Iceland’s Parliament Agrees on Fishing Tariffs Skip to content

Iceland’s Parliament Agrees on Fishing Tariffs

The chairpersons of the political parties in the Icelandic parliament, Alþingi, reached an agreement on Monday on approving the bill on fishing tariffs but postponing the bill on amendments to the fisheries control system and a parliamentary resolution on a framework agreement for the preservation and exploitation of natural areas.

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The Icelandic parliament. Photo by Páll Kjartansson.

These were the three major issues of the parliament’s spring session. It appeared that the session would extend into the summer and thereby clash with the presidential election on June 30 and interfere with the summer vacations of the parliament’s employees.

However, according to the agreement, the parliament brought its spring session to an end yesterday and will resume talks on the aforementioned unconcluded issues when parliamentarians reassemble in the autumn.

The tariffs to be paid by the fishing industry will total ISK 12.7-13.7 billion (USD 101-109 million, EUR 81-86 million) and if the amount exceeds ISK 13.8 billion, repayments will be made accordingly. There will be four maturity dates each year in consistency with the quota season which lasts from September 1 to July 31.

A special consultancy group will review the impact of the fishing tariffs, which have only been approved for one year, after which they will be reevaluated.

Chairman of the opposition’s Progressive Party, Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, said a certain stability was reached. “People know to a certain extent where the quota system stands. The agreement includes that issues that experts and others who submitted dicta criticized the most will be dropped.”

Minister of Fisheries Steingrímur J. Sigfússon declared the agreement a breakthrough, even though he found it disappointing that the proposed changes to the fisheries control system didn’t go through.

Steingrímur added that matters are developing slower than what one could argue the fishing industry could withstand. However, now more consideration is taken to indebted companies, he said.

The Federation of Icelandic Fishing Vessel Owners (LÍÚ) released a statement saying they regret Alþingi’s decision to approve a legislation that will “triple the fishing tariffs next season.”

Click here to read more about the controversial changes to the fishing quota system.

ESA

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