The Vestmann Islands Fishmeal Factory

This article about the Westmann Islands Fishmeal Factory was written by Halldór Magnússon and was first published in 1972 in Blik, the annual Westmann Islands magazine published by Thorsteinn Th. Víglundsson. Halldór Magnússon was born on the 15th of April 1904 in the Westmann Islands. He started work at the Fishmeal Factory in the autumn of 1920 and worked there for close to half a century, including several decades as foreman.

In addition to Halldór Magnússon’s article, some extra information about the history of the Fishmeal Factory has been added.

Work started to raise a new fishmeal factory here in 1912. Gísli Jóhannsson Johnsen, who was the English consul, knew an English company in Grimsby that manufactured fishmeal in large amounts. Gísli saw that there was an opportunity to set up such a factory here in the Westmann Islands. According to the law at the time, the factory had to be in his name, but the company built the factory and supplied all of the equipment. That British company was a large one with fishmeal plants all over England and had plenty of money.

The Formal Opening

A ship came here with the equipment. It lay in the bay, as otherwise other boats would not have been able to enter and it had to be discharged ‘outside,’ as the expression was. The cylinders for the dryers were the heaviest items. They were sealed at each end and floated to the shore. But most of the equipment was brought ashore using boats and this was a difficult task as there were no winches to lift them, only blocks and tackles with manpower to turn them.

When the equipment had been brought to shore, this all had to be taken west to the factory. Some of this was moved by rolling the boxes with the help of ropes, while some parts were not packed in boxes, such as the two boilers. There were six kettles and a steam engine. The steam engine was supposed to provide 55 horsepower and I would guess that the flywheel more more than a metre across. All engines in those days were built heavily.

All of these engines and machines were put in place and the factory finally started production at the end of April 1913. The factory was opened to the public for a day and guests offered refreshments. Children were given pastries and everyone thought this a fine enterprise. 

A Camelhair belt!

I will try to describe the factory in broad terms. To start with, there are the steam boilers. The steam pressure is normally 135 to 145 pounds per square inch. Steam powered the steam engine. Steam was also used to cook the bones in the cookers. Each cooker was a cylinder of approximately 170cm in diameter. There were inner and outer skins with a gap between them, with steam forced between the two.

This was used to cook the raw material to a mash and until it was dry, with all the moisture evaporated. Behind each cooking cylinder was a steel shaft. This was fitted with twelve arms, each with a steel plate fixed to it with two bolts so that the position of each plate in relation to the skin could be adjusted. The distance from the plates to the skin was as close as possible to 1/16th of an inch. The shaft turned inside the cooking cylinder at a rate of three revolutions per minute.

At the opposite end of each cooking cylinder was a large cog wheel.This was linked to a shaft that ran the length of the factory and which was turned by steam. An extremely strong belt made from camel hair was run between the wheel on the steam engine and the shaft that in turn then turned the shafts of each cooking cylinder. 

Magnets for Medicine

When the fish bones were fully cooked, a hatch at the bottom of the cylinder was opened and everything inside would drop to the floor. This then had to be spread out to cool before it was shovelled into a sieve. The particles too big to go through the sieve was milled and then sieved. The meal was then shovelled onto a belt that passed between two steel cylinders, one of which was magnetic. This cleaned any iron from the meal, fish hooks, for instance, which was very important as the meal was intended for animal feed. As can be imagined, this was a very powerful magnet.

One day one of the strongest men in the Westmann Islands came by the factory. I put a 10kg weight on the magnet and asked him to lift it. He thought it would be easy enough. But it didn’t turn out that way. He was unable to move it, even with a good grip on the handle of the weight.

Then there was the time that a man had an iron splinter in one eye. He went to our excellent doctor, the late Halldór Gunnlaugsson, who sent him immediately to the factory. He had been told to lay his head up to the magnet and keep it there for a while. This he did and went back to the doctor to examine his eye again. The iron splinter had gone.

The Islands’ Novelty Lights

The original intention had been to light the factory with carbide lamps, but this turned out to be inconvenient. Then a generator was obtained to provide light. Electricity was needed for the magnet, although they did not need to use magnets in England where they did not process meal that might contain metal. Here most of the fish was caught on lines so there were often hooks in the raw material. The electric lights were thought something special. This was a complete novelty in the town where there was no power station and people used oil lamps for everything.

