View Full Version : Iceland fishing chief delivers strong attack on quota reforms

Davie Tait
4th March 2013, 17:05
http://www.fishupdate.com/news/fullstory.php/aid/19100/Iceland_fishing_chief_delivers_strong_attack_on_qu ota_reforms.html

THE head of the organisation which looks after the interests of Iceland's fishing fleet has delivered a detailed and lengthy new attack on his government's plans for reforming the quota management system.

The proposals will not just cost the industry dear, but will also deprive the Icelandic people of millions of kroners, says Frederick J. Argrímsson, chief executive of LIU, the Icelandic Fishing Vessel Owners Federation. The reform bill is currently before the Icelandic parliament, the Althingi, but there are doubts if it will become law before a general election in April, in which case a new government may come forward with different proposals.

Writing in the fishing journal Fiskifrettum, Mr Argrímsson, who lists a number of negative impacts, says the catching industry has lived with uncertainty for the past four years. He said the bill which would bring increased government intervention and central planning into fishing, had been drawn up without and careful thought about the effects it will have on the industry. The new fees for fishing licences and charges on estimated profits would lead to a loss of profitability among vessel owners, hitting small and medium businesses the hardest.

Mr Argrímsson strongly criticises the new method of allocating fishing quotas under the proposals which will mean greatly reduced catch rates in some cases, leading to a large reduction in income. He said if the law had been brought in two years ago the 2011 catch value revenue would have been nine billion kroners below the actual 2011 figure, and 14 billion kroners down in export value.

He accused the government of interference in a largely independent fishing industry through its ability of sell and take away quotas from companies. Urging the government to change its proposals, he describes as "absurd" such official claims that they will "promote the protection and sustainable use of fish stocks around Iceland" or lead to a "trusted employment" or a "stable operating environment" within the industry.