Iceland School of Fisheries

Executive programme at Reykjavík University

Advanced learning in modern fisheries management, marketing, innovation and processing

Programme description

An executive in the fisheries industry


In collaboration with the Federation of Fisheries Iceland and Matís Ltd – Icelandic Food and Biotech R&D.

Combining expert instructors, hands-on visits, and best practice case studies, Reykjavik University's Iceland School of Fisheries covers the latest developments in management, operations and sustainability within the fishing industry.

  • Deepen your understanding of fisheries and ocean science, and Iceland's unique and sustainable quota system for fisheries management.
  • Foster an international network of expert contacts in fisheries and related industries.
  • Follow the latest developments in technology and innovation.
  • See cutting-edge industry processes at work during visits to global fisheries leaders.
  • Experience modern Iceland's stunning nature and world-class hospitality.

The Iceland School of Fisheries welcomes managers and executives from around the world who want to increase their expertise in fisheries, deepen their knowledge of a related topic and gain insight into how Iceland has become a world leader in sustainable fisheries. 

Programme Structure

A ship on Faxafloi

The Iceland School of Fisheries is comprised of three one-week sessions that cover all aspects of fisheries management, marketing, processing, quality assessment, and innovation, taught by international experts at Reykjavik University in Iceland, a global leader in modern, innovative fisheries techniques. 

Our unique curriculum combines expert classroom instruction with practical insight at innovative, industry-leading companies in Iceland. During each session, we'll also experience some of Iceland's outstanding natural attractions.The Executive Programme consists of three, week-long sessions. You may choose to attend one, two, or all three:

Session 1: 

Fisheries Management, Operation and Innovation

Reykjavik harbour

This week focuses on the overall management of fisheries

  • Introduction to global fisheries
  • Marine resources. Stock assessment
  • Fisheries management and economics
  • Fishing technology
  • Quality Management and fish handling
  • Fish processing technology
  • Marketing of Seafood
  • Management of fisheries companies
  • Business spin-offs and innovation in fisheries
Detailed course information and learning outcomes

Session 2: 

Technology and Innovation


This week focuses on catching wild fish and on aquaculture

  • Stock assessment and monitoring
  • Marine resources
  • Fisheries management and economics
  • Fishing technology / innovation
  • Sustainable aquaculture

Session 3: 

Processing and Marketing


This week focuses on processing fish and getting the products to market.

  • Quality management
  • Fish handling and processing
  • Marketing seafood
  • Fish processing innovation
  • Management of fisheries companies


Each day consists of six hours of lectures from 09:00 - 15:00, followed by a 2 hours visit to companies in the greater - Reykjavik area. Furthermore, at the end of each session week there will be a one-day field trip to companies outside Reykjavik.


Grímur Valdimarsson, PhD, Senior Advisor at Ministry of Industries and Innovation

Grimur Valdimarsson has worked in fisheries research and development throughout his professional carrier. As a microbiologist he led work for developing standards for safe fishery products. From 1984 to 1997 he was director for the Icelandic Fisheries Laboratories, an institute dealing with all aspects of fish processing, product development and safety of products.

In 1997 he joined the UN Food and Agriculture Organization in its Rome Headquarters as Director of the Fish Products and Industry Division of the Fisheries Department. The Division was responsible for activities relating to fish production, utilization and trade, safety of products, appropriate technologies for capturing fish, and safety of fishermen. His work in FAO focused on how fish could best be utilized for food or feed and how the fishing sector could comply with increasing demands for more environmentally friendly fisheries.
Since retiring from FAO, he has worked in Iceland as a senior adviser in the Ministry of Industries and Innovation.

Grimur Valdimarsson holds a B.Sc. in Biology from the University of Iceland (1973) and a Ph.D. in Marine Microbiology from the University of Strathclyde, Scotland (1977).

Bjarni Már Magnússon, PhD, Assistant Professor at Law School, Reykjavík University

Dr. Bjarni Már Magnússon is an assistant professor at Reykjavík University School of Law, Iceland. He holds a Ph.D in international law from the University of Edinburgh. His teaching and research interest lies in public international law, especially the international law of the sea. He is a Fulbright Arctic Initiative Scholar and has published widely on international law.

Dr. Magnússon is the author of the book: The Continental Shelf beyond 200 Nautical Miles ― Delineation, Delimitation and Dispute Settlement (Brill/Nijhhoff, 2015). He acted as a junior counsel for Bangladesh in the dispute concerning delimitation of the maritime boundary between Bangladesh and Myanmar in the Bay of Bengal.