One thing made running the factory difficult. That was the shortage of water. Because of this when there was heavy snow boys would earn extra money by rolling snowballs to the factory and into wells or water tanks. But the shortage of water was always a problem. Finally the step was taken to blast water storage wells west and south of the factory. This was difficult and expensive work. The well was 55 feet deep and water was pumped from it. First it was slightly salty and then it would be just as salt as the water in the harbour. But we had to use this water and mixed it with the rainwater that was collected from the roof.

 

Transport by Horse and Cart

The factory’s production capacity was one ton of decent fishmeal for twelve hours of work. The fish waste that we received for production was just a part of the raw material. A lot of offal and fish bones were also used in vegetable gardens and on the fields and it was often hard work to spread this stuff as there was no vehicle in the town. The first car came to the Westmann Islands in 1919. This fertiliser had to be transported by horse and cart, of which there were only a few, or using handcarts or wheelbarrows. All the material brought to the factory came by horse and cart apart from some that was brought hand cart.

Gísli J. Johnsen had acquired a piece of land on the grassy flat south of the Nýjabæjar rocks, where the slipway now stands. This was a pleasant place where the factory was built. I guess that the plot must have been five to six thousand square metres.The new owner fenced off with a sturdy wooden fence. The stakes were 5x6 inch timbers. Planks were nailed to the stakes and these were two inches thick and four inches wide. Thick bars were nailed to these. The fence must have been around two metres high. On the other side was a 3.5 metre high gate and the gateposts stood four metres high. Timbers joined the tops of the two gate posts. A broad road was laid westwards to the factory gate from Strandvegur.

Inside the factory compound everything that was needed for the factory was stored, although coal took the most space. This was kept in a high container with the largest coals stacked around it. The manager of the factory, who was British and called E Peacock wanted the coal looked after so that it took as little space as possible. He also demanded that the coal had to be carefully handled when it was brought into the factory to the boilers.

Germans Commandeered the Ship and the Meal

There was ceaseless work during the season of 1914 and into the spring. By then the season had ended and there was no more raw material. The seasonal workers had all gone home and the boats were moored in the harbour. Most of them lay through the summer and as the autumn approached, those that needed repairs were brought onto the shore. Smaller repairs were carried out on the beach as the tide ebbed from under them.

In the summer of 1914 the two Englishmen who worked at the factory disappeared to England and never returned, as the war started as the summer came to an end. It lasted four years until the 11th of November 1918 as is well known and the factory was not used during the war or for three years after it, until 1921.

In the summer of 1915 an English merchant ship came to the Westmann Islands and loaded all of the fishmeal that was at the factory. We learned later that on the way back, Germans had taken the ship and sailed with it to Germany. Such was the end of the first chapter in the factory’s history, and the owners were left with little profit from it.

This fishmeal factory was the first one to be built in Iceland. It is worth mentioning that a French company started building a fishmeal factory at Eiði in the Westmann Islands some time before Gísli J. Johnsen built his factory. But the French factory was never finished. The Frenchman Brillouin in Reykjavík had been behind this company. I am told that the steam boiler for this factory had been shipped to the Islands. But that was the only thing that came. The foundations of the factory building can still be seen.

The Carter with the Sheepskin Seat

Now I can describe how raw material was brought to Gísli J. Johnsen’s factory. This was bought from the boat owners, except the material that came from his own boats. I don’t remember the prices, but it was paid by the barrel as they do in England. The man who took the raw material from the fish houses and wrote down the amounts was called Guðmundur Jesson, who was born in the Westmann Islands and lived there all his life. The raw material was brought into the factory on two carts.

The carter was a fine man who had fitted his cart with a seat lined with sheepskin. This kind of finish was a novelty in a fishing place, while other carters were happy with a plank place across the cart to sit on. The man with the sheepskin seat was Páll Erlendsson, known here later as a driver..

A Company Known for its Cleanliness 

Here I would like to mention the names of the Icelandic men who worked first with the two Englishmen at the fishmeal factory. First of all is Matthías Finnbogason from Litlhólar on Hásteinsvegur. He was well known in the Islands as a fine craftsman and engineer, one of the finest men I have worked with. Another was Jón Jónsson from Brautarholt here in the town, a decent man. There was also Ágúst Gíslason Stefánsson from Hlíðarhús. Ágúst built the house at Valhöll on Strandstígur in 1912. Snorri Thórðarson from Steinn here in the town worked there as did Árni Árnason the Elder from Grund on Kirkjuvegur, he father of Árni the Telegraphist. Ingimundur Ingimundarson who built Nýlenda on Vestmannabraut and other buildings worked there. These were all redoubtable men and hard-working. There was one woman who worked there for a long time. This was Gróa Einarsdóttir who lived at Kirkjuvegur 12, the sister of Guðjóns at Breiðholt.

