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Suðursveit


The area is a 50 km long coastal strip between Vatnajökull glacier and the Atlantic Ocean.

Sheep farming provided income for the household. As there was not a lot of pasture in the area it was difficult to increase its population without sacrificing the slaughter weight.

Few cows and small production. Butter and milk were for home use only. When the lambs were removed from the sheep in the autumn there was sometimes change in food and then raisin mash made, or coffee and pastries served.

The area took advantage of a variety of benefits such as fishing and whaling, egg picking, bird hunting, trout fishing in rivers and lakes, plaices fishing in estuaries, and fishing at sea.

For as long as people can remember, sea rowing has been practiced in Suðursveit, as it is close to good fishing grounds. Many farms were small, so there was a shortage of food supplies in many homes if fishing failed. In the summer there was trout fishing and picking arctic tern eggs. In winter, ptarmigans were haunted if they came down to the lowlands.

All the farmers had a share in a ship that was helpful when fishing was possible, it was also helpful when a whale stranded onshore and if herring washed up onshore. Before the turn of the 20th century, shark fishing was a major factor in fishing in the area. Women worked on the catch, gutting, and flattening the fish. Dried fish was eaten most days of the year as well as sharks during the time it was caught. It was considered very healthy food.