News Release, 6th August 2019
INEOS chairman, Jim Ratcliffe, confirms the purchase of Brúarland 2 in Þistilfjörður as part of his ongoing commitment to Icelandic salmon conservation
The acquisition of the Brúarland Estate is part of a long-term conservation programme in Iceland to help its salmon fishing become the best and most sustainable in the world.
Ratcliffe is extending plans to invest in local conservation projects along the main salmon rivers in North East Iceland. His plans serve to protect the neighbouring land and the sensitive ecosystems across the region.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe says “The North Atlantic Salmon is under threat from overfishing and numbers are dropping in rivers everywhere. The North East corner of Iceland is one of the few unaffected breeding grounds and I would like to do what I can to protect it.”
INEOS Founder and Chairman, Jim Ratcliffe, today announced that he has acquired the Brúarland 2 Estate to extend his work to develop a sustainable salmon conservation in the North East of Iceland.
Mr Ratcliffe is committed to sustainable conservation projects and has already invested in property in Vopnafjörður, working alongside existing landowners and communities to conserve this unique environment.
Conservation strategies that form part of this five-year plan will include extending spawning areas through the construction of new salmon ladders in the Vopnafjörður, Hafralónsá, Hofsá and Miðfjarðará rivers. Extensive egg planting across each of these rivers, in addition to the Selá, is also supported by a general “catch and release” policy.
Jim will also work with local communities to invest in reforestation and replanting of vegetation to improve soil erosion and the health of river systems.
Through partnership with the Icelandic Marine and Freshwater Research Institute and universities in Iceland and abroad, he will invest in an in-depth long-term study into the health of Icelandic salmon in these rivers and the North Atlantic, to give the species the best chance of survival.
Jim Ratcliffe said “I love North East Iceland. The more I visit the more I want to give something back to the region, to help protect The North Atlantic salmon, which is under threat, as well as help the communities along its rivers. I believe that a long-term self-funding, sustainable approach to conservation will make a real difference, allowing the salmon to thrive here, not in the short term but for generations to come.”
The plan will bring new investment and refurbishment of lodges, using local craftsmen and companies. It will actively encourage farmers to remain on the land, to maintain their traditional agriculture and the quality of habitats alongside these rivers, as well as providing direct support to local communities.
The acquisition of a majority interest in the Grímsstaðir Estate, which is co-owned with the Icelandic Government and other minority shareholders, reflects Jim Ratcliffe’s holistic approach to this important conservation work. Whilst this area is substantially un-inhabited moorland, its uplands form some of the main catchment areas feeding the rivers on the North East coast. This interest will help protect and preserve this unique highland environment.
Improvements and early investment by Jim on the Selá are already showing positive results, with catch numbers increasing year on year. A positive sign that his conservation plans are moving in the right direction, giving nature a chance to thrive.
Jim Ratcliffe said “Conservation always has been and remains, the sole purpose of my involvement in North East Iceland. I want to help maintain the salmon population here, working closely with the farmers and the local communities. I hope that this work will build something sustainable and environmentally sound that will also significantly benefit the local ecology and the local community.”