News Fellows Fellows 2022-23 FTP - Selected highlights 2023

Congratulations FTP fellows 24th cohort

27 April 2023
Congratulations FTP fellows 24th cohort

Yesterday the 24th cohort of GRÓ FTP fellows graduated from the six-month training programme in a ceremony held at the Marine and Freshwater Research Institute -- 22 fellows from 14 countries.

With this graduation altogether 464 fellows from 66 countries have graduated from the programme since it started in 1998. FTP has also organised 52 short courses and workshops in its partners’ countries for well over 1.200 participants and received numerous foreign delegations on study tours of Icelandic fisheries. On top of this, the programme supports its alumni in various was, such as offering them postgraduate scholarships and assistance to take part in international conferences.

Amongst the fellows who graduated yesterday, women outnumbered men by 12 to 10. The biggest line of specialisation was the Fisheries Policy and Management line (9), then Aquatic Resource Assessment and Monitoring (6), Sustainable Aquaculture (4) and Quality Management (3). One fellow had to return home early but plans to graduate next year. Additionally, there was one special guest this term who only participated in the introduction part of the programme.

The graduation ceremony was officiated by the director of Marine and Freshwater Research Institute, Mr. Þorsteinn Sigurðsson.

Ms. Nína Björk Jónsdóttir, director general of GRÓ – International Centre for Capacity Development conveyed to the fellows congratulations of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ms. Þórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörð Gylfadóttir. In her speech Nína noted that the total number of fellows to have completed training from one of the four programmes run under GRÓ, had now reached the 1.600 mark. She mentioned that on a recent trip to Kenya and Uganda she had a chance to meet with many of them. “One of the things we are working on at GRÓ currently is to strengthen the alumni network, so that you can not only stay in touch with us at GRÓ, with each other and previous fellows of your programme, but also other alumni from the other GRÓ programmes,” she said.

Ms. Áslaug Eir Hólmgeirsdóttir, Director General of the Department of Fisheries at the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, conveyed to the fellows congratulations of the Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, Ms. Svandís Svavarsdóttur. In her address to the fellows Áslaug stressed the importance of research and innovation. Even though Icelanders had achieved a lot in their fisheries there should be no room for complacency. “The climate challenges in the seafood sector are priorities that both the industry and the government need to work on together,” she said “to achieve Iceland's goals regarding emissions reduction from this sector.”

Director of GRÓ-FTP, Ms. Julie Ingham, expressed her gratitude to the programme’s staff and partners, at home and abroad. During the presentation of certificates, she introduced each fellow and their research projects.

Speaking on behalf of the graduating fellows, Mr. Chadwick Bironga Henry from Kenia, thanked FTP and all its partners for their assistance throughout the training period. “Beyond the technical knowledge and cultural exposure, what has made this program truly special is the people,” he said.

"We have formed bonds with our fellow participants from fifteen countries spread throughout the globe from Asia through Africa, the Caribbeans to Central America. Throughout this program, we have been reminded time and time again of the importance of cooperation, capacity building, knowledge-sharing, and research in achieving sustainable development. We have seen how different approaches to fisheries management can work in practice, and we have been inspired to take these lessons home with us and apply them in our own contexts."

Concluding the ceremony Þorsteinn thanked the graduating fellows for their stay in Iceland and wished them a safe journey back home.

Afterwards, a reception for guests was held at the Marine and Freshwater Research Institute, where a poster exhibition of the final projects of the fellows had been set up.