Employees of the Icelandic Coast Guard boarded Júlíana yesterday, the fishing boat belonging to Ásmundur Jóhannsson from Sandgerdi, southwest Iceland, who has recently been fishing without legal permission. After boarding, the authorities sailed his boat to shore and then sealed it.
According to Sudurnes Police, Jóhannsson has been called in for questioning and the investigative department will then decide whether charges will be pressed for fishing without quota, Morgunbladid reports.
Jóhannsson has gone fishing for the past month without legal permission in protest of the Icelandic fishing quota system, which he finds criminal. “I’m going to sue. The United Nations Human Rights Committee has given a clear conclusion in this matter. A new chapter is beginning and I’m prepared to go all the way,” the fisherman said.
In January, the UN Human Rights Committee determined that Iceland’s fishing quota system is unfair, recommending the government establish a fisheries control system that fulfills the conditions stipulated by international law.
Jóhannsson claims that while he operated fishing vessels, quota was taken away from him. “In 1988 we had 186 tons left but had originally been allocated 1,150 tons. We had no political backing and the quota was simply stolen from us.”
In 1991, Jóhannsson sold his share in fishing company Festir hf. in Grindavík to his partner Sigmar Björnsson. Together they had operated the capelin ship Thórshamar.
According to Morgunbladid, at that time their ship carried a quota of 342 cod equivalents for demersal fish, a 200-ton shrimp quota and more than a two percent share of the capelin catch.
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