The governmental institute Iceland’s Directorate of Fisheries has filed a lawsuit against a fishing company in the Eastfjords and a harbor employee, neither of which have been named, for registering the weight of fish to be exported in a container incorrectly.
It was revealed that the harbor employee in question, whose responsibility it was to weigh the fish, indicating its worth, also worked for the fishing company, Morgunbladid reports.
“There are very few cases when the harbor employees in charge of weighing fish also work for a fishing company or a fish processing plant in the same location. Such connections are certainly unfortunate,” head of the Directorate of Fisheries Thórdur Ásgeirsson said.
“But it is quite common that employees authorized to re-weigh fish are employed by the companies that hold a permit for re-weighing. It is, in fact, unavoidable since re-weighing is allowed,” Ásgeirsson added.
Ásgeirsson explained that in smaller towns weighing fish at the harbor is not a full-time job, so harbor employees may have to work for other employers as well. Therefore, he said, it is very important for such workers to realize that when they work at the harbor, they are employed by the local authority and not the fishing company.
“Those who are authorized to re-weigh fish within a certain fishing company have a duty to work independently and not be influenced by their employer,” Ásgeirsson said. “It is unfortunate, but there is also no other solution […] than the fishing company paying the re-weigher.”