Jens Garðar Helgason will take over as Laxar Fiskeldi's new chief executive on Friday. Photo: Laxar / Måsøval.

Icelandic fish farmer Laxar names new chief executive

Icelandic salmon farmer Laxar Fiskeldi has announced the appointment of Jens Garðar Helgason as the company’s new chief executive. He will take charge from this Friday, February 1.

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Helgason has been the chief executive for exporter Fiskimið ehf from 2002 until 2018. He is the chairman of Fisheries Iceland and has been since its foundation in 2014.

The new CEO studied Business at the University of Iceland from 1997-2000 and completed an MBA in Seafood Management at the Norwegian School of Economics.

Rapid growth

Laxar operates three on-land facilities at Bakki, Fiskalon and Laxabraut in the south of Iceland and has sea farms in Reyðarfjörður in the east of the country. The company, which is a subsidiary of Norwegian fish farmer Måsøval Fiskeoppdrett, has its headquarters in Reykjavik.

The company’s marine operations have been growing rapidly. According to its website it started operations at Gripalda in Reyðarfjörður in early 2017, then added the Sigmundarhús site in the fjord last year. A third site, Bjarg, will be stocked in spring this year. 

Laxar has a permit to produce 6,000 tonnes annually in Reydarfjördur and intends to eventually increase production in the East Fjords to 25,000 tonnes per year.

According to a press release, the company is now growing four generations of salmon in its facilities and employs 35 people in Iceland.