Among the fourteen recipients awarded the Order of the Falcon by President of Iceland Guðni Th. Jóhannesson at a ceremony held at the Presidential residence of Bessastaðir on 17th June this year – Iceland’s National Day – was Guðmundur Gunnarsson, the recently retired Head of Development at Hampiðjan.
The Order of the Falcon is the highest honour that the Icelandic state is able to confer on any individual and Guðmundur Gunnarsson’s selection for this is due to his pioneering research and development work on fishing gears. He has extensive knowledge and experience in this field, and has been active in his work both in Iceland and around the world.
‘Guðmundur Gunnarsson needs no introduction among trawler skippers, for whom he has long been a living legend,’ according to Hampiðjan’s CEO Hjörtur Erlendsson.
He joined Hampiðjan in 1970 and retired recently after an eventful fifty-year career in this field, during which he performed a variety of roles, from the net loft floor to sales and finally as the company’s Head of Development.
He has been central to the development of a new generation of groundfish and shrimp gears, to Hampiðjan being an early adopter of Dyneema, the development of synthetic DynIce warps, the DynIce Data net sounder cable and more, although he is undoubtedly best known for the development of the Gloria pelagic trawl which was a significant innovation at the time, revolutionising the Icelandic fleet’s pelagic trawling activities.