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Fined for Violating Nature Conservation Laws

The District Court of the West Fjords has sentenced three men to pay fines of ISK 50,000-75,000 (USD 500-750/EUR 400-600) for violating nature conservation laws in the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve, RÚV reports.

The men spent one week in the area in the spring of 2016 without notifying the Environment Agency of Iceland. One of the men was also convicted of possessing a firearm without permission from the local commissioner. The men claimed the firearm was for protection against polar bears, which have occasionally appeared in the area. A shot bird and a skinned seal were found in the area where the men had stayed.

The Hornstrandir Nature Reserve is a protected area covering nearly 600 square kilometres of tundra, fjord, glacier, and alpine land on Iceland’s northernmost peninsula in the West Fjords.

The men received much criticism in June of 2016 when they were found in the area with a firearm and fishing gear. Between April 15th and June 15th visitors to the reserve must notify the Environment Agency of Iceland of their trip as it is a crucial season for plants and wildlife in the area. The men claimed they were not aware of having to notify the Environment Agency.

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