Icelandic Fisheries Minister’s Position Uncertain Skip to content

Icelandic Fisheries Minister’s Position Uncertain

jonbjarnason-radhThe position of Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture Jón Bjarnason is said to be weak within the government after he submitted a draft bill on revisions to the laws on fisheries control without consulting his fellow ministers.

Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir criticized the minister harshly for his work methods, stating that he had not consulted government in the drafting of the bill, reports.

“This work document or draft bill is solely in the responsibility of Jón Bjarnason,” the PM commented. “Jón has kept the entire government and parliamentary party in the dark about this work in spite of our repeated requests that we participate in this matter.”

On Friday the government decided to shift the responsibility of reviewing the laws on fisheries control from his ministry to a council of ministers chaired by Minister of Education Katrín Jakobsdóttir and Minister of Welfare Guðbjartur Hannesson.

“This work document was presented to the government for the first time last Tuesday at which point we hadn’t been involved for three months,” Jóhanna added.

“And when the minister finally presented it to us on Tuesday it appears that he has moved a long distance away from the [coalition] parties’ policy on fisheries and it is clear that this bill will never be submitted as a ministerial bill in its unchanged form,” she concluded.

On the radio program Morgunútvarpið on RÚV’s Rás 2 radio this morning, Jón stated that he has full authority to review the laws on fisheries control.

In a declaration issued yesterday, the minister explained that the matter is a misunderstanding, that his ministry had published documents that are being worked on and could form the basis for discussions but are not resolutions or bills, reports.

Jón was given the task of reviewing the previous bill on changes to the fisheries control system which was subject to harsh criticism in parliament last spring. He appointed a task force for that purpose which produced the work documents presented on Tuesday.

Click here to read more about the fishing quota controversy.


Sign up for our weekly newsletter

Get news from Iceland, photos, and in-depth stories delivered to your inbox every week!

* indicates required

Subscribe to Iceland Review

In-depth stories and high-quality photography showcasing life in Iceland!

Share article