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The speaker of Icelands Alþingi parliament received the petition.(Photo: ruv.is)

Parliament receives pan-European petition to stop open net fish farming

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Thursday, November 21, 2019, 07:40 (GMT + 9)

Around 180,000 people from all over Europe have signed a call for the Icelandic authorities to ban aquaculture in open sea pens. The speaker of Iceland’s Alþingi parliament received the petition, saying the legislature has already been creating new policies on fish farming based on new laws.

Speaker Steingrímur J. Sigfússon received the petition on behalf of Alþingi on Monday morning. The pan-European petition was created by Patagonia and WeMove, and 180,164 people signed. 

Signatories call upon authorities in Iceland, Norway, Scotland, and Ireland to stop the destruction of wild fish stocks and of nearby ecosystems affected by salmon farming in open sea pens.

About 180,000 people around the world have signed a petition to Icelandic, Norwegian, Scottish, and Irish authorities to stop granting licences for open net fish farming and to rescind currently valid licences in stages. Photo: icelandreview.com

The petition calls for the countries named above to stop granting new licences for aquaculture in open sea pens, and for existing licences to be cancelled in stages over a period of time.

Steingrímur said the petition constitutes a big challenge for the authorities and that he will make parliament and the relevant committees aware of it. He says that recent new laws are providing new direction in this area.

He says the new laws contain significant encouragement for fish farmers to move their operations onto land, or to use sealed tanks in the sea, and that Alþingi has therefore already started moving in the direction called for in the petition.

Steingrímur adds it is still not clear how long the changes will take, however, and that they are part of a much bigger picture for everyone who is worried about changes to the natural environment: “And so it is also of course our obligation to protect biodiversity, and I think not least to look after this unique creature, the salmon, which we still expect to have in good condition, even though there are certain warning lights flashing.”

Source: RÚV


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