He is a frequent commentator in the Icelandic media on the international law of the sea.

Einar Hjörleifsson, PhD, Scientists at Marine Research Institute

Dr. Einar Hjörleifsson holds a B.Sc. (Honours) in Zoology from University of Aberdeen, Scotland and a Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography from Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island, RI, USA

Einar is currently the principal stock coordinator and assessor of Icelandic cod as well as having a leading role in the technical work related to establishment of harvest control rules for many native stocks. He is a member of the MRI internal assessment and advisory committee (since 1998). The committee reviews assessment and advise for all stocks that the MRI gives advise on.

His extensive participation in the ICES assessment process has persisted since 1998. He teaches fisheries science at the United Nation University Fisheries Training Program (including in the South Pacific, Caribbean Islands and Namibia).

Daði Már Kristófersson, Phd, Professor. Dean of School of Social Sciences - Administration at University of Iceland

Dr. Daði Már Kristófersson is associate professor of economics and currently the dean of the School of Social Sciences at the University of Iceland. Daði has a PhD in economics from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. His research focus has been resource and environmental economics, e.g. fisheries economics.

Daði has worked extensively on Icelandic fisheries policy as a advisor and member of various government panels and commissions. In addition to his teaching at the University of Iceland, Daði has worked for the United Nations University fisheries training program both in its Icelandic program as well as abroad.

Haraldur A. Einarsson, PhD, Scientists at Marine Research Institute

Haraldur A. Einarsson has worked at the Marine Research Institute (MRI) since 1992, first as a researcher but from 2001 as a specialist in fish capture and fish behavior related to fishing gear. He holds a B.Sc. in Biology from the University of Iceland (1992), and Cand.Sci in Fishery Biology from the University of Bergen, Norway (2001).

Haraldur's main focus on work is gear selectivity and functionality of commercial fishing gears. He is an active member of ICES/FAO WGFTFB since 2003. He has served in many domestic research surveys and several international. Main international surveys were with NORAD-FAO-Project on board in the research ship “DR Fridtjof Nansen” out of west Africa (1998-2004).

Haraldur has given many lectures on the topic related to fisheries and fishery technology for audiences from school children to professionals on the issue. As well has he taught fishing technology in some school stages and supervised students for thesis writing at many levels.

Sveinn Margeirsson, PhD, CEO of Matís ltd. - Icelandic Food and Biotech R&D

Dr. Sveinn Margeirsson is born and raised on a farm in Skagafjordur, Iceland. He received his B.Sc. degree in Food Science from University of Iceland and Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from Technical University of Denmark and University of Iceland.
Dr. Margeirsson has served as CEO of Matis since 2010 and finished the Harvard Business School General Management Program in 2015. 

Research experience includes working with several seafood companies, IT companies and universities, in Iceland and internationally. He has supervised M.Sc. and Ph.Ds students and plays an active role in science and innovation policy making in Iceland.

Arnljotur Bjarki Bergsson, MSc in Food Science and Technology. Director at Matís ltd. - Icelandic Food and Biotech R&D

Arnljotur Bjarki Bergsson completed his Master of Science in Food Science and Technology from Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology in 2007. He is currently director of Resources and Products division in Matis and has been director there since 2010. He is responsible for the company's close collaboration with the Icelandic fish and seafood processing industry, where four aspects of fisheries are with main emphasis; The Value Chain and Sustainability, Markets and Product Development, Quality and Processes and for the opportunities within Aquaculture and bio-resources.

He acquired BSc. Honors in Fisheries Science in 2002 at University of Akureyri, Iceland, and has served as chairman of the Icelandic Fisheries Science Association since 2002. He has working experience from Icelandic and Faroese Seafood Processing Companies, including a position as foreman at one of the six still operating prawn processing facilities in Iceland, back in 2001.

His division is currently involved in half of the projects in the Nordic Marine Innovation 2.0 Program funded by the Nordic Innovation. He was responsible for the operation of the start-up corporation Iceprotein while it solely belonged to Matis 2007-2008. After majority of its shares were sold but Matis remained as minority shareholder he served as Chairman of the board Iceprotein in 2009 throughout 2012, on behalf of Matis. He left the board of Iceprotein once Matis had sold its remaining shares.

Guðbjörg H. Guðmundsdóttir, MSc in Industrial Engineering. Marel Fish Industry, Innovation Project Manager

Guðbjörg Heiða is a project manager in Innovation for the Fish Industry at Marel. Main responsibilities are strategic execution of innovation projects in the Whitefish Industry and modularization of solutions. After graduation with a Master degree in industrial engineering Guðbjörg worked for Eyrir Invest, an investment company, as an analyst. After four years in Eyrir she decided a change of scenery was needed and started to work at Marel.

