Björk Encourages Icelanders to Fight Fishing Bill Skip to content
Photo: via Björk, official Facebook page.

Björk Encourages Icelanders to Fight Fishing Bill

Artist Björk Guðmundsdóttir has entered the fray in support of a petition calling upon Parliament to vote against a controversial fishing bill. She announced this support on X (formerly Twitter).

The bill in question

The bill, already submitted to Parliament by Minister of Fisheries Bjarkey Olsen Gunnarsdóttir of the Left-Green Party, would change the law regarding operation licenses for fishing farms in Iceland. The specific change would be to make these licenses indefinite; as it is, they run for 16 years, with an option to extend them.

If passed, current license holders would have control over one of Iceland’s most valuable resources for possibly far longer than before. The bill has been met with opposition from numerous groups, including the Federation of Icelandic River Owners and the Icelandic Wildlife Fund.

The bill has also been a point of contention in the current presidential race, as it was crafted while Katrín Jakobsdóttir, who is running for president, was still chair of the Left-Greens. This has prompted another candidate, Steinunn Ólína Kristjánsdóttir, to question whether Katrín could be impartial about signing, or vetoing, this particular bill, should it become law. She also started the petition.

“Do you want to give the rich our fjords?”

Posting on X, Björk wrote, “Do you want to give the rich our fjords? If not, sign [the petition].”

Björk then quotes an article from RÚV that outlines how the stated purpose of the bill is to increase sustainability, but that the Icelandic Wildlife Fund argues that the bill, if made law, would work against that purpose.

She then quotes the mission statement of the petition, which reads in part: “The bill authorizes polluting industrial production with fish farming in the most sensitive areas of Iceland’s coasts under little supervision and puts the interests of license holders first at the expense of the public interest and nature of the country.”

Fish farming is a matter close to Björk’s heart; she has also recently joined a list of plaintiffs in another fish farming case.

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