In broad terms, this sets out the origins of the fishmeal factory in the Westmann Islands that became a source of wealth for many over subsequent years, as well as for the town and was what kept it clean. We can say that until the fishmeal factory came, there were piles of rotting bones and offal around the town and this waste only increased as the fishing grew..

The Wheels Turn Again After the War

By the autumn of 1920 the factory had stood unused due to the war that had brought this business to an end. Then work began to prepare the factory again for the next season in 1921. This preparation was a large undertaking. The man central to all this was Matthías Finnbogason, who knew the equipment well and understood their use. Jón Jónsson was there as foreman. In this way the factory was run for three years and in the autumn of 1932 an Englishman came to the Westmann Islands as the foreman. He had been sent by the owners, we were told. He stayed until April 1924, boarding at Grund with Jóhanna Lárusdóttir and Árni Árnason. This Englishman was an excellent fellow. While he was here he had all the equipment in use so that  production increased from one ton in twelve hours to 1¾ tons in the same time.

In the summer of 1924 Gísli J. Johnsen took over the factory completely. Whether or not he bought it, I don’t know. That autumn Norwegian men came and they made many changes in the factory. They installed a new press to squeeze the cooked bones and other equipment for that work. All this was wasted work and made processing bones at the factory worse. In the summer of 1925 Gísli J. Johnsen had the smokestack that still stands built, as the chimneys from the boilers were worn out.

Chimneys Built from the Inside

A Norwegian built the chimney and this was a large enterprise. While he laid the bricks he stood inside the walls and laid about a metre every day. It was mentioned how much cement had gone into the foundations and it was a large amount. In building the chimney the Norwegian had a helper who mixed the cement by hand. This workman was a well-known Islander Ólafur Diðrik Sigurðsson from Strönd on Miðstræti here in the town. 

Iron bars were built into the chimney and these formed a stair that could be climbed to stand on. That summer (1925) there was another change to the factory. The building was lifted in its middle section, the walls raised higher by four metres and a roof added. This provided much extra floor space that was badly needed.

Changes and Improvements, German style

Because the improvements that had been done to the equipment in the autumn of 1924 had been of no benefit, the owner made an agreement with a German company to improve things. The German company was to install equipment of the latest kind.

Preparations began in the autumn for the expected improvements. Foundations were dug and concreted. This was a big job, especially the foundations of the new boiler for the factory. Equipment began to arrive early in 1926. Then work started to put things in order. A German man came with the equipment to oversee its installation. Also engaged at this time was a young Icelander, a trained engineer. This man was Thórður Runólfsson, a good man and co-operative. It was as well that he had been brought to work at the factory as he spoke German, having studied in Germany. Work went well in installing the new equipment and by the end of March everything was ready to the machines were started. These new machines were supposed to produce twelve tons of meal per day, so this was seen as a significant step and fitting considering the growth in fishing in the Westmann Islands over the preceding decade.

Faulty Equipment

The boiler in the new plant was built with two fireboxes and from these was a baffle that was supposed to stop ash from reaching the dryer. Al the smoke was supposed to stop there as well. Behind this wall was the gas chamber itself where the temperature could be as 1400 to 1600 degrees on the Celsius scale, and it happened on occasions that it would be higher than that. The boiler was fired with coke Because of the heat it was hard and difficult work keeping the fire clean, as dirt collected on the grids, especially when the coke had ben stored outside and sand from the ground had become mixed with it. I cannot imagine that anyone would do this kind of work today.

Behind the boiler was the dryer, twelve metres long and 152cm in diameter. This cylinder was a magnificent construction that was intended to dry the meal.Next to this was a pump that sucked hot air from the boiler through the dryer. This also extracted moisture from the meal that was being dried.

Much of the fine meal was carried in the air from the dryer and so that this was not lost out into the weather and wind outside, the air was streamed through a large cylinder with a conical spout.

Inside the cylinder was a lot of ironwork. This was the dust separator and it is important that this functions well as the finest meal falls though the conical funnel and mixes with the dried material.

