893 and 1911 Bruun traveled widely in North Africa, excavating archeological sites in Tunisia and Algiers, as well as collecting a wealth of ethnographic materials. 

He is best known for his archeological expeditions to Iceland, Greenland and the Faeroe Islands, and his ethnographic studies of Iceland in the 1890s and first two decades of the 20th century. He is credited with having introduced modern scientific archeology to Iceland. He studied old Viking Age grave sites, mapping their locations and analyzing their contents. Among his achievements was finding the first boat grave in Iceland.

His study of Icelandic popular culture is also invaluable. Bruun collected hundreds of photographs of Icelanders in their daily lives, made sketches of farms and recorded working methods, customs and popular beliefs and practices which would otherwise have been lost.

These photographs are among the thousands of items from Bruun’s Iceland collection. They are taken over a long period, 1896 to 1927, and include photos of women and girls dressed up in their Sunday finest, as well as photos of farm women and girls working. We have examples of the more ancient Faldabúningur (easily identifiable by the elaborate hats), Peysuföt (more modest, traditional clothing, worn with Skotthúfa, caps with a tail) and Skrautbúningur, which was a 19th century version of the Faldbúningur.”

All writing and photographs are from Iceland Magazine, Photos by Daniel Bruun. See original article and more photos here.

Photos by Daniel Brunn

’27 Strange Icelandic Idioms and Phrases’

I found this amazing piece on Icelandic idioms and phrases posted by The Voyaging Viking. Here were my favorites:

Blind is a Bookless Man

Blindur er Bóklaus Maður

“Icelandic people read the most books in the world per capita. Reading is a huge part of the culture, and therefore this saying exists.”

You are such a Latte-drinking wool scarf

Þú ert nú meiri lattelepjandi lopatrefillinn

“Degrading term to someone that lives in Reykjavik.”

An absolute butt

Algjört rassgat

“If a baby, puppy, kitten, or something very cute then you would call it an absolute butt.”

Read the full article here!

TEDxReykjavik: My burnout success story – change your thoughts to change your life – Tanit Karolys

TEDx Talks “In her talk Tanit Karolys discusses her own burnout story, and how cold therapy and the power of the mind helped her to overcome it. Tanit Karolys is a transformational coach and co-founder of ANDRI ICELAND. She specializes in ancient techniques for self-improvement, mental and emotional healing as well as physical health. Tanit comes from a long corporate background where her own burnout experience led her to understand the importance of a balanced life and strong connection to our own inner abilities. She blends Cold Therapy, the power of the mind, ancient techniques and physical therapy in her work.”

Thoughts on moving forward

Officially beginning my journey of writing and photographing the Baltic, Balkan and circumpolar regions of the world where I will focus on their native cultures, environmental issues, folk history, art, etc. No more jobs that make me want to die. If anything I’d rather continue thriving in survival mode among beautiful places where I meet the people of the world. Welcome to my blog, where I will try to document my journey.