The European Union is planning to change its fisheries policy so that it will be similar to the Icelandic quota system. A proposal on the new policy will be submitted in July. The finalized version of the new EU fisheries policy will be voted on in 2013.
Fishing in Iceland. Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.
The BBC’s sources say it will include transferable quotas, as ruv.is reports.
Fishing companies in each country will be given a share of the country’s allocated quota for at least 15 years.
Fishing companies will be able to trade with the quota of certain species with other fishing companies nationally and, if approved by their respective governments, with companies in other countries.
This is to apply to companies operating trawling equipment and fishing vessels that are 12 meters or longer. All discards will be banned; all catch must be brought to shore, including species that are outside the quota.
According to the BBC, many environmentalists are critical of the new fisheries policy, saying that the oceans are being privatized.
Fish stocks are a resource owned by all of Europe’s inhabitants, they argue, and access to them should be provided to those who practice eco-friendly fishing, which demonstrates the best effect for the environment and the community.
Similar criticism has arisen in Iceland, especially regarding quotas being transferrable. The Icelandic government recently submitted a controversial bill on changes to the fisheries control system.
The bill has the goal of making fish a resource in public ownership through a lapse of quota, which means that those currently in possession of a quota will gradually lose ownership of it and must rather rent it from the state.
Click here to read more about the quota lapse.