Islands’ Ingenuity beats German Technology

When these German machines started to be run, it was clear that they were faulty. Everything filled with wet raw material so that all of the shafts stuck fast. Production was half of what it was supposed to be and there was nothing but trouble.

 

Soon after the German specialist had gone home, the oven collapsed and production came to an end for a while. A builder from Reykjavík was hired to rebuild the over. Then the system was re-started. A ship was passing on its way to Reykjavík and the builder took the opportunity to take passage, and while the ship was still insight the oven collapsed again.

Now there were real problems to deal with. The staff worked themselves on rebuilding the oven and making changes to it as they felt best. This time it didn’t fall down and it lasted many years. After that we also managed to reach a production of twelve tons per day. 

Oil Changed Everything

I feel it’s right to describe how the raw material, bone, was handled before they reached the dryer. On the east side of the factory was a grinder that broke down the raw material and it was very efficient. It could produce far more than was needed or we could work. But the lift used to take the material up to the dryer from the grinder was too weak. Bones were delivered to the grinder in a hand cart. All of the material was forked up. There were no machines to do this. Every day three men did this hard work. The forked up 30 to 40 tons of bone in each twelve-hour shift. The factory was run in this way for some years without any changes to how this was done.

Time passed until 1930 dawned. That was when changes came. Gísli J. Johnsen passed running the factory over to his son-in-law Ástthór Matthíasson. In 1931 an engine was installed in the factory to provide power as the old steam engine was too small and was wearing out. This change was for the better.

Shortly afterwards we acquired a mechanical shovel that made work handling the raw material much easier. Along with this new equipment, a change was made to the heating. This meant going back to coal firing, but in a way that was largely automatic. We pulled the old oven down and and built a new one according to a plan that had been supplied. This was then used for many years.

Then came new times and new and greater demands on the factory’s production capacity, as fishing in the Westmann Islands and production of seafood had been increasing from year to year. New heating methods took the place of old ones in all manufacturing. Now diesel was used for heating boilers. And now the development was such that Icelanders could build their own heavy equipment for the factory. Héðinn hf. in Reykjavík built the diesel-fired heaters and I feel that these were the greatest improvement. After that we got even more sophisticated equipment. These burn heavy oil which is much cheaper than diesel.

Few Accidents

There has never been a serious accident at the fishmeal factory apart from one incident when a man was injured when belt snapped and hi this hand so that it was badly broken. That was in April 1927.By God’s grace the man’s hand was saved as he flatly refused to allow it to be amputated. This man was afterwards engineer at the Swedish freeing plan tin Reykjavík for many years. He was a marvellous craftsman capable of both heavy and delicate work and in spite of his accident. Otherwise, the factory was always fortunate that there were never injuries of physical accidents.

After herring began to be landed in the Westmann Islands in large amounts there was thought given to larger and more sophisticated equipment to process herring. At this time (1944) the Westmann Islands municipality operated two trawlers. The fished for redfish that was also sent to the factory for processing. Herring and redfish called for new techniques to be able to produce a marketable product. By the sheer hard work of those who put a shoulder to the wheel and who had most at stake in the factory’s success, it was possible to obtain machinery to process herring and redfish, at least the redfish that was not filleted in the freezing plants for export.

Broken Crankshaft and Vélsmiðjan Magna

There were few notable incidents involving the factory’s machinery, apart from the time the generator’s crankshaft broke. This happened towards the end of the war at a time when it was very difficult to obtain spare parts from overseas. The incident also occurred at the worst possible time, in the beginning of April as the netting season was starting. The boats were bringing large catches ashore. A smashed crankshaft was a serious blow to the factory. We can say that we didn’t know which way to turn.

What was to be done? It would take a long time to obtain a crankshaft from overseas, even if one could be obtained at all. This long break in the factory’s production would be disastrous for the raw material and there would be a financial penalty. There were old engines available that had been taken out of boats as they were worn out. There were some who wanted to use these, try and get them running. I was against this. I had no faith that these would be any more use to us than to their former owners. I wanted to try and weld the crankshaft back together and was confident in the abilities of the staff at Vélsmiðjan Magna to do this job. With this conviction, I went to meet my friend Guðjón Jónsson, who was one of the engineers there and asked him to think it over. Finally he agreed that it could be done. We quickly started getting things ready for the welding job. Einar Illugason was working at Magna at the time and he welded the crankshaft together. Then Guðjón took over the work of finishing the crankshaft and making it usable after welding. We can say that the work done by Vélsmiðjan Magna was entirely successful as on the 14th of April the engine was started and ran for many years, often running day and night for weeks at a time. This was a great relief for all of us working at the factory and for its owners, as well as being of great benefit to the community. Guðjón Jónsson received grateful thanks for his efforts. 

