Member associations of the LÍÚ kept their boats tied to the docks in protest of the government’s fishing quota bill. (Photo: LIU)
Fishing tariffs bill approved
Tuesday, June 26, 2012, 01:40 (GMT + 9)
The chairpersons of the political parties in the Icelandic Parliament Alþingi last week approved the bill on fishing tariffs but postponed the one on amendments to the fisheries control system. They also postponed a parliamentary resolution on a framework agreement for the protection and exploitation of natural resources.
The fishing sector will pay tariffs amounting to USD 101 million - USD 109 million; if these payments exceed ISK 13.8 billion (USD 109.2 million), repayments will be made accordingly. There will be four maturity dates each year that correspond with the quota season which runs from 1 September until 31 July.
The Federation of Icelandic Fishing Vessel Owners (LÍÚ) stated that they regret Alþingi’s decision to approve a legislation that will “triple the fishing tariffs next season.” LÍÚ believes this increase will have serious negative effects on individual companies and communities.
The impact of these fishing tariffs will be reviewed by a special consultancy group. The tariffs have only been approved for one year and will subsequently be reevaluated, Iceland Review reports.
Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, chairperson of the opposition’s Progressive Party, said a certain stability was reached.
“People know to a certain extent where the quota system stands. The agreement includes that those issues that experts and others who submitted dicta criticized the most will be dropped,” he stated.
Minister of Fisheries Steingrímur J Sigfússon called the agreement a breakthrough, despite finding it disappointing that the proposed changes to the fisheries control system were not successful.
The minister commented that matters are developing slower than what is arguably convenient or even tolerable to the fishing industry. At the same time, he said, this allows for more consideration to be taken to indebted companies.
LÍÚ continued to argue that no other industry must pay such high tariffs and that once all of these fees go into force, they will exceed the profits of fishing operations. This system, the federation says, reduces the ability of companies to grow and even puts them out of business altogether – thus harming Iceland’s economy as a whole.
Earlier this month, member associations of the LÍÚ kept their boats tied to the docks in protest of the government’s fishing quota bill, which limits how much of the quotas can be rented or sold and raises fees.
- Vessel owners go on strike to protest fishing quota bill
By Natalia Real