Ásmundur Jóhannsson, a fisherman from Sandgerdi in southwest Iceland, has been fishing lately without fishing quota in protest of the fishing quota system, which he calls the biggest crime in Iceland’s history.
When Jóhannsson sailed into the Sandgerdi harbor yesterday with almost 800 kilos of cod, police were waiting for him at the pier. “They just asked me what my name was, asked for my social security number and how much I had caught,” Jóhannsson told Fréttabladid.
Also waiting for Jóhannsson on the pier was MP for the Liberal Party Grétar Mar Jónsson, who helped the fisherman unload his catch.
Police have interfered with Jóhannsson’s fishing trips, questioned him and charged him for violating quota regulations, but the fisherman has not yet been arrested.
A Coast Guard airplane flew over the ocean where Jóhannsson was fishing yesterday. “They were just on a sight-seeing flight above me,” he said.
Since Jóhannsson began fishing without quota in early July in protest of the system, he has caught about four tons. The fisherman said he was going fishing by himself and without quota again today.
In January, the United Nations 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.
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