Vinnslustöðin becomes part owner, 1957

It was in 1946 that the power supply for the factory was increased significantly. A 110hp engine with a 60kw direct current generator was bought to provide power for herring production. Other machines were also added, including a diesel generator for alternating current. After these improvements the factory’s production capacity increased to 3-40 tones per day.

The years passed with many changes taking place and one revolution after another in fishing, work, industry and development. In 1957 there was a change of the fishmeal factory’s ownership. It was changed into a limited company and the new owners were Fiskiðjan hf. and Vinnslustöðin hf. The new manager was Thorsteinn Sigurðsson who lived at Blátind on Heimagata. He was a hard-working and forward-thinking man of the best kind. Now all the old burners were taken out and a new type installed, different to the old equipment and much better. These are much more compact than the old type and a much more convenient tool to work with in every way.

The old presses were got rid of and replaced with a new 5000 measure press with a cooker and everything required. This was when herring processing started in a serious way as a response to the far more efficient way of catching herring. Not long after this a second 5000 measure press was bought and a new steam boiler, so now there were two. New generators and diesel engines were bought to replace the old ones that were worn out and burned too much. 

Increased Storage Space 

All these improvements to the factory, and more than have been mentioned here, meant that production was as high as 140-150 tons of meal per day. And although production was high, the flow of raw material to the factory was so great that it was hardly possible to cope with it. There was a shortage of storage space for both meal and raw material.

The factory manager then embarked on the construction of new bins for holding raw material, herring, and at the same time building a large silo for the finished product. All this was achieved in an unbelievably short time and the new technology for doing these difficult jobs was used wherever possible. The herring bins at the fishmeal factory are, I believe, the largest in the country. They can hold 120 thousand barrels of herring. Now the construction of a new factory building around the old one has also been completed. This was then pulled down and taken away. It had played its part.

Now we shall pause at 1967. The factory’s capacity is still being increased. A new 10,000 measure press has been bought for this, with a steam boiler and other equipment for production. I know that there is much that is missing from my accounts of the old fishmeal factory in the Westmann Islands, its origins and development. I have been persuaded to record all this for people in the future as a record of a remarkable chapter in the industrial life of the Westmann Islands as the operation of this factory has to be described from the outset.

Here ends Halldór Magnússon’s account

(Headings have been added later)

 

Additional points in the history of the Fishmeal Factory in the Westmann Islands

At the end of 1957 a limited company was formed by Ástthór Matthíasson and his family to run the Fishmeal Factory in the Westmann Islands. In mid-1953 Ástthór Matthíasson sold 90 shares to Vinnslustöðin and 57 shares to Fiskiðjan and at an extraordinary general meeting on the 27th of March 1954 Ástthór Matthíasson, Jóhann Sigfússon og Ágúst Matthíasson were elected to the board. Substitute members were Matthías Ástthórsson, Jónas Jónsson og Gísli Thorsteinsson.

At a general meeting on the 10th of July 1957 Ástthór Matthíason announced that he had sold his 51% share in the company to Vinnslustöðin and Fiskiðjan. Following this, Thorsteinn Sigurðsson, Jóhann Sigfússon and Ágúst Matthíasson were elected to the board with Gísli Thorsteinsson and Jónas Jónsson substitute members.

Immediately in 1957 Ísfélag Vestmannaeyja was invited to become a part owner, and the invitation was declined.

‘The Money Smell’ and the smoke from ‘The Guano’ have long been a source of irritation to many of the townspeople, as has happened in other places. On Friday the 16th of May 1958 the Westmann Islands council voted on favour of a motion with nine points to send to the company. The proposals are as follows;

‘The Council is in agreement to demand that the owners of the Fishmeal Factory in the Westmann Islands should take the necessary measures before the next season to remove the smoke and steam that come from the factory when production of bonemeal is in progress as this is a health hazard and also because the steam and stench from the factory are detrimental to conditions close by around the harbour.’

