Global Fish Crisis | Still Waters, National Geographic Magazine: Polish Worker Hanging Cod heads in Geothermal Area | Iceland

Cod, Iceland, Migrant Workers,

Enterprising Icelanders have figured out how to salvage the waste from the fish factories.  They take the discarded carcasses and heads to hang them on racks to dry and send to Nigeria.  There are football fields of hand tied fish heads in the lava fields outside Hafnafjord (near the blue lagoon).  Portuguese gave the Nigerians a taste for dried fish heads at and Icelanders are very smart and capitalizing on the protein drain in Africa.

During WWII both Newfoundland and Iceland had to decide between autonomy and being ruled by another country.  Iceland saw the USA coming with its bases and its money and decided to get out from under the rule of the Danish kings.  Iceland sold fish to the USA during the war and made a lot of money and even though there wasn’t a single shot fired in Iceland, they also convinced the US to rebuild Iceland under the Marshall plan.  When the cod started to disappear in both Iceland and Newfoundland, Iceland came up with the quota system and still has cod (even though the numbers don’t seem to be increasing).  Newfoundland got caught up in the politics of fear in Ottawa and fished their cod to extinction in their waters.  Iceland broke with Denmark in 1944 and Newfoundland decided to stay with Canada in 1949.  In the forties, Newfoundland was one of the richest countries and Iceland was one of the poorest.  But with Iceland maintaining direct control and Newfoundland allowing them to be governed by Ottawa from a distance, everything changed.

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