An important event in Fjarðanet’s history took place yesterday as the first spadeful of earth was taken for the company’s new net loft in the east coast fishing port of Neskaupstaður. Managing director Jón Einar Marteinnsson, Steindór Björnsson and Jón Bjarnason, former net loft foremen at Fjarðanet and Netagerð Friðriks Vilhjálmssonar, took the symbolic first spadefuls. Both of them have decades of experience with these companies, although Jón Bjarnason retired some years ago.
The new building will measure 2522 square metres, which includes office space and staff facilities.
It will be 85 metres long and 26 metres wide, housing the net loft, lifeboat servicing facilities and fishing gear storage space with capacity for a total of 26 purse seines. The building’s location is on reclaimed land in the eastern side of the Síldarvinnslan fishmeal plant. The construction work is being carried out by Neskaupstaður company Nestak ehf, with a scheduled completion date on 1st March next year
‘The opening of the new net loft is something that will revolutionise Fjarðanet’s activities and the service opportunitites for company and for Hampiðjan in eastern Iceland. We are going to see some major changes in the net loft facilities we have available, with significantly better working conditions for the staff,’ said Jón Einar Marteinsson, commenting that both fishing vessels and fishing gears have expanded a great deal in recent years, and this calls for a response in terms of larger premises and expanded service options.
‘A big change is that we will be able to store purse seines and other fishing gears under cover, instead of the purse gear being stored outside. Once the new building is complete, we will be able to offer our customers the best available service,’ Jón Einar Marteinsson said, adding that there is also a great deal of rationalisation in being able to concentrate all of the company’s activities at one level.
‘The old net loft was built in 1964-65. Back then it was seen as a big workshop, but it is far too small for us to cope with today’s requirements. Now we will be able to have everything on a single level, while in the old building staff are working on three different floors of the building,’ he said.
Fjarðanet offers comprehensive fishing gear servicing in Neskaupstaður, Ísafjörður and Akureyri. Servicing centres for liferafts are operated in Neskaupstaður and Ísafjörður, and a washing facility for aquaculture cages is run in Reyðarfjörður.
Fjarðanet is part of the Hampiðjan Group, and in addition to the three Fjarðanet net lofts, Hampiðjan also runs workshops under its own brand in the Westmann Islands and in Reykjavík.