Her first years at Marel were focused on strategic execution of corporate projects in relation to modularization until she switched to innovation for the fish industry. Guðbjörg was a board member of Technology Development fund of Iceland and participated in the Icelandic Growth forum with focus on how to build the innovation infrastructure in Iceland. She has experience with intellectual property rights from her working in experience during the university years.

Valdimar Sigurðsson, PhD, in Marketing with specialty in Consumer Psyhology at Reykjavík University

Dr. Valdimar Sigurdsson is Associate Professor in Marketing and Consumer Psychology and Head of Marketing at the School of Business of Reykjavik University in Iceland. He also chairs the Professional Program in Digital Marketing at Reykjavik's Open University. Valdimar's research interest includes consumer behavior analysis (consumer psychology), in-store experiments (retailing) and experimental analysis in digital marketing.
He has published over 30 articles and book chapters in these areas and currently sits on the editorial board of the Psychological Record.

In 2009 he got a 3 years grant from the Icelandic Centre for Research to study consumer food choice from the standpoint of behavioral economics and with a focus on healthy food selections and in-store experimentation. Furthermore, he has been chairman of the Research Council at the Business School, and supervised the Ph.D. Programme.

Valdimar has conducted several seminars for executives and collaborated with several Nordic firms such as Coop Norway and Icelandair. He is frequently consulted in the Icelandic media about marketing and consumer issues. He did his Ph.D. at Cardiff University under the supervision of Distinguished Research Professor Gordon R. Foxall and has since regularly been a visiting fellow at Cardiff Business School.

Brynjólfur Eyjólfsson, Marketing Director at HB Grandi.

Brynjólfur Eyjólfsson is the Marketing Manager of HB Grandi. Previously he was the Marketing Manager at PwC in Iceland and worked as a Business Consultant and Marketing Research Consultant for PwC, ParX Business Consulting and Møreforsking in Norway. He additionally worked as a researcher for Matís - Icelandic Food and Biotech R&D and the Marine Research Institute.

Brynjólfur is the Chairman of Iceland Responsible Fisheries and Chair of the Marketing Advisory Board at Promote Iceland. Brynjólfur has an M.Sc. in International Business from the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration, an M.Sc. in Fisheries Science and a B.Sc. in Biology from the University of Iceland.

Kristján Vigfússon, Director of the Reykjavík University MBA Program

Kristján Vigfússon is the full time MBA program Director in Reykjavík University and has been teaching in the BSc and MSc business and Law school programs for 9 years now. Kristján has also been teaching Strategy, Sustainable fisheries and Negotiations in the Executive Education in the Open University. 

Kristján has comprehensive experience dealing with and working in governmental institutions on different levels in connection to fisheries as the assistant Director of Maritime Administration of Iceland for four years. Kristján also has extensive experience in EU and international matters from working in the Icelandic Embassy in Brussels for four years as well as being member of the board of European Maritime Organization (EMSA).

Last he has a 10 years' experience working as a consultant dealing with strategy in companies and for organized Interest Groups.

Eggert Benedikt Guðmundsson, former CEO of HB Grandi

Eggert studied Electrical Engineering in Germany and completed his MBA from IESE in Barcelona, Spain. He worked in marketing and business development for Philips Electronics in Belgium and USA for seven years. 

He returned to Iceland in 2004 to become Marketing Manager of HB Grandi, one of the largest fishing companies in Iceland. In February 2005 he was promoted to CEO of HB Grandi and served that post for eight years. He then became CEO of N1, Iceland´s leading fuel and retail company, which also supplies the Icelandic fishing fleet with fuel and various products. Eggert left N1 in February 2015 and works now as an independent consultant.

Þór Sigfússon, PhD, Founder and CEO of The Ocean Cluster House

Thor Sigfusson is an Icelandic entrepreneur. He is the founder of the Iceland Ocean Cluster and several start-ups in seafood related industries. Thor has published six books on subjects as different as business and salmon. He has a PhD in international business and business networks and his research has been published in academic business journals.

Thor has over 20 years experience in leadership and management. He has been a CEO of Sjova  (The Ocean Insurance Company), CEO of The Iceland Chamber of Commerce and Vice President at the Nordic Investment Bank in Helsinki. He was the chairman of the Iceland Employers Association in 2008-2009.


Sandra Kr. Ólafsdóttir, project manager      
tel.: 00354 599 6342