Our cover story for September is dedicated to an ancient Nordic nation that is headed full-throttle into the future. Iceland may be an island nation, but it is far from isolated. Icelandic fisheries are world renowned for quality and sustainability, as a result of a widespread initiative to modernize and fully utilize the country’s fishery resources.

This story was first published in the September issue of National Fisherman. Subscribe today for digital and print access.

In this feature, Associate Editor Kirk Moore profiles some of the leaders of that initiative who are making the most of Iceland’s dedication to its wild resource by developing some of the world’s most innovative fish processing gear. Read Kirk’s profile on page 24.

Icelandic innovation isn’t limited to processing, however. Our Boatbuilding profile gives a glimpse into the evolution of a new Russian trawler-freezer fleet being built to Icelandic design.

Boats & Gear Editor Paul Molyneaux slipped over into Saint Petersburg and met with a representative from the Norebo yard that’s building the fleet of boats, all named after famous Russian fishing captains.

The Cold War era may not be forgotten, but the future of vessel design is here. Read Paul’s story on page 30.

On the same trip, Paul visited a small-scale Finnish fishery that’s been documented for more than six centuries. This is one piece of fish history that is fighting to remain unchanged. Read the profile on page 20.

One of my first jobs at NF was putting together our Fishing Back When section. It was no easy feat to pore over the old newsprint pages in massive bound volumes of our back issues and try to find the juiciest bits to share with an audience who remembered well those days I was cherry-picking. The pressure was on!

But thumbing through those past pages taught me the history and scope of our commercial fishing industry. I gleaned more over the years, listening and talking to fishermen around the country — young and old. But looking back through those windows from 50, 30 and 10 years ago helped me follow the seasonal stories and catch onto themes that I still see today.

Now, with some staffing changes, I find that I’m back at it, and loving it as much as I ever did, perhaps even more. You’ll still find Fishing Back When in each issue, but I’ll be sharing even more on our Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter feeds. Keep an eye out for Flashback Friday, another modern history lesson. And don’t hesitate to send us your own blasts from the past. Tag us @nationalfisherman or #flashbackfriday.

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Jessica Hathaway is the former editor in chief of National Fisherman.

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