At a meeting on the 1st of December the price of raw material to the factory was recorded. 655 krónur were to be paid for each ton of fish or fish offal, 200 krónur for each ton of shellfish waste, 940 krónur per ton of fresh herring from boats or producers and 500 krónur per ton for frozen herring.

The first mention of capelin was made at the annual meeting that was held the next year in December 1963, according to the company records. That year delivery was taken of 25,900 tons of herring and 618 tons of capelin, 10,048 tons of fish bones and 353 tons of offal

A disaster occurred on Monday 24th of April 1967. It is recorded in the board’ records;

At 4 this morning a fire broke out in the company’s factory and there was considerable damage to the factory building and equipment and the meal silo was burned down.

Einar Sigurðsson was contacted to find out if he could lend the use of his factory to process the raw material waiting for production. Einar agreed. There was considerable damage to the building, machinery and meal stocks as a result of this fire. This does not take into account the losses incurred by the factory being stopped and the loss of earnings by many of the staff while it was rebuilt.

In April 1969 it was proposed and agreed that spaerling should be bought as raw material at a price of 90 aurar per kilo.

In September 1969 it was agreed that Haraldur Gíslason should be appointed office manager, as earlier that year Óskar Sigurðsson had retired on health grounds. Óskar had managed the company’s office since Vinnslustöðin and Fiskiðjan had become owners.

There was a great deal of production at the factory in 1972. 2856 tons of fishmeal, 8543 tons of capelin meal and 2672 tons of capelin oil were produced. Things looked bright with a good season just finished and a good prospect for the 1973 capelin season. On the 23rd of January fires broke out on Heimaey and virtually all business and the whole community came to a halt. The factory’s managers with Haraldur Gíslason and Thorsteinn Sigurðsson in charge were not inclined to give up on the season even though a volcano had begun to erupt on the east side of the island and there was every chance that the harbour would close. Staff were called to work to prepare for the season. The factory had a covered raw material silo and could also produce its own electrical power. On the 16th of February the purse seiner Thorkatla from Grindavík was damaged in heavy weather close to the Westmann Islands and sought shelter, bringing with it a load of capelin. Thorsteinn Sigurðsson took the decision to start production. Haraldur Gíslason went to a meeting of the emergency committee taking place in the White House and asked those present to look out of the window, pointing out a vessel in difficulties with a cargo of capelin and a factory ready to process it. This took the committee by surprise by Haraldur convinced them of the seriousness of the situation and the capacity that the company had to start processing. Landings started taking place in the coming days with mostly Westmann Islands boats landing to their home port. The smoke from the guano blended with the fire and brimstone from the volcano. Roughly 23,000 tons of capelin were landed and production came to 4000 tons of meal and oil. This season was a a good one, as well as being historic, finishing in April 1973.

The Fishmeal Factory took part in the purchase of stern trawlers to increase the supply of raw material to the freezing plants that Vinnslustöðin og Fiskiðjan owned. In mid-1977 FIVE acquired the stern trawler Skinney SF-20 which was renamed Sindri VE-60. In November that year the trawler Guðmundur Jónsson GK-475 was purchased and renamed Breki VE-61, a powerful multi-purpose fishing vessel. Both vessels performed and caught well. FIVE contributed these to Samtog when that company started operating on the 1st of January 1980.

The Fishmeal Factory continued to expand its activities late in 1979. The company bought Sigurður Thórðarson’s freezing plant, Eyjaberg. Sigurður had run the company since 1967. This was a small but well-equipped processing plant that subsequently became the FIVE freezing plant with Bjarni Sighvatsson as managing director. In 1981 the Fishmeal Factory bought the capelin vessel Haförn RE and renamed it Sighvatur Bjarnason VE-81.

In April 1987 the company added another capelin vessel with Kap VE-4 which was purchased from Einar Ólafsson and Ágúst Guðmundsson. The ship kept its name under the new owners.

On the 4th of October 1989 the board of the Fishmeal Factory in the Westmann Islands received a request from Hraðfrystistöð Vestmannaeyja hf. requesting negotiations over possible co-operation or an amalgamation of the companies’ factories. It was agreed to negotiate but nothing came of this.

In 1990 the FIVE freezing plant was leased to Lifrarsamlag Vestmannaeyja for a packaging factory purchased from SÍF.

The last chapter in the history of this remarkable company closes with the shareholders’ meeting on the 20th of December 1991 when it was agreed that FIVE should merge with Fiskiðjan and Vinnslustöðin along with its subsidiary companies.The 

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