Kristján Ţór Júlíusson is handed the ministry keys by outgoing Minister Thorgerđur Katrín Gunnarsdóttir

It has taken a few weeks of negotiations and false starts, but Iceland finally has a new government in place, a coalition of the Left-Green, Progressive and Independence parties under new Prime Minister and Left-Green chair Katrín Jakobsdóttir.

There chairs in the cabinet have been shuffled, with some ministers who were part of the previous short-lived coalition government keeping their places, some shifting to new roles and others replaced.

The role of Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture now goes to Kristján Ţór Júlíusson, who had been Minister of Education and Culture under the previous administration, replacing Thorgerđur Katrín Gunnarsdóttir whose Reform Party is not part of the new coalition.

The conservative Independence Party’s ministers have the finance, foreign affairs, justice, fishing and agriculture, and industry, innovation and tourism ministries. The Left-Greens have the Prime Minister’s office and the Ministries of Health and Environment, while the Progressive Party gets transport, local government, education and welfare briefs.

According to a policy document issued by the three parties, there are pledges to re-examine the controversial issue of catch levies, to boost marine research and to support coastal fishing communities. The policy document also states that aquaculture – another controversial area – needs to be built up with caution and according to scientific advice and that there is a need to discuss the format for levies on aquaculture licences.